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Bill paves the way for digital license plates in California

Should California get digital license plates?
Should California get digital license plates?
Flickr/Fabi Dorighello

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Technology has made a lot of things work a lot better, faster, easier. If Senate Bill 806 gets the blessings of Sacramento lawmakers, California license plates might also get a digital upgrade.The bill lets the Department of Motor Vehicles start a digital license plates program for as many as 160,000 cars. A San Francisco-based startup, Smart Plate Mobile, would be providing the technology. The pilot program won’t cost the state any money and could save DMV millions of dollars a year in postage for renewals.

Privacy advocates are worried that the program will lead to warrantless surveillance by the government. So how would the program work? Are the privacy concerns overblown?


Jim Lites, a patner at Schott and Lites. He is the legislature representative for Smart Plate Mobile, which would provide the technology for this proposed DMV program.

Pam Dixon, Executive Director at the World Privacy Forum - a non-profit organization focused on privacy issues based in San Diego