×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Minneapolis Police Catalog License Plates and Location Data

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the land-of-10000-cameras dept.

Privacy 289

tripleevenfall writes "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Minneapolis police used automated scanning technology to log location data for over 800,000 license plates in June alone, with 4.9 million scans having taken place this year. The data includes the date, time, and location where the plate was seen. Worse, it appears this data is compiled and stored for up to a year and is disclosed to anyone who asks for it."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

289 comments

Lawsuit (4, Funny)

dmitrygr (736758) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953411)

in 3...2...1...

Re:Lawsuit (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953451)

And nothing will come of it. The police will continue to do things exactly as they are now, and we'll continue to lose more of our privacy and civil rights every day. Oh, perhaps they'll throw us a bone by making it harder (although not impossible) to obtain their stored data, but the data will still be there. They won't give up that "valuable tool in the War Against Crime" and the courts will side with them, as they always have when this sort of thing comes up.

Start voting for politicians who will protect your rights and stop voting for just whichever idiot happens to be a member of your party.

Re:Lawsuit (5, Insightful)

dmitrygr (736758) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953471)

> Start voting for politicians who will protect your rights

I'd love to. Show me one

Re:Lawsuit (4, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953517)

> Start voting for politicians who will protect your rights

I'd love to. Show me one

You'll never see one as long as people keep voting for the status quo. When politicians start understanding that we're sick of this crap and that we won't put up with their poor leadership, then they'll start to change and we'll start getting better candidates. That will never happen, though.

Re:Lawsuit (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953545)

Most people don't care about privacy as much as they care about wedge issues. Sad but true.

Re:Lawsuit (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953723)

I don't want the authorities knowing how, when or where I choose to use my wedges, thank you very much.

Re:Lawsuit (5, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953737)

Except for the fact that the masses aren't sick of this crap though. And they system makes it impossible for any third-party candidate to win.

Ask the average Joe why they are voting for Romney/Obama chances are it is because Obama is worse than Romney or vice versa. No one really -likes- Obama, no one really -likes- Romney. About the only politicians that people actually like are the "long shot" candidates like Ron Paul, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. Naturally, they have no shot in winning because A) The US election system is based on having a medium sized state government and a tiny federal government, a far cry from the large state governments and colossal federal government we have today B) The American people simply don't care about any real changes they just care about ZOMG ROMNEY DOESN'T SUPPORT GAY MARRAGE! MUST VOTE OBAMA!!!! And ZOMG OBAMA SUPPORTS ABORTION MUST VOTE ROMNEY!!! Rather than any intelligent debate on the real issues.

Re:Lawsuit (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953895)

So, you're saying that if all the people that really liked, say, Jill Stein for instance, actually voted for her, she wouldn't be allowed to occupy the office? I wish people would put that to the test, because otherwise their complaints are full of shit. How is that the "system's" fault? The system is fine. The problem is operator error. PEBKAC

Re:Lawsuit (5, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953979)

The system is based on an ideal America which was shattered following the civil war. The idea is that most laws affecting you and me would be passed in local and state elections where there is more impact and more ability for the common man to influence change, along with more ability to vote with your feet. The federal government would be in charge of doing "big picture things" such as tariff rates, wars and foreign affairs. Their impact on the individual would be normally very low. There was competition built in, the states would choose the senate and the masses the house, meaning that laws that threatened state sovereignty would more than likely be blocked by the senate. When it came to the laws people wanted, it could easily be decided by a state by state basis where one industry or product dominated their economy. Also, political parties were minor.

Today we don't have that, senators are directly elected by the masses, the federal government affects people a lot more than the state government does, no state has a single industry anymore, sure, there are a lot of farms in Kansas but there are also huge technology firms (Garmin and Sprint for example).

There are several improvements that the US could do, such as proportional representation by party (like what much of Europe does) to let everyone's voice be heard, especially since a lot of ideas aren't geographically based. And while I'm not sure what the political benefits would be, I would like to see something like Prime Minister's questions done with the US.

