May 262017
 May 26, 2017  Posted by  Court, Surveillance, U.S.

Throughout New York state, police agencies have for years been using automated license plate readers (ALPR, also known as ANPR in Europe) without the sanction of the legislature or the courts. Earlier this month, the New York Court of Appeals — the state’s highest court — took up the question for the first time and sided with the use of plates to track members of the public, even if they are not suspected of committing any crime.

The town of Rhinebeck, for example, has a population of just 7548, but over the course of three months in 2011, it photographed 164,043 license plates. Of these, just eight were in any way linked to suspicious activity, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union. Nonetheless, the movements of all motorists were stored in a long-term database. There are no statewide rules limiting how long such information can be stored.


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