California cop union opposes new bill that would thwart license plate readersEnlarge (credit: Visions of America / Getty Images News)
If the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a San Diego-based Republican state senator have their way, it will soon become legal for Californians to cover their license plates while parked, as a way to thwart automated license plate readers.
Those devices, now commonly in use by law enforcement nationwide, can capture license plates at a very high rate of speed, as well as record the GPS location, date, and time that a particular plate is seen.

Those plates are then run against a “hot list” of stolen or wanted cars, and a cop is then alerted to the presence of any vehicle with match on that list.
As written, the new senate bill would allow for law enforcement to manually lift a cover, or flap, as a way to manually inspect a plate number.

The idea is not only to prevent dragnet license plate data collection by law enforcement, but also by private companies.

A California company, Vigilant Solutions, is believed to have the largest private ALPR database in America, with billions of records.
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