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953931)

Didn't you guys see brave heart we have to wait till they are raping our women before we react

Re:Lawsuit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953725)

Senator Russ Feingold. I'm at least as cynical as most, but Senator Feingold from Wisconsin was the real deal. An honest political broker. Sadly, the anti-Obama wave of 2010 replaced him with a standard issue douche bag politician. A total travesty, no matter your party persuasion.

If you don't remember Feingold for any of the amazing things he did in the Senate--not all I agree with, but all were solidly justified--then remember him for this: he was the only senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act in 2001.

*sigh*

Re:Lawsuit (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953735)

I'd love to. Show me one

Is that how it works? Everything has to be spoon fed? How about all of you go out and conscript somebody for office. Give him a secretary, and tell him, like it or not, he's stuck there for a four year term. It's the only way you're going to get an honest one, because you all should know by now that anybody who wants the job should probably be locked up in a padded cell... in a straightjacket.

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954013)

Rand and Ron Paul

Re:Lawsuit (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953669)

Oh, perhaps they'll throw us a bone by making it harder (although not impossible) to obtain their stored data

We need to go the other way. If the police gather public data, then it needs to be made totally public, searchable by anyone. That way, (a) everyone's aware of exactly what data is being collected, and (b) everyone is equally subject to surveillance, whether they're police, politicians, etc.

Re:Lawsuit (4, Interesting)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953713)

IMO, judges see themselves as being protectors of the innocent and punishers of the wicked. This is why the gun rights crowd got hammered in United States v. Miller [wikipedia.org]; gangsters trying to get away with their crimes by appealing to the supreme court aren't exactly sympathetic defendants. By contrast, the Heller [wikipedia.org] and McDonald [wikipedia.org] decisions involved defendants carefully chosen as upstanding and law abiding citizens cruelly oppressed by government overstepping its bounds. Or to put it another way, Jack Miller was seen by the judges as an evildoer in need of their punishment whereas Dick Anthony Heller and Otis McDonald were seen by the judges as upstanding citizens in need of their protection.

In most cases and in the absence of binding precedent, IMO, judges all the way up to supreme court level will attempt to craft their decision in such a way as to produce an outcome that punishes the wicked and/or protects the innocent.

Which means the trick to getting a favorable outcome is carefully selecting who challenges the law. Let a slimebag criminal challenge the law first and we're all gonna get screwed in the rush to punish the wicked. Find someone cruelly oppressed by government drunk on its own power, on the other hand, and we've got a much better chance of a favorable outcome.

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953843)

Some of the time this is true (Rosa Parks was not the first person to be arrested for refusing to give up her seat, but she was the most sympathetic), but not always. The Miranda [wikipedia.org] case had a very unsympathetic defendant, but the defendant prevailed anyway (well, until he was retried, and then convicted again).

Re:Lawsuit (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953989)

Fair enough. I did say that the chances with a sympathetic defendant are "much better" rather than say or imply that it is a slam dunk. I suppose I was less careful on the "punishing the wicked" side of things.

Relevant Seattle Police Case (4, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953999)

The Seattle Police recently lost a lawsuit concerning access to Dash Cam video and related information about retention...

See here: http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=40238

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954019)

I've seen at LEAST two other police departments in Virginia with plate scanners onboard. This is everywhere and the DHS is pushing it bigtime.... Yeah, I think it's crap too! Now let's talk about them using cell phone data while we're at it...

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953581)

For a long time, I have want to produce a transparent LED film that can cover your License Plate. When a speed camera flashes it, would urn black and obscure the plate, before flipping back to transparent a second later. Now I see this device as displaying random licenses numbers until such a time as you might be pulled over, when you can disable the device. That would solve the tracking issue.

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953673)

I would like to sign up for your faster than the speed of light newsletter.

Re:Lawsuit (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953981)

Good luck when the SWAT team bursts through your door, shoots your dog and holds you in handcuffs in the back of a police cruiser in full view of your neighbors for six hours or more while the cops tear your home, car and possessions to shreds. When they don't find anything it will be body cavity search time; you wont _believe_ the size of the hands on the nurse assigned to perform the search.

At the end of which, having found nothing incriminating, they'll let you go back to your home saying "hey, no harm, no foul, right?" sniggering all the while.

