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Is Big Bro Reading Your License Plate?

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(Photo- Paul J. Richards/Getty Images)

(Photo- Paul J. Richards/Getty Images)

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(LasVegas CBS KXNT)  Nearly a million cars moving through the City of Henderson have had their license plates scanned since June of 2011, according to a survey by the ACLU of Nevada.  Five other law enforcement agencies have told the ACLU they have license plate reading technology in place in Nevada, including Boulder City, the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

The ACLU wants to know what’s happening to the information.

“How is the data being used, and how is the data being stored,”  said attorney Katrina Rogers. “It doesn’t seem like they have shown a lot of increase in tickets from the use of these ALPRs in Henderson, but what is concerning is the amount of information they gather on a daily basis,” Rogers told KXNT.

Rogers is also interested in how long the data is retained, and who has access to it.

“There’s definitely a problem, and a huge constitutional concern, if there’s just this database of information of who’s driving where and when, and whatever other information can be garnered from a license plate.”

The ACLU requested documents related to the acquisition of the APLR devices, which are viewed by police agencies as a tool for solving and deterring crime.  Privacy advocates bristle at innocent citizens subjected to police surveillance as they go about their business.

The local information will be sent to the ACLU’s national office, where a trend report will be generated.

In Northern Nevada, Reno Police and the Washoe County Sheriff have indicated they have license plate readers.  The DEA has deployed the devices through a state highway patrol interdiction program.

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