July 18th, 2013
02:13 PM ET

Big Brother Tracking Your License Plates?

For some California residents, big brother may be going too far.

Outrage is growing over a network of police cameras in Los Angeles that are tracking where you go and when, all by reading your license plate.

Now, privacy rights groups have filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County's two major police departments after the agencies refused to turn over information collected by electronic license plate scanners, the suit claimed.

“With cameras mounted on a police cruiser…cops in San Leandro, California can capture and record license plates as they drive down any street, an efficient method to catch car thieves or pull over vehicles that show up in a criminal database,” CNN's Dan Simon reports.

Lt. Jeff Tudor of the San Leandro Police Department says, “With technology and with smart good policing, it allows us to keep our public safe."

Local activist Mike Katz-Lacabe, however, believes the method is an egregious violation of privacy. He petitioned the police department and got a hold of the records on his car.

What he found stunned him; “112 instances over two years where police just happened to get images of his car,” and even those of him and his daughters getting out of the car.

“Police say the data can later be accessed to solve crimes–everything from following leads on amber alerts to collecting unpaid tickets,” Simon reports.

“But in this new era of digital rights and privacy, some say there needs to be more transparency and limits to what information can be gathered and stored on citizens, doing nothing more than driving their cars.”

Follow along at CNN.com for more on the story.

Posted by
Filed under: Big Conversation • News • Videos
soundoff (One Response)

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.