Homeland Security License Plate Data Collection Plan Cancelled

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

A plan to create a database from collected license plate data by the Department of Homeland Security was cancelled after said plans were made known without knowledge from top officials.

AOL Autos reports the plan, which would have sought bids from private companies to build the database, would have helped Immigration and Customs Enforcement in combating criminal activity. Privacy advocates, however, feared such a database would also collect plate data from millions of law-abiding citizens.

Through a statement, the ICE explained that the solicitation was made public without prior knowledge from the department’s top officials:

While we continue to support a range of technologies to help meet our law enforcement mission, this solicitation will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets our operational needs.

The method for collecting license plate data — license-plate scanners — is already a subject near and dear to both law enforcement and privacy groups for months, fearing the data could be used to spy on the populace for governmental and business purposes. According to Associated Press, 14 states are working on legislation that would curb the practice.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Mud Mud on Feb 21, 2014

    "This whole idea is vexatious and opprobrious" you just activated the NSA BIGWORDALERT ALARM mister :)

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Feb 21, 2014

      “This whole idea is vexatious and opprobrious” A subscriber to the word of the day club

  • FractureCritical FractureCritical on Feb 21, 2014

    I always find these types of articles cute in a sad kind of way. If you've ever used a credit card in a big box store, they know everything you've ever bought there and use it for market research. Have a cell phone with an active GPS function? Ever see those prtty signs over the road that tell you the travel time to interchanges? there are third party companies that aggregate your moving device data and sell it to road agencies to calcutate that time. Have you ever in your life paid a toll on a road or have an E-ZPass style device? your plate is already on record. Homeland tries to put it all in one spreadsheet and people lose their minds thinking that just now (but never before) that their motions can be tracked. guess what? you have been tracked for better than a decade, just no one ever told you. We live in a modern age of "don't ask, don't tell" but now it's big data instead gays. 'they' already know where you came from, where you were going, how fast you were going, what lane you were in and they even know how many people were in the car. (Vehicle occupancy detection is really creepy) Please note that this post is explicitly not pro or against, just noting that the things being feared have been here for some time already. Have a nice day..

    • See 3 previous
    • Compaq Deskpro Compaq Deskpro on Feb 21, 2014

      @golden2husky How do you avoid accidentally saying Richard Pisswater?

  • Seabrjim Seabrjim on Feb 21, 2014

    And they even have the revolution part covered...

  • Carzzi Carzzi on Feb 22, 2014

    How long before it emerges that it was "Let's not cancel it, and say we did"?