Some of California’s largest police departments have been collecting millions of images of drivers’ license plates and sharing them with entities around the country—without having necessary security policies in place, in violation of state law, according to a newly released state audit.
California police and sheriffs are failing to protect the privacy of drivers on city streets, the California State Auditor’s office determined after a seven-month investigation into the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) by the Los Angeles Police Department and three other local law enforcement agencies.
Garments from Adversarial Fashion feed junk data into surveillance cameras, in an effort to make their databases less effective.In a talk, she explained the that hoodies, shirts, dresses, and skirts trigger automated license plate readers (ALPRs) to inject useless data into systems used to track civilians.
In its reversal, the Virginia Supreme Court found that the photographic and location data stored in the department’s database did meet the Data Act’s definition of ‘personal information,’ but sent the case back to the Circuit Court to determine whether the database met the Act’s definition of an “information system.” Judge Smith’s ruling affirms EFF’s view that the ALPR system does indeed provide a means through which a link to the identity of a vehicle's owner can be readily made.
Yang, argues that when a U.S. Postal Service inspector used a commercial ALPR database to locate a suspected mail thief, it was a Fourth Amendment search that required a warrant.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based digital privacy nonprofit, has described the technology as “a form of mass surveillance .” Now, a new generation of tech firms has made it possible for private citizens to use the devices, known as automatic license plate readers, or ALPRs—without the strict oversight that governs this type of data collection by law enforcement.
“What we tend to find is that law enforcement will get sold this technology and see it as a one-time investment, but don’t invest in cybersecurity to protect the information or the devices themselves.” Darius Freamon, a security researcher, was one of the first to find police ALPR cameras in 2014 on Shodan, a search engine for exposed databases and devices.