License Plate Recognition Technology/Red Light Cameras: Safe or Sorry?
June 23, 2011 8:51 PM
comment(s) - last by
It seems they both walk the fine line of being useful, yet big brother-like
Privacy is a hot issue at present, whether it's regarding online privacy or physical privacy in your home or on the street.
Back in 2007, New York
ordered license plate readers
that would be placed throughout Lower Manhattan in order to monitor vehicles. Then, in 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union
investigated Raleigh, North Carolina's use of license plate scanning equipment
to determine whether it violated citizens' privacy rights.
Now, a new report from Kenner, Louisiana says that the Kenner Police Department has been using
license plate recognition technology
to recover stolen vehicles. According to Kenner police, they've been able to find 80 stolen vehicles over the past seven months alone.
"It's the greatest technology to hit law enforcement in a long time," said Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway. "Within seconds, police officers get a BOLO, a bulletin on their computer saying stolen Toyota headed westbound on Veterans."
The cameras, which were paid for by grants, provide photographs of the back of the stolen vehicle, and the photo is sent to police computers within 20 seconds. In one particular case, two 16-year-old's and a 19-year-old were arrested at Armstrong International Airport after stealing a SUV from New Orleans six days earlier. Police were able to identify the vehicle through the license plate recognition technology.
But this technology didn't only benefit police as far as stolen vehicles go; it also aided police in murder cases, missing person cases and to track sex offenders.
"We've actually solved a recent murder, where all the witnesses saw was just a blue Toyota Camry leaving a neighborhood," said Caraway.
While this system seems to serve its purpose, I couldn't help but compare the technology to the red-light cameras being placed around the U.S. Many citizens are against such systems saying that they are invasive, and that they have the potential to be abused by law enforcement officers as a way of generating revenue. On the other hand, recent studies found that these red-light cameras
can prevent accidents
, and enforce good driving behavior (even at intersections without the cameras).
The license plate recognition falls in the same general category of monitoring vehicles and alerting police when something illegal occurs, and it seems as if both systems are working to their full potential. But my question is, does the license plate recognition technology fall into the same realm of being potentially invasive and abused? It seems they both walk the fine line of being useful, yet big brother-like.
In my opinion, I think both are helpful tools in reducing crime and accidents. I don't condone car theft or the running of red lights, and if there is a way of reducing the number of occurrences, I'm all for it. But in the back of my mind, I have to wonder if police could scan a license plate and see who it is, then pull them over based on something illegitimate. Maybe they knew that person and weren't fond of them, so they pull them over. I'm not saying all police officers would do this, but it's a thought.
What's your stance? Are the two traffic-related technologies similar, and do their purposes outweigh the
potential to be abused
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Abused by our trustworthy police?
6/24/2011 3:35:35 PM
Blasphemy I tell you!
RE: Abused by our trustworthy police?
6/24/2011 3:42:51 PM
Once they can catch every wrong thing done on Wall Street then they can track my plates.
They collect plate numbers of activists all the time. And the data is already being send across state lines.
They will use this to associate people with crimes that the evidence doesn't support.
RE: Abused by our trustworthy police?
6/25/2011 4:09:02 PM
They could always take the Facebook/Google route of logging where that person is and at what time and sell it to advertising companies who want to make more money. Especially so if they correlated the data from different sources so that you get "personalized" ads at every waking moment.
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
MU Researcher Says Red Light Cameras are Vital for Safety
June 8, 2011, 12:58 PM
"Red Light Camera" Exec Suspended for Trolling Internet Sites
May 24, 2011, 6:06 AM
ACLU Investigates Whether Raleigh License Plate Scanning Violates Privacy RIghts
March 31, 2010, 11:27 AM
New York Plans New Surveillence Project
July 10, 2007, 12:05 PM
Latest By Tiffany Kaiser
Apple Racked Up 4 Million iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Pre-orders Within 24 Hours
September 15, 2014, 9:54 AM
China to Require Real Names for Chat Apps
August 8, 2014, 8:28 PM
Quick Note: Windows Phone Store Surpasses 300,000 Apps
August 8, 2014, 12:30 PM
Google, Yahoo Working Together on Encrypted Email Tool
August 8, 2014, 7:23 AM
Edward Snowden's New Residence Permit Allows Another 3 Years in Russia
August 7, 2014, 2:41 PM
T-Mobile Beats Sprint in Prepaid Subscriber Numbers, John Legere Ribs New Sprint CEO
August 7, 2014, 11:55 AM
Microsoft Surface Losses Total $676M USD for FY2014; Will Launch in 25 Additional Markets
August 6, 2014, 1:07 PM
Quick Note: Microsoft Giving Nokia 630s to Employees Laid Off in China
August 6, 2014, 1:03 PM
Ten Apple Products Cut From China's Procurement List
August 6, 2014, 11:45 AM
Xiaomi Passes Samsung, Lenovo in China's Q2 Smartphone Shipments
August 5, 2014, 1:50 PM
Ford, Toyota, and Universal Pictures Celebrate "Back to the Future Day' in Style
October 21, 2015, 4:19 PM
Consumer Reports Flexes Muscle, Hits Slumping Tesla Motors Stock
October 20, 2015, 4:13 PM
Debunked: Beneath the Lies, Nigerian "Pee Generator" Is Still Pissing Into the Wind
October 19, 2015, 7:53 PM
Hot Air? President Obama, G7 Pledge to Eliminate Most Fossil Fuel Use by 2100
June 8, 2015, 5:40 PM
Study Predicts Self-Driving Vehicles Could Rake in Billions
March 6, 2015, 8:34 AM
Dual-Motor Tesla Model S P85D's "Insane Mode" Shocks Passengers
January 28, 2015, 11:18 PM
Most Popular Articles
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Smart Security Cameras: 5 Good Choices For Any Budget
July 25, 2016, 7:13 PM
2017 Porsche Panamera: I’ll Take Three of These.
July 24, 2016, 6:44 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information