License plate cameras raise privacy concerns – Chicago Tribune


Good afternoon, Chicago.

Automated license plate recognition, known as ALPRs, have helped police arrest suspects for a number of heinous crimes in the Chicago area. But they don’t just track criminals. They track everyone in their sight, marking each car’s location, when it is first detected by a camera  and in what direction it’s heading — billions of license plates nationwide.

Alarmed by the reach and rapid expansion of these cameras, privacy advocates have filed suit in Illinois, saying the cameras violate the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable search. They say it amounts to a national surveillance system of innocent drivers.

“This system has brought Big Brother to Illinois,” said plaintiff Stephanie Scholl of Chicago. “That isn’t a reasonable security measure — it’s a dystopia playing out in real time, in our backyards.”

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