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953775)

Oh great, how did you guess my password?

But in all seriousness...
We need a federal constitutional amendment guaranteeing a right to privacy.

Re:Lawsuit (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953871)

No, because that just furthers the incorrect idea that we only have the rights explicitly enumerated in the Bill of Rights. This is not the case.

Re:Lawsuit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953789)

For what? Driving isn't a right. If you want privacy, walk.

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953877)

Driving is a Right, even if your State likes to call it a "privilege" (you just have to pass the test). And Rights can be revoked for abusers (drink drivers), it;s just semantics.

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954007)

No, it is NOT a right. You are a fucking idiot. Go learn something.

Disclosed to anyone who asks for it? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953425)

So I could request and get this data? Sounds like it could be fun to play with.

Log the Minneapolis Police (4, Insightful)

ZipK (1051658) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953439)

Someone should log the Minneapolis police; somehow I think they'd object.

Re:Log the Minneapolis Police (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953859)

Someone should log the Minneapolis police; somehow I think they'd object.

Actually, in Minnesota, you can be charged with a felony for giving people any warning of an upcoming speed trap. You can also be charged with one for providing information about the police' whereabouts. The first thing authority does whenever it violates your privacy is exempt itself from similar treatment. This is how you periodically hear about an off-duty police officer in plain clothes getting into a fight with someone -- even if they were the aggressor, and even if they fail to identify themselves as a police officer, the other person still goes to jail for many years for striking an officer. Or that case of how a man accidentally bumped into the President in a crowd, while waiting to shake his hand, and was then carried away by the Secret Service and held without a trial for several months because he "made a physical threat against the President."

Government agents can abuse whomever they want, whenever they want, for as long as they want. And you will take it, Citizen, or things will get even worse for you... as well as your family and friends.

Re:Log the Minneapolis Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953913)

Or that case of how a man accidentally bumped into the President in a crowd, while waiting to shake his hand, and was then carried away by the Secret Service and held without a trial for several months because he "made a physical threat against the President."

His name was Robert Paulson.

lol i r has your plate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953499)

guess they got you good for everything i do

Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (2, Informative)

vandelais (164490) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953507)

for comparing records against stolen vehicle, missing persons, wanted criminals, and revoked license reports.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953561)

Yeah, I know. They should be able to stop and frisk us in public places in order to find drugs, wanted criminals, missing persons, and revoked constitutional rights.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953587)

Frisking you without a warrant or probable cause is illegal. Recording your license plate number isn't.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (2)

zerro (1820876) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953897)

In some places, like Texas, probable cause isnt really needed if they want to search your persons. There are many loopholes in the law that leave the decision to "arrest" a suspect of seemingly trivial, non-violent offenses (such as jaywalking, or running a stop sign) up to the officer. Purportedly for safety, the officer may search your persons/property and of course hope you didn't have something incriminating on you. (Tip: don't hold on to your friend's "electronic cigarette" for him)

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953917)

And perhaps it should be illegal for a government to use technologies that automatically record all license plates. It's an order of magnitude different from someone simply sitting around and recording them by hand.

His point was that this is just punishing everyone for the actions of a few.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953589)

None of those uses require retention. None.

If a license plate connected to suspected criminal activity is located, the officer can be notified right then, right there and take appropriate action.

If a plate is of interest then law enforcement needs to act. If it is mundane then there is no reason to store it.

The flipside to the "nothing to hide" cliche is that if a law-abiding person has nothing to hide, then the authorities have no business intruding.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (3, Insightful)

knapkin (665863) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953627)

Granted you did point out a legitimate bias as the lean is that all capture of license plates is bad (something I'm admittedly on the fence about).

For me the real problem is the logging and storing. For each of the legitimate use cases you outlined, there should be no need to store license plates for anyone to whom those use cases do not apply.

For instance, let's just look at the stolen vehicle use case. As soon as the license plate number is processed (i.e. the image processing software has done it's job and associated an actual number to the image), a query is made against stolen vehicles. If the license plate is not for a stolen vehicle, the image and logs are deleted. You may argue that 12-24 hours of activity are needed, so I could see a data log that is that long being legitimate since it might take a day or so to notice that your car is missing.

