DES MOINES – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Wednesday that government is “increasingly using new technology to collect information about all of us, all the time, and to store it forever – providing a complete record of our lives for it to access at will” and that license plate readers are one of the main tools used to create this database.
The ACLU said Wednesday that “license plate readers capture vast amounts of data on innocent people” and that “these devices snap photos of every passing car, not just those registered to people suspected of crimes – virtually all of the data license plate readers gather is about people who are completely innocent.”
The ACLU documented police surveillance after reviewing 26,000 pages of material gathered through public records requests from across the United States.
The ACLU says that the Minnesota State Patrol deletes all data after 48 hours. The Iowa State Patrol does not use license plate reader technology.
“Should the government be logging for months, years, or indefinitely the movements of the other 99 percent of people, who are innocent?” the ACLU asked.