I’m going to start this one out with a little quiz and I give you the answer at the end of this blog. Which is the only state that has a law against using ALPR?
For those who don’t know ALPR is a growing safety threat. When I say “safety” I don’t mean safety only in a privacy sense. I mean literally human beings are going to lose their lives because of situations related to these demonic little devices. There won’t be just one. There will be thousands; mark my words. You got it here first. Thousands of people will die as a result of the misuse of ALPR!
The systems involved here are run by private contract companies and the data is collected through them and then redistributed to police departments that pay them for the service. The important thing to keep in mind here is that the private contract company (many times overseas) owns the data. They own your data!
The process works like this. A police car or other local, state, or federal vehicle constantly scans and photographs every license plate it passes and the information is then sent to the private contract company who in turn runs the tag for any connection to wanted people, expirations, theft or general criminal activity in a certain area. Out of all the tags being run by the high tech camera system the contractor computer instantaneously filters through and sends the police officer or other government agency the hit on any particular vehicle of interest. Seems legit…..Right? Well the problem comes when you calculate the filtered information that is not a hit for law enforcement and the fact that the contract company can sell any of that to the highest bidder. AND THEY DO.
Did I mention that ALPR also captures the GPS coordinates of anything it photographs? Why did I just say any “thing”? Well, I was recently shocked to learn that ALPR contractors now offer facial recognition software to go along with this scheme and law enforcement is paying for the service. So now if ALPR gets a shot at you through the window of your vehicle or out on your front lawn they have an ID on you. Hopefully you will make sure all of your traffic tickets are paid and you don’t have any relatives that are wanted before you walk outside to check the mail or water your lawn. You are now a suspect in America.
I think the scariest thing about this whole situation is that all of this information gathered by our public servants is for sale to the highest bidder. This is what I have always warned about. You don’t have to be a criminal to want privacy or to take steps to boost privacy. The need is right here. When high quality government equipment is allowed to be accessed by private parties a world of danger arrives.
I wish I could give you a bullet proof solution to this problem but I don’t have the magic formula. I can however offer a few suggestions. First off: do you have a garage? It’s time to start parking your car where ALPR passing by your house will not be reading your car tag. If you don’t have a garage, use a car cover as an inexpensive alternative. If you don’t have either of these then perhaps remove or cover your tag when you get home. If you want to have a little fun you can take some electrical tape and artfully change the tag reading. Maybe turn a 3 into an 8 or 4 to a 9. This is just while it’s parked. Don’t drive around like this. I also want to advise you that while you are having fun I take no responsibility if your altered tag turns out to match a wanted person or stolen car and your front door gets kicked in!
All these ideas do you no good if you are driving your car around. At present I don’t have an answer for you about the mobile situation. Your tag is going to be photographed and the camera will photograph you in the car (with facial recognition) and the date, time and GPS co ordinance will be recorded and sold to anybody with money. If enough of these little snippets of your life get recorded somebody could probably figure out a pretty good routine on you.
I can tell this about facial recognition: This winter has been exceptionally cold and I want to make sure all of my readers stay warm, so be sure to wear a hooded sweatshirt and a nice warm cap with it. If you can grow any facial hair you may want to do that for warmth as well or perhaps wear a scarf. Although the winter has been cold, the sun has been extra bright this year and I don’t want any of my readers to have eye problems, so be sure and wear a really big pair of sunglasses when you are out in your car. Also get the windows tinted to the maximum legal limit.
You may also try car pooling sometimes with your privacy minded friends. That would be good for the environment and only 1 tag gets read. Just make sure you are not hanging out with known criminals because when the tag s and facial recognition get checked there is also a log of anyone in the close proximity of the known criminal and that person also becomes an associate criminal.
They have all the angles covered!
The answer to the question: New Hampshire; the “Live free or die” state. I’m more of a “get busy living or get busy dying” kinda guy myself! 🙂