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License plate readers - how intrusive?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

License plate readers - how intrusive?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
August 19, 2013


With all the new invasion-of-privacy worries, thanks to Edward Snowden, we should be reminded that Automated License Plate Recognition systems continue to be used, and we should be worried about how that information will be used.

A long article in yesterday's Richmond Times-Dispatch reports how the Virginia State Police recorded license plate numbers and saved them for three years.

When license plate numbers are collected, whether electronically or manually, how are they used in McHenry County?

At a recent private gathering four deputies responded after a neighbor complained. The supervisor told the three deputies to record all the license plate numbers.

Why? How was that information used? Was it? Or will it be?

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