Unlike a previous proposal, this one sets policies on how long data can be retained and how the system could be accessed. But the ACLU says too many shortcomings still remain.”Certainly it’s good they are thinking about privacy and a process,” said Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the ACLU. “But at the end of the day, we’re talking about utilizing, encouraging and supporting a mass surveillance system that keeps records on people, most of whom are never suspected of any wrongdoing.”Homeland Security first announced plans to build its own license-plate reader database a little more than a year ago, but quickly backtracked amid an outcry of privacy concerns. With a renewed push last week, the department isn’t looking to create its own program anymore; this time it’s seeking to contract with a commercial vendor that’s already collecting troves of license-plate data from motorists.By contracting with an existing private company, Homeland Security may allay some fears that Big Brother would have direct access to license-plate reader data. But there are tradeoffs that could actually make the program more vulnerable to abuses.”There can be some privacy benefit when you have the data at arm’s length from the government,” Stanley said. “But… Read full this story
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