A similar process could be applied to each use case you outlined. I would be interested in use cases you can identify that make a year's worth of logs sound legit.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953779)

Right, and we also should do ID checks every 3 blocks, after all, it would allow to search for:

Missing persons, wanted criminals, "illegal" immigrants, kidnapping victims, terrorists, etc.

Just because there are possible legitimate uses for the police to deploy such technologies doesn't mean the benefits outweigh the clear privacy violations. Do you also really believe that all the PATRIOT act does is protect us from terrorists?

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953925)

Right, and we also should do ID checks every 3 blocks, after all, it would allow to search for...

Actually, that's totally legal, as long as they stop everyone passing the checkpoint.

Just because there are possible legitimate uses for the police to deploy such technologies doesn't mean the benefits outweigh the clear privacy violations.

Er, you're going to deny the benefits of the technology because of a logistical/administrative issue? The privacy violations are only because this data is available publicly, something required by federal law. That's one of the reasons why our crime rate is so high to begin with: Once you're convicted, that conviction becomes public record and can be used forevermore in employment decisions. Which for all intents and purposes makes you unemployable, especially when the economy is bad. Which leaves you only one option for income: More crime.

Do you also really believe that all the PATRIOT act does is protect us from terrorists?

Yes, but only the really stupid ones.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954029)

Actually, that's totally legal, as long as they stop everyone passing the checkpoint.

Notice that he didn't say anything about it being illegal. Law != morality.

Er, you're going to deny the benefits of the technology because of a logistical/administrative issue?

I don't deny that there may be benefits; I deny that the pros outweigh the cons. To me, freedom and privacy are extremely important. Letting the government do something like this to everyone is just giving them too much power and information. This is just a "punish everyone" approach (like the TSA).

No government is immune to corruption.

The privacy violations are only because this data is available publicly

Wrong. It will always be tracking/a privacy violate whether it's publicly available or not.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40954053)

Do I wish to deny the use of technology to amoral thugs who routinely abuse their power? Absolutely! Giving more power to the police has never worked out well, not for the US, not for any other country. Given their abysmal track record for protecting civil liberties why would I want to give them another tool to oppress people? Given their lax attitude towards real crime (ever report something stolen to the police?) and their attitude towards victimless "crimes" (they'll knock down doors and come in with riot gear to attack a suspected "drug dealer") why would I want to assist them? In most other countries the people act as a deterrent to police power. In the US you see this: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/files/2011/11/original.jpeg [thesocietypages.org] in the rest of the world if a cop does that, you see this: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/07/05/world/sub-ukraine/sub-ukraine-articleLarge.jpg [nytimes.com] (both SFW images).

And to top it all off, their only checks end up being... other cops. No accountability to the people at all.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953885)

...for comparing records against stolen vehicle, missing persons, wanted criminals, and revoked license reports.

Every technology has both legitimate and illegitimate uses. The law should anticipate illegitimate use and prescribe penalties, rather than wait until the town square is full of angry citizens with pitchforks and torches, and then call them 'subversives' and 'terrorists' and have them water cannoned and shock grendade'd into a bloody pulp while yelling "Terrorists!" Responsible law makers take the social contract of "protect and serve" seriously... which is exactly why there are no responsible law makers anymore. Who the hell wants to protect and serve when you can abuse the hell out of the general population in exchange for kick backs and living in a mansion?

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953927)

"...he who gives up liberty..." bla bla bla.. Go look it up.

Re:Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953969)

Nice bias, burying legitimate usage instances

Absolutily true. You are now a volonteer to call me whenever you are thinking of doing *anything*.

Mind you, not because I suspect you of any wrongdoing, but just to be able to find you if you get lost in the woods.

Nope, I won't ever use that info to detect if you are driving, cycling or jay-walking while intoxicated, my word on that.

Oh, and I will store that info on my notebook, to which noone will have access. Really. Unless someone just puts it under a copier when I'm not looking, or when your employee asks my boss for it ofcourse.

In other words: Putting your head into the sand in regard to possible and, if past promises and the breaking of them in this regard, likely (ab)use is another kind of bias. One I have very little respect for I'm afraid.

