Sunday, November 23, 2008

License Plate Scanning/License Plate Recognition (ALPRS): More Big Brother-Like Privacy Destroying Technology

License Plate Scanning/License Plate Recognition Systems: Harmful to Privacy

As readers of my blog already know, I have been spending a lot of time discussing the growing use of automated photo enforcement systems—red light cameras and fixed/mobile speed cameras—and the negative impact these systems are having on our civil liberties and rights to privacy.

I have been focusing on this issue as now is the time to defeat the proponents of these systems before we end up like our friends across the pond in the U.K., other parts of the E.U., or like Singapore that have already resigned themselves to the widespread use of such heavy-handed mass-surveillance tactics.

The situation in our own country is about to get even worse.

Why? Because there is yet another technology that is quietly in the process of coming online and once again, Janet Napolitano's Arizona is leading its push (along with California and New York). Why this administration is Hell-bent on creating a police state, is beyond me (and it is alarming to consider the implications of Napolitano as the next head of DHS).

The technology to do it is called automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) or license plate scanning and is being incorporated into police vehicles (as mobile license plate recognition systems) to scan a vast amount of vehicles.

These license plate scanning/license plate recognitions systems are no longer being restricted to scanning parked vehicles. As with most new technology introduced for one purpose, license plate scanning/license plate recognition systems are being re-tasked to provide additional mass surveillance capabilities.

Apparently there is also a push to collect and data-mine this vast amount of information for the purposes of potentially tracking the day-to-day movements of a vast amount of law-abiding citizens.

Furthermore there appears to be little in the way of formalized procedures controlling how the data collected will be used and maintained.

According to the Arizona Republic's 23 Nov 08 article on license plate scanning/license plate recognition systems, it appears license plate scanning/license plate recognition systems have already scanned 1.2 million license plates since their "limited" introduction and which have reportedly lead to 122 felony arrests for auto theft—approximately .01 percent success rate, that's right 1/100th of one percent (assuming the reported numbers are, in fact, accurate).

Beyond installation into patrol vehicles, license plate scanning/license plate recognition systems are designed to be mounted in fixed positions on overpasses to simultaneously scan multiple lanes on our highways.

Using advanced OCR software algorithms, I expect there are no technical limitations to adding this capability into existing camera/video systems such as traffic cameras and, of course, red light and speed camera photo enforcement systems—as a back-end process.

I don't know about you, but between existing technologies—like GPS-enabled cellular phones, OnStar Navigation systems, red light cameras, and speed cameras—having yet another technology used to potentially track our day-to-day movements is troubling.

Our rights are being eroded each and every day, a little bit at a time and I continue to be surprised by our citizens' and news media's complicity.

At some point the "cure" is worse than the 'disease' and in the case of all of these dehumanizing automated photo enforcement technologies, the same can be said.

Like their cousins of automated photo enforcement, the technologies generally (but not exclusively) appear to be imported and the companies providing them, foreign-owned:

According to an automotive journalist friend of mine who recently attended the 115th Annual IACP Conference and Exposition at San Diego a couple of weeks ago, license plate recognition/license plate scanning (ALPR) systems were being marketed as the 'next big thing' in photo enforcement/surveillance.

Fortunately these new systems utilize infra-red imaging systems (to avoid visible flash disturbances), which means they've inadertently created another benefit of using Veil—anonymity—as Veil G4 can now be used to preserve and protect your privacy from their invasive nature.

VEIL'd License Plate, Completely Black and Unreadable to IR Imaging

We'll continue to monitor the growing use of this technology.

Big Brother continues to appear alive and well, but fortunately, so is American ingenuity.

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Veil Guy


Kenneth Aiken said...

Please consider attaching a system to your site so that folks like myself will be able to fwd this info the US CONGRESSMAN as well as the STATE REPRESENTAIVES.
Another isssue is that the records for the approval of purchase of handguns are suppose to be destroyed once the handgun is purchased. But they are alive and well in some archive. This is the next thing that citizens must begin to get a handle oon. Thank you. Ken aiken in PISSED OFF in Corpus Christi, Texas. 361 855 9432

Anonymous said...

I agree with the invasion of privacy comments. (One reason I choose not to use EZ-Pass. Too easy to track movement and issue tickets)

Just a minor comment:

Spelling error (I think)
inadertantly should be inadvertently

Fortunately these new systems utilize infra-red imaging systems (to avoid visible flash disturbances), which means they've inadertantly created another benefit of using Veil—anonymity—as Veil G4 can now be used to preserve and protect your privacy from their invasive nature.


Veil Guy said...



Anonymous said...

Hey, thats some great information for us, 'privacy concerned' individuals. The people of the U.S. seem to really be oblivious as to what big brother is slowly (but surely) doing to this great country of ours. We are truly approaching a police state. If more people and groups like yourself dont spread awareness, we WILL be just like those "across the pond". I suggest researching "Bilderberg" and other related issues on Youtube and Google.

THAT being said... I'd like more info on the 'Veil G4' and how it can help me preserve MY privacy. I DON'T WANT TO BE TRACKED and HERDED like some animal on Nat Geo!

Anonymous said...

Dude, honestly ive seen these ALPR's used. Its not "data mining" law enforcement officers have been running plates since the technology first came about. No one is violating your civil liberties, try the 4th ammendment, you know the one that talks about privacy? Anything in plain sight (such as a licensce plate) police have the right to use to search for probable cause and to regulate any type of violation you currently have on record. no one is creating a "Black File" on every U.S citizen, so come out of that shell and realize law enforcement ultimatley save stupid people from themselves and that they are human as well.

Veil Guy said...

Appreciate your commentary that you chose to make anonymously. Nice feeling isn't it?

My issue is not so much with police and law enforcement and I appreciate your sensibility on this.

The issue for me is wholesale use of technology to perform automated "background-searches."

I call it data mining, because the technology itself is directing the searches, not an officer who has a reasonable suspicion.

Have you ever seen the movie, Minority Report? Science fiction, to be sure, but not so much today as perhaps it once was.

Automated iris scans in public? Routine/ required DNA scans?

Where does one draw the line?

Do we wish to live in a police state? As a policeman, (I assume you are), you do, by definition, I suppose.

Perhaps you would be well advised to read US Rep. Dr. Ron Paul's brilliant article:

Police State USA

His thesis:

Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens' lives.

I couldn't agree more.

Unknown said...

C'mon people we all KNOW this is NOT about Safety what-so-ever! It's about being able to process more vehicles and COLLECT MORE REVENUE.

The other thing is, it's about creating that Socialistic Communistic Country and doing away with any National Sovereignty and rights, or rights to private property. Read the self called "Global Elite Bankers' own words and agenda.

Their ultimate goal is to MICRO-CHIP every single person and herd the crowd for better CONTROL. They want POWER...and want us ALL Tracked and herded and Enslaved. It's really that simple, this my friends is their dream (our nightmare hell) but their dream of a NEW WORLD ORDER with a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT and THEM (the Global Banker Elites) ruling over US. Period. That's why they created the false flag incident 911. Listen to what they said themselves. Look at their words and actions and then yo will KNOW the truth, not speculate.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for beating these systems, but this won't work. They have dual cameras both color and IR to prevent exactly this. Unfortunately all the methods of reflective sprays, covers, etc have been debunked.