Law enforcement agencies nowadays use a lot of high-tech tools to effectively fight crime like the license plate scanners. However, various civil liberty organizations are expressing concerns regarding the use of the license plate scanners by the police because the tool is somehow invading people’s privacy.
According to police, the license plate scanner is a big help to their operations since it can capture and scan dozens of license plates a minute. With the scanner, law enforcers will be able to trace stolen cars, fugitive, and even missing people.
Although the technology is very helpful, some people show concern regarding the proper use of the technology and limits to its use since there are no laws or policies imposed yet on the proper use of this technology.
An investigator explored the uses of the technology and discovered that the images captured by the license plate scanners are being run through the agency’s criminal database. This process is done to determine if a car is being used by a fugitive or if it is stolen. So basically, their goal is look for bad people who should not be driving on the road.
However, the scanner also provide other crucial information like the car owner’s address, driving records, and even their social security number if the owner already has arrest records before. The police pointed out that all images gathered from the scanners are discarded within 72 hours. Only images and information that get a hit are being stored for evidence and future reference.