This is what police do (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953535)

Once you create "police" as part of your "state" apparatus, you're doomed. This is what "police" do -- catalog and control the people. And create and maintain "disorder" as a way of justifying their own existence and expanding their numbers and influence.

There's no "good police"; the concept is an oxymoron.

So when police are doing what police do, it's not news. It's not worthy of discussion. Citizens putting together a ballot initiative to abolish the police (including their unions), now that might be interesting. But inane details of police SOP... not so much.

Re:This is what police do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953623)

None of that is true, nor do you really believe it. It's just a comforting lie you made up so you could pretend your "fuck da po-po" attitude is enlightened political philosophy, rather than an infantile refusal to see the world for the complicated place that it is.

What I just told you about yourself is the absolute and undeniable truth. You cannot refute or even disagree with it, and any claim to the contrary can only be a lie that serves as an inadvertent confession that I am 100% correct about you.

You will now prove me right.

Re:This is what police do (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953815)

Says someone who has most likely never actually looked outside of the US or Europe. There are plenty of places that are quite safe despite having very little or no police presence. You look at the biggest causes of violence in the world and the answer is simple: the state. Look at the drug cartels, do you really think that drug cartels would exist if the drugs they were selling were legal? Of course not. Nearly all organized crime exists because of the state prohibiting the sale of goods where there is an inelastic demand.

It is perfectly possible to have harmony and peace without having a police state.

Re:This is what police do (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953835)

Exactly.

Although, I have to say this is more true for the Americas and Europe than the rest of the world. A good chunk of the police in what the west are fond of calling the "third world" actually have morals and want to help people.

How to fix this (5, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953541)

Step 1 : Request data on every member of the City Council (or whatever the local government equivalent is).
Step 2 : Find out who's "daily routine" includes frequent trips to a local strip club, and who is spending the night at locations not their home.
Step 3 : Publish anonymously in wikileaks.
Step 4 : Watch this policy change amazingly fast.

Re:How to fix this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953557)

All that will change then is that only the police and politicians will have access to the info.

Re:How to fix this (3, Informative)

Professr3 (670356) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953567)

The only change would be that City Council records are excised automatically from the database, and requesting any such information about City Council members will become a felony.

Re:How to fix this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953807)

so then find their largest campaign contributors and do it to them

Re:How to fix this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953801)

I can't believe you forgot;

Step 5: ???
Step 6: Profit!

Re:How to fix this (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953805)


Step 5: Forget that FOIA requests have your name on it.
Step 6: Go to jail for a long time for... *shakes magic 8 ball* terroristic threats.

Minneapolis city counsel members were amongst the first to draft anti-occupy legislation to evict people from the public squares, in secret and without notice. They then posted signage saying that the area would be closed for 'maintenance'. A few hours later... they rolled in with the big police vans and arrested everyone in sight. Before that they ran water pressure sprayers from dawn to dust in the area the protesters congregated, under the title "routine cleaning". For two weeks.

Do you really think they're gonna blink if someone publishes that information? You can't negotiate with terrorists.

Re:How to fix this (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953883)

Step 1 : Request data on every member of the City Council (or whatever the local government equivalent is).

Impossible. If you had read the synopsis, you would know that the data only includes "the date, time, and location where the plate was seen." It doesn't include names.

Much better plan (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953907)

1) Put up your own license scanner for the same roads the official ones are on.

2) Gather data for a year.

3) Download the official list, and see who they deleted...

NOW you have something juicy.

DON'T LIKE IT ?? TAKE A BUSS !! TAKE A CAB !! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953593)

Or just don't go out and commit crimes you low-life scoundrels !! This is for your protection, which is our job !! You think we want to do this just because we can ?? We don't it because it is our duty !! And so we can pay Intergraph 58 million dollars. Besides, we got the money for all those cameras from Homeland. Use it or lose it !! We are The Government !!

Slashdot hypocrisy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953611)

So, when people get stopped by the police for taking pictures in public, everyone rages against the police. When the police take pictures in public, everyone rages against the police.

YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. Either it's okay to take these pictures and do what you like with them, or it's not. Stop looking at everything the police do as bad and evil and inherently abusive, and treat all instances of an issue the same.

Re:Slashdot hypocrisy (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953685)

>>YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.
Yes we can, and should. One I party is a Citizen the other party is the State. We have the right to demand the State behaves better than Citizens.

Re:Slashdot hypocrisy (3, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953721)

Sure you can. The police are public officers working a job for which they are empowered with the ability to detain and arrest. The public are exercising their rights to move freely and with relative anonymity through their own state.

These are drastically different scenarios and it's perfectly reasonable to allow constant surveillance of one (where the people have been entrusted with abusable rights) and not the other.

Re:Slashdot hypocrisy (1)

qbel (1792064) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953811)

We have a right to anonymity?

Re:Slashdot hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954005)

We have a right to anonymity?

At least in the voting booths you do. I've always assumed that anonymity is a crucial part of freedom of speech, which is one of those inalienable rights. You know, endowed to you by your creators.

Re:Slashdot hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954085)

Of course. You see the Bill of Rights doesn't *grant* rights, it limits them. Supposedly, anything not specifically forbidden is a right.

weirdly, people like yourself think that it grants rights and we have none that aren't mentioned. So very very sad.

Re:Slashdot hypocrisy (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year and a half ago | (#40954103)

Yup, you have a right to move about without being constantly monitored. It only rarely comes up. A few years back a judge ordered someone to stop recording the license plates of every car that came into a polling station to vote. The same injunction is made on occasion again people trying to record the plates of every car visiting a given adult video store. Unfortunately the right isn't codified into law, but it's based on judicial precedent. Of course you don't have the right to total anonymity as the government or a private detective can choose to follow you specifically - even with a tracker on your car if they have a warrant.

Re:Slashdot hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953803)

So, when people get stopped by the police for taking pictures in public, everyone rages against the police. When the police take pictures in public, everyone rages against the police.

YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. Either it's okay to take these pictures and do what you like with them, or it's not. Stop looking at everything the police do as bad and evil and inherently abusive, and treat all instances of an issue the same.

A fucking iPhone and YouTube is NOT the same thing as a goddamn multimillion dollar citywide surveillance program running 24/7/365, capturing and distilling data into valuable information, all paid for by ignorant taxpayers. (oh, and that's before you find out about the multimillion dollar unmanned drone program that is already going on, also paid for by those same ignorant taxpayers).

Next time, try comparing apples to apples when bitching about having it both ways.

Re:Slashdot hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953841)

Except that one is tracking and one is not.

Re:Slashdot hypocrisy (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953873)

So, when people get stopped by the police for taking pictures in public, everyone rages against the police. When the police take pictures in public, everyone rages against the police.

YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. Either it's okay to take these pictures and do what you like with them, or it's not. Stop looking at everything the police do as bad and evil and inherently abusive, and treat all instances of an issue the same.

ORLY?

Just try setting up surveillance of a police station and log/publish license plate data on comings and goings.

Helpful Tip: Make sure you've made prior arrangements for legal counsel and for posting bail.

Strat

Their secret agenda :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953665)

Encourage people to use mass transit (and pay cash), walk, or use taxis.

I knew environmentalists would go too far one day.

same thing is happening in lincoln, ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953683)

this was all part of an aclu records search to obtain data on how this data is being stored, here are the results from lincoln, nebraska http://m.journalstar.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/lincoln-police-have-stored-license-plates-scans-for-three-years/article_b38ebd88-4820-5ed1-902c-246b5e0e8ec8.html

Can we cover our plates while the car is parked? (1)

Snotnose (212196) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953729)

Might be a money making opportunity for someone to make plate-sized magnetically attached doohickeys we could slap on our license plate as we exit the car. Make even more money by selling advertising on the things. Just don't forget to remove it when you get back in your car.

Doesn't solve the problem of getting caught heading down the highway, but does solve the problem of parking in a strip club parking lot.

Is this legal for citizens to do? (5, Insightful)

DeadboltX (751907) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953817)

Can I put a camera on my front yard that records license plates, and then feed that into a computer system that creates similar logs?.

