By on April 17, 2015

Alexandria Virginia Police Dodge Charger With License Plate Readers

The Commonwealth of Virginia is ready to set strict limits on how long license plate reader data can be retained, said limits being on the order of days.

Autoblog reports two bills hit Governor Terry McAuliffe’s desk Wednesday that would balance the citizens’ right to privacy with law enforcement’s need to investigate potential crimes. One bill would limit data retention to just seven days, the other to 60 days.

McAuliffe would have 30 days to act on the bills before both go into effect without his signature, with the review process set to begin “in the coming days” according to representative Christina Nuckols. Either way, the new limit would be one of the shortest — if not the shortest overall — limits on data retention in the United States; Maine currently holds the record with its 21-day limit.

As for which bill privacy advocates would prefer, the American Civil Liberties Union is pushing McAuliffe to sign the seven-day limit into law, as the other limit also expands the scope of law enforcement’s ability to conduct surveillance.

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6 Comments on “Virginia Set To Establish Strict Retention Limits On LPR Data...”


  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    in fairness, given the state’s cottage industry of having it’s police force harass drivers, this move is probably more related to a lack of data storage than any privacy concerns.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      Which One? On my five block walk to work in Crystal City everyday, I see

      Arlington County Police
      Arlington County Sheriff
      Virginia State Police
      Pentagon Force Protection
      Federal Protective Services (Homeland Security)

      So while nice that VA might put limits on this, it would need to be a federal policy to be effective

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Uh huh. I will leave my tooth under my pillow tonight.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    “law enforcement’s need to investigate potential crimes.”

    POTENTIAL crimes? Really? The police have a NEED to investigate POTENTIAL crimes?

    I thought the police were only supposed to investigate ACTUAL crimes that had ALREADY HAPPENED, not crimes that someone MIGHT commit later.

    Not very modernist of me, I know, this belief in the rule of law and due process.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      I think that sentence could have been worded a little differently. The way I interpret it, license plate data will be there in the event LE needs it for an investigation of an actual crime. Nobody cares about my license plate today unless I kidnap someone tomorrow.

      I don’t think the police are going to sit around looking at massive spreadsheets trying to find potential crimes within the data.

  • avatar
    Dirty Dingus McGee

    Nothing to see here citizen, move along.

    I SAID MOVE ALONG.

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