Law enforcement agencies deploy license plate reader surveillance technology in Oregon without adequate or consistent privacy restrictions. Many agencies retain the location information and photograph of every vehicle that crosses the camera’s path, not simply those that are associated with a criminal nexus.
In the aggregate, this stored private location data can reveal the travel histories of thousands of Oregonians who have committed no crime. Longer retention periods and the absence of restrictions on sharing allow the government to assemble the individual puzzle pieces of where we have been over time into a single, high-resolution image of our lives.
We are urging the legislature to impose consistent statewide guidelines for government’s use of ALPR surveillance technology, including benchmarks for use of the technology, safeguards limiting how long the data can be retained, and protections against unnecessary sharing of individuals’ data between government and private companies.