Can I put a camera on the roof of my business to do this?

Can Starbucks or McDonalds put a camera on top of every store location and track vehicles nationwide?

Re:Is this legal for citizens to do? (2)

pentalive (449155) | about a year and a half ago | (#40954015)

There is the story of the major supermarket chain that sent someone over to the competitors to record license plates. Then used the information to send out extra coupon flyers.

At least it's open (4, Insightful)

dirk (87083) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953821)

While I think it's a shit policy and would prefer that they don't do it, I do have to say I do like the fact that it is open to anyone. To me, if law enforcement is gathering this type of information, it should be available to anyone. That way, we can keep track of the police and politicians as well as they keep track of us. The same things goes for public "safety" cameras. While I would prefer to not have any, if they are going to do them, they should be open to anyone to be able to watch.

Re:At least it's open (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953961)

Yes and no. Regarding public availability, the problem I see is the potential to build a sort of historical locational dossier on people, which though no secret, perhaps should not be compiled and and placed by software into a dense, organized file containing otherwise virtually impossible-to-acquire data for convenient perusal of, well, anyone. Until we actually go at least a few decades without a holocaust or war, I vote for privacy. The present invasions of privacy taking place are dubious even for a utopia. We have neuro-marketing in nearly every major retail venue, a very curious NSA, unrestricted law-enforcement surveillance (almost), TSA, civilian psychopaths, and much more.

As for other problems, I could easily go into a rant. But hopefully someone else will take care of that.

Probably much more pervasive than you expect (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953837)

For example, they do it here in SRQ [youtube.com]. What I'm curious about is how this stuff works on helicopters. As for what was once called "VeriPlate" but is now attempting to slip into obscurity, please see this PDF [prweb.com] for an overview.

Professional (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40953891)

DualShine.com Professional China jewelry wholesaler, super low prices

wholesale fashion jewelry and costume jewelry for women and girls, Largest

selection of cheap jewelry, handmade jewelry, jewelry supplies, jewelry findings

& accessories, jewelry making supplies, apparel accessories, hair accessories

and other Fashion Accessories (Asian Fashion, Chinese Fashion, Indian

Fashion, Korean Fashion, Japanese Fashion), $100 minimum order and

welcome bulk wholesale, big discount, shop now.
www.dualshine.com

Why act surprised? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953911)

You are out in public running around. They have access to both public and private data ( license plate matching ) and tech is now pretty cheap to do this and once setup it for the most part is self-mining.

Is it right? No. Is it legal? Yes. Get used to it? Yes.

Re:Why act surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954031)

Is it right? No. Check.
Is it legal? Yes. Check.
Get used to it? Yes. OH HELL NO!

Re:Why act surprised? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#40954057)

Get used to it? Yes.

Yeah! Why bother trying to fix anything? Just get used to it.

Re:Why act surprised? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#40954113)

Good luck with that. The government has been encroaching on our rights since it was formed. It wasn't 'fixable' then, you expect it to be now?

Get used to it and adapt.

Re:Why act surprised? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#40954141)

The government has been encroaching on our rights since it was formed. It wasn't 'fixable' then, you expect it to be now?

I expect it to be fixable when people do something (even if that's highly unlikely).

Of course, that'll be "never" if all we do is adapt.

If you don't want to be tracked... (0)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year and a half ago | (#40953973)

...then don't operate deadly machinery in public. Walk, bike, carpool, take mass transit. You won't be tracked when you don't have much capability of causing destruction. And that's how it should be.

Re:If you don't want to be tracked... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#40954043)

If you don't want to be tracked, then just move out of the US. You have that option. That's how free countries operate.

Re:If you don't want to be tracked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954109)

Lame! How about we deport all those that think that way instead. I don' care if they were born here, just proposing such measure should render them stateless.

Conversely: "t's my planet and if you don't like it you are free to leave!" - Free planet argument

FIRST POST (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954091)

lagged behinud,

And the problem with this is...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40954107)

Seems like a great idea. I wish that the Oakland Police Department would do this more and use the recorded data to target non-violent offenders who are currently allowed free reign over our city.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...