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Big brother has a new target: Your license plate




A digital license plate made by Bay Area company Reviver Auto, part of a pilot project with the state Department of Motor Vehicles, is displayed on a car at Reviver Auto headquarters on May 30, 2018 in Foster City, California
A digital license plate made by Bay Area company Reviver Auto, part of a pilot project with the state Department of Motor Vehicles, is displayed on a car at Reviver Auto headquarters on May 30, 2018 in Foster City, California
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Automatic license plate readers (ALPR’s) have begun popping up in neighborhoods around the U.S. in order to deter property crime, and according to residents -- it’s working.

Homeowners in the Bay Area have begun installing solar-powered smart cameras in certain neighborhoods. The cameras automatically photograph every license plate that cross their paths, and the data can then be used to assist police in helping catch perpetrators of crimes such as break-ins, package thefts and street racing.

Though residents seem to be seeing success with the new technology, concerns have been raised over potential privacy violations. Organizations such as the ACLU argue that use of these cameras in the private sector lack proper regulation and are ripe for abuse of personal data.

We examine how the cameras access and store data, and whether there is cause for concern regarding personal privacy.

Guests:

Josh Thomas, head of marketing at Flock Safety, a company that makes automatic license plate readers for residential neighborhoods

Mohammad Tajsar, attorney at the ACLU of Southern California where he specializes in police practices