Archive | August, 2012

The Rise of License Plate Readers

21 Aug

Arstechnica has a very interesting article on automated license plate readers that are being installed throughout the country. This is a very good example that highlights the worry about how exposure is different from privacy. From a privacy perspective, there is nothing private about license plate information being collected outside of a home, after all, there is no expectation of privacy while driving down a public road. However, from an exposure perspective, having a machine automatically tracking your movements is extremely exposing, and worries a lot of people.

Of particular interest to me is the small section in which Cyrus Farivar talks about how private companies are collecting this data as well and making it available for both public and private organizational use. This is troublesome because there are no protections against private organizations collecting this data. They can keep it as long as they want, do whatever they want with it, and sell it to whomever they desire. Municipalities ostensibly answer to the will of their voters, while corporations answer only to their stockholders.