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New Tracking Frontier: Your License Plates
WSJ ^ | 28 Sept 2012 | JULIA ANGWIN and JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES

Posted on 09/29/2012 9:56:28 AM PDT by Theoria

For more than two years, the police in San Leandro, Calif., photographed Mike Katz-Lacabe's Toyota Tercel almost weekly. They have shots of it cruising along Estudillo Avenue near the library, parked at his friend's house and near a coffee shop he likes. In one case, they snapped a photo of him and his two daughters getting out of a car in his driveway.

Mr. Katz-Lacabe isn't charged with, or suspected of, any crime. Local police are tracking his vehicle automatically, using cameras mounted on a patrol car that record every nearby vehicle—license plate, time and location.

"Why are they keeping all this data?" says Mr. Katz-Lacabe, who obtained the photos of his car through a public-records request. "I've done nothing wrong."

Until recently it was far too expensive for police to track the locations of innocent people such as Mr. Katz-Lacabe. But as surveillance technologies decline in cost and grow in sophistication, police are rapidly adopting them. Private companies are joining, too. At least two start-up companies, both founded by "repo men"—specialists in repossessing cars or property from deadbeats—are currently deploying camera-equipped cars nationwide to photograph people's license plates, hoping to profit from the data they collect.

The rise of license-plate tracking is a case study in how storing and studying people's everyday activities, even the seemingly mundane, has become the default rather than the exception. Cellphone-location data, online searches, credit-card purchases, social-network comments and more are gathered, mixed-and-matched, and stored in vast databases.

Data about a typical American is collected in more than 20 different ways during everyday activities, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: bigbrother; database; license; privacy; surveillance; tracking
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Three Years of WSJ Privacy Insights

[image]

The Wall Street Journal is conducting a long-running investigation into the transformation of personal privacy in America.

Selected findings:


1 posted on 09/29/2012 9:56:32 AM PDT by Theoria
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To: Theoria
Anyone know where to get large sheets of LCD materials? It seems like there would be some money in making a license plate cover that would alternatively block each half of a license plate so a camera on a 1/30 second exposure time would only get half a plate, but someone watching it would just notice some shading of the numbers.
2 posted on 09/29/2012 10:04:48 AM PDT by KarlInOhio ("Government is the only thing that we all belong to"=implicit repeal of the 13th amendment for all.)
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To: Theoria
Shades of our new coming communists controlled America.
3 posted on 09/29/2012 10:06:51 AM PDT by Logical me
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To: Logical me
Federal employees have been subjected to this sort of surveillance for most of a century.

You don't get used to it. On the other hand, when you go missing they'll tell your family that you really are missing.

Eventually I think the public will come to their senses and realize it's not the local letter carrier robbing them but their Congress-critters!

4 posted on 09/29/2012 10:11:46 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: KarlInOhio

No worries comrade. Soon Gov’t will be invited into our cars via gps tracking and data collection. Do not fret, I’m sure they will employ various means of turning off your car if it is stolen. After all, it is in your best interest.


5 posted on 09/29/2012 10:14:31 AM PDT by Theoria (Romney is a Pyrrhic victory.)
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To: Theoria

Luckily I’m not a paranoid person, or I’d believe this article.


6 posted on 09/29/2012 10:18:06 AM PDT by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
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To: Theoria

Thus, as I have said over and over, only the foolish post any information on Facebook.

Keep your internet footprint as small as humanly possible.


7 posted on 09/29/2012 10:28:15 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (We can’t just leave it (food choice) up to the parents. -- moochele obozo 2/12/2012 (cnsnews))
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To: Theoria

Yet nobody can find the millions of illegals, for instance. The eye is all seeing, but only for what it wants to see.


8 posted on 09/29/2012 10:32:44 AM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Theoria

I wonder what would happen if somebody started tracking cop cars?


9 posted on 09/29/2012 10:37:21 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

You would end up at a lot of crime scenes.....


10 posted on 09/29/2012 10:40:26 AM PDT by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: freedumb2003

I’m glad to have shunned social networking in general. It is a huge, narcissistic-driven time suck. I wish there were more hours in the day for my many productive pursuits, forget about telling the world how my vacation was.


11 posted on 09/29/2012 10:41:39 AM PDT by JerseyDvl (Cogito Ergo Doleo Soetoro, ABO and of course FUBO!)
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To: Theoria
Fans of The Sopranos will have noticed that Tony didn't use EZ-Pass, he always took the toll ticket.

I'm not surprised by any of this -- but it's only going to catch dumb people. Smart ones will think their way around it.

Police surveillance systems are more likely to be installed in urban -- typically liberal Democrat -- cities than in suburban and rural areas. It's just not practical given the area they need to cover.

12 posted on 09/29/2012 10:44:27 AM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: KarlInOhio
I'm working on rows of hi intensity ir LEDS to affix around my license plate powered through the license plate light.

the IR's should blind the camera but cannot be observed by the eye

13 posted on 09/29/2012 10:45:38 AM PDT by NativeSon ( Grease the floor with Crisco when I dance the Disco)
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To: Sooth2222

Only problem with taking the ticket..

There is a camera pointed at your plate in the cash lane too.

They know. Pass or cash that you where there.


14 posted on 09/29/2012 10:49:14 AM PDT by cableguymn (peace through strength. if they don't like you at least they will fear you.)
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To: KarlInOhio
Anyone know where to get large sheets of LCD materials? It seems like there would be some money in making a license plate cover that would alternatively block each half of a license plate so a camera on a 1/30 second exposure time would only get half a plate, but someone watching it would just notice some shading of the numbers.

That would probably be illegal. When I was young and stupid and driving the tow truck it was a towing offense if there was anything that obscured any part of the plate -- even a frame that covered the edges.

15 posted on 09/29/2012 10:57:38 AM PDT by Cowman (How can the IRS seize property without a warrant if the 4th amendment still stands?)
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To: eyedigress

And doughnut shops.


16 posted on 09/29/2012 11:04:53 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: NativeSon
I'm working on rows of hi intensity ir LEDS to affix around my license plate powered through the license plate light. the IR's should blind the camera but cannot be observed by the eye

Why would that work since the camera is not using a night vision IR setting?

17 posted on 09/29/2012 11:16:05 AM PDT by montag813
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To: KarlInOhio

Is illegal in NJ

Know of several people pulled over for having license
plates covered in plastic film

Also is spray which can apply to deflect the laser bean used
to scan the plate


18 posted on 09/29/2012 11:18:26 AM PDT by njslim (St)
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To: Theoria

Recently, the Obama administration announded a multi-billion program called LPR—License Plate Recognition.

EVERY license place would eventually be photographed on streets & roads in the USA.

They claimed their computers could process 30,000 plates per second.

I say it is a direct violtion of the 4th Amendment.


19 posted on 09/29/2012 11:19:22 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: montag813
Why would that work since the camera is not using a night vision IR setting?

Digital camera chips (both CMOS and CCD) are very sensitive to IR. Depending on whether the manufacturer used an IR filter it would be like having a very bright light surrounding your license plate.

20 posted on 09/29/2012 11:21:08 AM PDT by KarlInOhio ("Government is the only thing that we all belong to"=implicit repeal of the 13th amendment for all.)
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