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License plate readers are the latest encroachment on your privacy

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An article posted by Ars Technica takes a look at the spread of license plate readers (LPRs), including the burgeoning private market for data.

license plate scanner (federal signal)
license plate scanner (federal signal)

Electronic license plate readers (LPRs) are changing the nature of legal surveillance. For law enforcement, the scanners are a powerful tool for fighting crime — a highly effective "force multiplier," but a lack of regulation and the burgeoning market for privately-collected data has some judges and privacy activists concerned. Ars Technica takes a look at the explosive spread of LPRs, what happens to the data they collect, and the myriad new legal issues they present. As Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney at the EFF points out, LPR technology "forces us to really confront how many of the privacy norms that we form were implicitly dependent [on the fact] that the government couldn't afford to engage in mass, routine surveillance of the entire population."