"Informing You Without Watching you."  @digitalprivacy, Thu 07/28:
Proposal to reinstate license plate readers for APD sparks privacy concerns - Austin Monitor

Proposal to reinstate license plate readers for APD sparks privacy concerns

Thursday, July 28, 2022 by Kali Bramble

After a two-year hiatus, City Council is reconsidering Austin Police Department’s defunct automated license plate reader program, rekindling debate over potential ramifications of the powerful surveillance tool. The software can also automatically flag plates that correspond with listed suspects in offenses like carjackings, abductions and hit-and-runs. Council Member Ann Kitchen wondered whether this control might be better handled with some checks and balances, floating the idea that data inquiries could be reviewed by a committee like the Office of Police Oversight. My understanding is that APD will have to require whoever uses this to explain why and give reports to Council … but once we leave APD, I don’t think we can expect the same kind of reporting from other law enforcement agencies … and if the only standard is an alleged crime has been committed, that’s a pretty big catch-basin. I cannot support the creation of a database that can be later fished through for potential criminal activity. The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community.

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