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United States Privacy Transportation

ICE License-Plate Tracking Plan Withdrawn Amid Outcry About Privacy 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-second-thought dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Homeland security officials on Wednesday abruptly shelved a proposal to build a national database of license-plate scans after criticism from privacy advocates. The proposal, which had been posted online last week by the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, sought a contractor who could establish a searchable database of license plates, with the times and locations where they were spotted by traffic cameras and other sources. But in a statement late Wednesday, the department announced a reversal. 'The solicitation, which was posted without the awareness of ICE leadership, has been canceled,' said spokeswoman Gillian Christensen. 'While we continue to support a range of technologies to help meet our law enforcement mission, this solicitation will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets our operational needs.'"
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ICE License-Plate Tracking Plan Withdrawn Amid Outcry About Privacy

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  • I call Bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kjhambrick (111698) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @09:53AM (#46294119)

    'The solicitation, which was posted without the awareness of ICE leadership, has been canceled,' said spokeswoman Gillian Christensen.

    Like anyone would truly believe an underling could solicit such a bid without direction from the ICE leadership.

    The bastards are out of control.

    -- kjh

  • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @09:57AM (#46294149)

    It doesn't bother you because you're only aware of it in an abstract sense. I've got a proposal. Let the government track people all they want, as long as they periodically send people the government's records of where they've been. You'd soon see outrage of historic proportions.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:34AM (#46294377)

    I don't know where this "driving is a privilege" nonsense comes from. If "driving is a privilege", why not walking or breathing? They are all activities people engage in while on public lands. Unless there is a compelling public interest, government has no authority to restrict what we do on public lands; there simply is no constitutional basis for it. The restrictions we impose on driving needed to be justified by safety and environmental concerns.

    But you're right: you have no expectation of privacy on public roadways. That means any private party can, if they so choose, collect your license plate information and follow you around. But the government is not a private party; it is more restricted in what it can and should be allowed to do. Police can't just follow you around without cause, and they shouldn't be allowed to collect license plate information without cause either.

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