backtop


Print 121 comment(s) - last by monkeyman1140.. on Apr 4 at 8:34 AM


Raleigh police Officer John Maultsby says the new scanning system is safe and is working to catch crooks.  (Source: Keith Baker/WRAL)

The American Civil Liberties Union has request more information to determine if the scanning violations privacy protections, based on current legal interpretation of the Bill of Rights.  (Source: ACLU)
Raleigh, NC police system stores records of your license plates and location

Would it bother you if there was a record of where you were at all times, stored in a public database? That's the concern that citizens in Raleigh, North Carolina have expressed. 

Raleigh area police have just adopted a new Automated License Plate Reader system that they say will make citizens in the region more secure.  The system consists of four cameras mounted to police cruisers that automatically read license plates of nearby cars (the cost to outfit each cruiser can cost between $18,000 to $20,000).  The results are sent back to the police headquarters, where they are scanned for matches in the national criminal database.

The police say the system is working great.  It has already help recover several stolen vehicles and locate at least one missing person.  Describes Officer John Maultsby, "With this technology, it can read hundreds of plates in a couple of seconds if there are that many plates for it to see."

The system, however, is stirring up controversy.  Some take issue with the fact that your license plate information and location is stored both in the police cruiser and at the police headquarters, regardless of if you committed a crime.  The police have not made it clear how long this information is stored.

Such information could be dangerous if it was stolen.  It could reveal many embarrassing, but perfectly legal behaviors. Given that government databases are routinely compromised by hackers, many worry about the possibility of privacy risks to law-abiding citizens.

Raleigh is home to roughly 400,000 U.S. citizens.  It is the state capital of North Carolina, and the state's second largest city.  Numerous colleges, including North Carolina State University, Shaw University, Peace College, and St. Augustine's College, are located in Raleigh.  The students at these schools are taking note of the debate, and many have strong opinions on it.

States N.C. State student Ian Kilgore, "It’s just privacy. Even though I am not doing anything wrong, and I don’t have anything to hide, I still don’t want people to know where I am at any given time."

The U.S. Constitution contains no specific mention of a "right to privacy", but the precedent set by the highest court in the U.S., the Supreme Court, interprets the 9th Amendment to offer privacy protections.  Important cases that established this precedent include several contraception-related cases (the Griswold and Eisenstadt cases), an interracial marriage case (the Loving case), and the well-known abortion case, Roe v Wade. 

The 9th amendment states:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Other amendments in the Bill of Rights also been interpreted to provide privacy protections, such as the 3rd, the 4th's search and seizure limits, and the 5th's self-incrimination limit.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a U.S. rights watchdog group, has not challenged the new system, but has expressed its concern.  It has sent a letter to the Raleigh police asking for a copy of their policy concerning the use of the scanners.  The policy would likely reveal information such as how long location information is stored and what kind of protections are in place to prevent its accidental release.

Jennifer Rudinger with the ACLU of N.C. comments, "If an officer does not get a hit when scanning a plate, then there is no legitimate reason for law enforcement to keep it on file for any length of time."

Concerns over similar systems have been raised nationwide in Washington D.C. and elsewhere.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

And what about illegals?
By jrbloch on 3/31/2010 12:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
Illegal Aliens are braking the law. Do the cops deport the illegals, or do the pocket picking cops only "care" about the US citizens that can be fined and extorted more easily?




RE: And what about illegals?
By callmeroy on 3/31/2010 12:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
Good point....unfortunately the issue with the estimated 12 million illegals in this country is a bit complex.

The two main points why everyone side steps the illegal immigrant issue:

1) Cheap labor. 12 million illegals willing to work for nearly anything the employer is willing to pay them. Also as much as proud Americans may hate to hear..."most" illegals are harder working than their american-born counterparts doing the same exact job. So I'm an employer say I need corn harvasted (I'm just making something up) let's see I can pay 15 y/o Johnny $8/hr and he'll pick half as much as Jose will for only $4/hr....hmmm..hard decision to make.

2) Votes. With 12 million people comes alot of public perception, and representation (ie. all the "rights" groups for illegal immigrants) believe it or not some Americans are on the side of illegals, feeling bad for the harsh conditions they had to grow up in where they come from. Polictians are weary of this, thus they handle it with kid gloves...less it affects voter turn out in their district negatively.

2)


RE: And what about illegals?
By Yawgm0th on 3/31/2010 1:18:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Polictians are weary of this, thus they handle it with kid gloves...less it affects voter turn out in their district negatively.
Politicians care about their true constituents: Corporations who profit from the availability of cheap labor and additional consumers. Illegal aliens help businesses, period.

Republicans are almost invariably pro-business, so they can't be too serious about immigration reform if they're to succeed in national politics. Democrats are almost invariably going to court the Hispanic vote if they're to succeed in national politics. Neither party can ignore Hispanics or corporations, much less both.

From an economics standpoint, immigration shouldn't be a problem any more than replacing humans with machines is a problem. Yes, jobs are lost, but we are invariably better off if we go for jobs that make greater use of our capabilities as people. Digging ditches, as the cliche and unrealistic example goes, is not something we want a literate, educated work force to do. If anyone is going to do it, it should be illegal immigrants.

There's a greater philosophical argument to be made about the very nature of this country, easily summarized on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."

It's hard to hear logic and reason over the sound of "They took our jobs!", sadly.


RE: And what about illegals?
By callmeroy on 3/31/2010 3:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
From an economics standpoint, immigration shouldn't be a problem any more than replacing humans with machines is a problem. Yes, jobs are lost, but we are invariably better off if we go for jobs that make greater use of our capabilities as people. Digging ditches, as the cliche and unrealistic example goes, is not something we want a literate, educated work force to do. If anyone is going to do it, it should be illegal immigrants.


You mean aside from the fact that our "wise" laws deem that people who don't financially contribute to the tax base (you do realize a good deal of illegals don't pay taxes right?) can still partake of government paid for services the most easy example being emergency room care.


"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

Related Articles
Contractors Plan to Scan D.C. Motorists
October 4, 2007, 9:24 AM
New York Plans New Surveillence Project
July 10, 2007, 12:05 PM













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki