Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More on Automated License Plate Recognition - Another Brewing Storm


Last summer this blog ran its first post on Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology.  Since that time, there have been a variety of ALPR discussions highlighting the interlocking, and sometimes conflicting, nature of rapid advancements in sensing technology, geolocation tracking, public safety, and individual rights in a free society.  Here are some examples:

  • September 14, 2011: In an effort to ensure information collected locally, remains local, the Brookline, MA, Board of Selectmen unanimously rejected state funding for ALPR systems out of fear acceptance would bring with it the requirement to distribute collected data to Federal and State officials.
  • February 21, 2012: The ACLU reports it has discovered ten towns in Connecticut that have been maintaining extensive geotagged ALPR records that would be potentially open to public review.
  • March 20, 2012: A California State Senator introduces a bill that would require local law enforcement agencies to destroy ALPR data files after 60 days.

For those who would like to like to know more about the technology at the center of these concerns, find below:



Comment: We are clearly headed for a slippery slope.  Although it would seem the merit of public good tilts in the favor of reasonable man use of this technology, a new dimension has been added to the discussion with the announcement last week the Japanese had developed an automated face recognition capability on the same scale.  To read a reasonably accurate report on this development, albeit a cyanical one, click here.  And with that, where do we draw the line in the sand?

Other articles on this blog related to ALPR include:


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