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State bill would restrict data from license-plate scanners

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  • State bill would restrict data from license-plate scanners

    http://californiawatch.org/dailyrepo...scanners-15379

    A state lawmaker representing Silicon Valley wants to rein in a cutting-edge law enforcement technology that enables police to stockpile digital personal information on motorists and build a portrait of their whereabouts.
    Agencies across the nation are swiftly adopting the use of license-plate recognition devices, which are affixed to the outside of their patrol cars and scan passing vehicles. The tags are automatically compared with databases of outstanding warrants, stolen cars and more.
    Each scan captures and stores an array of data, regardless of whether the driver is a wanted criminal, including the geographic location of the car along with the date and time of the scan. Privacy advocates are alarmed that the technology could allow police to paint a picture of where innocent Americans have been and when.

    Police counter that license-plate scanners allow them to track down wanted criminals and stop perpetrators on the street by way of an in-car alert without having to manually search each tag. Investigators also can search where a license plate has been scanned previously and go back to see if the person is at that location. State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has proposed a bill that would require local law enforcement agencies in California to retain data captured by license-plate scanners for only 60 days, except when the information is being used in felony investigations. Such rules already exist for the California Highway Patrol.
    Simitian said in an interview that there’s a critical distinction between consumers who voluntarily choose to turn over private information to Internet companies like Facebook and technologies that quietly collect information on drivers.
    He helped hammer out the guidelines in place for the highway patrol and said balancing privacy protections enshrined in the state’s constitution with the tools police need to improve public safety is part of the legislative process. “I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive,” Simitian said.
    Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital and privacy rights group based in San Francisco, said it’s “a good attempt at beginning to address the issue.” The foundation so far plans to support the legislation, Tien said.
    The bill also would prohibit police from turning the data over to entities that are not engaged in law enforcement, such as private companies.
    Simitian’s proposal comes after California Watch reported in January that a Livermore-based company called Vigilant Video had amassed more than a half-billion bits of information on drivers from license-plate scanners. The data come both from police who agree to turn it over for nationwide searches and auto-repossession companies that help banks track down debtors who are delinquent on their car payments.
    A company sales manager previously told California Watch that about 1,200 new law enforcement users are signed up every month to search the database, known as the National Vehicle Location Service. While using the devices to nab wanted suspects in real time has a clear value for police, storing historical data from the units is equally alluring to police who are aware of its powerful intelligence value.
    Simitian’s bill also would restrict companies like Vigilant, limiting the amount of time data can be held to 60 days, barring them from selling it or giving the data to anyone who is not a law enforcement officer, and making data available to police only when a search warrant has established probable cause. Vigilant says only approved law enforcement officials can sign up to search the National Vehicle Location Service.
    Retired police officer Steve Reed uses the scanners in his current capacity as security chief at the Arden Fair mall in Sacramento and is unsure how the bill could affect his work. A unique partnership between the mall and the Sacramento Police Department has led to the recovery of nearly 70 stolen vehicles and about 50 arrests since early 2009.
    For Reed, that’s dozens of people who got their cars back and dozens more who needed to be held accountable.
    “All we’re doing is good for the community by recovering stolen vehicles and helping to incarcerate people who are committing crimes,” Reed said. “ … Whatever’s legal, we’re going to do.”

  • #2
    This is going to be interesting.
    "America's Best Repo Agent"

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    • #3
      Yup.............

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      • #4
        License plates on the road and in parking lots are in the public eye for anyone to see. This is going no where fast.

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        • #5
          LPR scans are a great benefit to law enforcement and plates are part of the public domain and viewable by anyone....fixed LPR cameras are everywhere and used for private and public use........IMO it is here to stay.

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          • #6
            Imo...we need to have a bill put forth that when people get a new plate on there car, truck, boat,or what have you... that a small fee be charged to cover the cost of letting the lien holder know, so they can keep up to date records on there collateral...right now people who are aware of LPR systems go to dmv and say they lost there plate or it was stolen so they can avoid cameras by getting a new plate. then dmv charges the lien holder for an updated plate...they should be charging the R/O not the bank and/or us
            Last edited by autoraider; 03-26-2012, 10:09 AM. Reason: ad something

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            • #7
              END OF LPR IN CALI?? California SB1330

              Ruh oh.....


              This is getting good...


              Roll Calls

              2012-03-27 - Do pass as amended, and re-refer to the Committee on Judiciary (Y: 5 N: 3 NV: 1) [PASS]


              History

              2012-03-28 - From committee: Do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on JUD. (Ayes 5. Noes 3.) (March 27).
              2012-03-21 - Set for hearing March 27.
              2012-03-08 - Referred to Coms. on T. & H. and JUD.
              2012-02-24 - From printer. May be acted upon on or after March 25.
              2012-02-23 - Introduced. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment.

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              • #8
                End of LPR? I hope so.. It's just another way to get exploited by forwarders anyway..

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nvtowing View Post
                  End of LPR? I hope so.. It's just another way to get exploited by forwarders anyway..
                  I disagree, I think its a great tool for this Industry and maybe its not where it should be but it will. I hope its not the end... Not familiar with the bill

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                  • #10
                    it'll die in committee.....nvtowing, are you sure this is the right industry for you....perhaps towing is better suited....personally, i'm about tired of your constant negative comments....so man up or move on

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                    • #11
                      Bryan,
                      instead of whining about, and misunderstanding my comment ... Why don't you explain why you think LPR is so great. In theory it should be, but in reality I don't see how it really benefits anyone but the Forwarders.. What do you think?

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                      • #12
                        This one has me twisted a little bit.. On one hand my job is to find people.. borrowers, bailjumpers...etc.. I use a ton of information sources to do this.. I enjoy my work, and i get a lot of satisfaction working a tough account and finding someone... When these camera cars first came out, i thought it was a great tool for the industry.. but the idea of storing data indefinitely on license plates hits and being able to Grid people this way makes me nervous. I mean think about it.. Would you guys support a govt agency having this sort of info and keeping it stored forever??? Its a civil liberties issue. My guess is it may die in the Judiciary, but it will keep coming back and back, in other states as well. Simitian seems pretty determined. As far as is it a great tool for repo companies ... Ive heard great things, and i have also heard nightmares of companies not being able to make money off them(i know, I know they werent using them right). So who knows.. But i can tell you the people who win the most are the banks and forwarders...with these. The industry is littered with junk skip work.. Its no sweat of a fowarding companies back to give you 6 address's..They know you probably wont get their car, but if you got LPR you have a chance to ping of the cars in the network in a hospital or airport or something...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nvtowing View Post
                          Bryan,
                          instead of whining about, and misunderstanding my comment ... Why don't you explain why you think LPR is so great. In theory it should be, but in reality I don't see how it really benefits anyone but the Forwarders.. What do you think?
                          Some companies make really good money from LPR, plus creating their own database and increasing recovery rates, I think it benefits not only forwarders but lenders and recovery agents. I have not tried every single system out there and I doubt that you have, not sure why you talk to negative about LPR when it has been a blessing for my company and others.

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                          • #14
                            Other states are going to outlaw it...


                            its just a matter of time...

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                            • #15
                              I like MV TRAC....You get a hit you pick it up on the spot...no waiting for approval B.S. plus the pay $ 400.00 a pop

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