The use of technology to protect its citizens can also violate their privacy. New powerful cameras capable of reading license plates has allowed police to build databases on the movements of millions of Americans over months or even years, according to an American Civil Liberties Union report released Wednesday. chill freedom of speech and association.
These license plate readers are typically mount along major roadways or on the backs of cruisers and government vehicles, can identify cars almost instantly and compare them against “hot lists” of vehicles that have been stolen or involved in crimes. How could anyone be sure that they are not being tracked?
The system collect records on every license plate they encounter — whether or not they are on hot lists — meaning that time and location data are gathered in databases that can be searched by police. While some departments get rid of the evidence others might use this data chill freedom of speech and association. Although there are audits to detect abuse on the sharing of information through these tracking cameras this does not promise privacy.
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