Local Massachusetts Police Department Expand Use Of License Plate Scanning and Monitoring
Massachusetts police departments are actively purchasing and deploying radical technologies for monitoring the movements of ordinary law abiding citizens. We are all being scanned, monitored, and sorted as either suspected of something, or not. But even if you are not suspected of anything, your movements (by means of your car location) are tagged with time, date and GPS location, and stored indefinitely.
As reported in The Daily Item, Saugus and Revere police departments have deployed these automatic license plate scanners to identify license plates in which the car or owner may have legal issues. If your vehicle is identified as having a stolen car/license plate, or has a revoked or suspended insurance or registration, the police will be instantly alerted to your status.
It isn’t mentioned in this specific article, but this technology can be used to identify any issue associated with the driver/owner as well. If the owner of the vehicle has a suspended license, or outstanding warrant from a Massachusetts court, that info can be matched with license plate data and fed into the system database.
The most frightening part of this is the passive historical monitoring that is taking place. Mentioned in the news report is how the data can be used in other ways: some legitimate, some highly questionable. It reads:
“…if someone denies he was at a location the night before but the license plate scanner had driven by that location at that same time, police could look through the scanner’s records and know the person is lying.”
The more of these systems that are on the road, the more often your movements are being logged by the government. And this information will be used against you whenever they feel it is necessary. There no warrant necessary for anyone to collect or access this data.
And unlike Fastlane systems for automatic toll payments which tracks your use of the Turnpike, you can’t just choose not to use it. You cannot opt out of this intrusion.
We are all suspects now.