New Hampshire once had the strongest protections in the nation for the privacy of its drivers. State officials were explicitly prohibited from participating in any way with national licensing databases, and neither photo enforcement nor automated license plate readers (ALPR, also known as ANPR) could be used, with the exception of license plate readers on toll roads. Governor Maggie Hassan (D) set a different course last month as she signed legislation eliminating these protections.
House Bill 1154 repealed the existing prohibition on “highway surveillance.” In its place is a blanket authorization allowing any law enforcement agency in the state to use camera systems to record the movements of motorists with license plate reader systems. The state attorney general will have the authority to audit any department’s use of license plate cameras. The revised language, which takes effect July 18, does not authorize the use of red light cameras or speed cameras.