Tag Archives | license plates

The UK Surveillance State’s Finest Export: Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)

Alexandria VA Dodge Charger Police Car ANPR

A City of Alexandria Dodge Charger police car equipped with mobile ANPR. Two forward facing ANPR units are mounted on the trunk of this vehicle. Photo: Something Original (CC)

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) might not sound quite as invasive to your privacy as it actually is. James Bridle, perhaps flush with worldwide attention from his much admired Surveillance Spaulder, has written a tremendous history of ANPR, starting in Britain 30 years ago and now aggressively used around the world. In this portion of his lengthy essay at Medium, he discusses ANPR in the United States:

In the United States, implementations have multiplied many times over in recent years. Thanks to lobbying and financial support from insurance companies, Oklahoma and Arizona, among other states, have introduced extensive ANPR networks aimed at catching uninsured drivers. Other deployments, meanwhile, have a more familiar feeling.

When the city of San Leandro, California, purchased ANPR cameras for its police force in 2009, local resident Michael Katz-Lacabe, using a Freedom of Information request, discovered that his car had been captured by the system more than 100 times in a matter of months.

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Colorado Gives State Legislators “Invisible” License Plates Immune To Speed Cameras And Traffic Tickets

speed camerasDigital invisibility – top perk of the near future. CBS Denver reports:

The plates issued to the 100 state lawmakers and representatives elected to serve Colorado are preventing them not only from receiving photo radar tickets but also collection notices from past due parking tickets.

The legislative plates are not entered into the Colorado DMV database, so when photo radar cameras catch these drivers speeding, they never received tickets. That’s because of a loophole that doesn’t allow the City of Denver to electronically cross-reference those plates with a home address.

Denver Public Works spokesperson Emily Williams agrees the net effect is that lawmakers can ignore the parking tickets without consequences.

Several state lawmakers contacted CBS4 after the initial story about photo radar tickets aired last month and said they were in favor of abolishing the special license plates.

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Another Way The Police And Private Corporations Track You: License Plates

On top of already ubiquitous surveillance cameras and facial recognition technology, there's no refuge for Americans as the location of their cars are also relentlessly tracked, report Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-Devries for the Wall Street Journal:
For more than two years, the police in San Leandro, Calif., photographed Mike Katz-Lacabe's Toyota Tercel almost weekly. They have shots of it cruising along Estudillo Avenue near the library, parked at his friend's house and near a coffee shop he likes. In one case, they snapped a photo of him and his two daughters getting out of a car in his driveway. Mr. Katz-Lacabe isn't charged with, or suspected of, any crime. Local police are tracking his vehicle automatically, using cameras mounted on a patrol car that record every nearby vehicle—license plate, time and location...
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Nevada To Issue Red Licence Plates For Robot Drivers

robohjStarting this year, check the plates color to know whether the driver of another vehicle is human, or other. Singularity Hub reports:

Other states like Hawaii, Florida, and Oklahoma may follow Nevada’s example, paving the way for robot cars to operate all across the United States.

An extended campaign in Nevada by Google has led to a new host of provisions which will allow automated cars to legally drive in the state. Starting March 1st, 2012 innovators like Google can officially apply for a new kind of robot driver’s license. Automated vehicles will be able to travel the same streets and highways as human drivers, with only a red license plate marking them as robots. Once research on those automated cars is complete (which may take years), the Nevada Department of Motorized Vehicles will issue them a neon green license plate – an indication that the robot drivers are good to go.

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