License Plate Readers, or LPRs, are yet another technology that law enforcement has just cold been using with no warrant, on everybody, just like GPS trackers until the Supreme Court told them to stop.
And now, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, we’ve learned that the government has been sharing the license, date, and precise GPS coordinates of every single car that crosses the border! Oh, don’t get pissed yet! It gets worse!
The government has been sharing the data with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, essentially a group of insurance investigators. You know, angry ex-cops, wanna-be cops who failed the psych exam, guys who think they’re private detectives… exactly the kind of people who should be getting data on half a million cars crossing in and out of the border.
To be fair, this does help them with their job, which is, among other things, tracking down stolen cars and bringing them back. Knowing where a car went is useful stuff. That said, it also wouldn’t be terribly hard to close off access to this data unless there’s a hit, something that doesn’t seem to be happening.
And just in case your privacy wasn’t already feeling bad-touched, the memo of understanding between the NICB and the government allows for a data processing company to handle the data as well.
Just to review, every single person who legally crosses a border has their license (and thus their identity), where they crossed the border, and what date and time they did so recorded and sent to a private organization with zero oversight whatsoever.
How could this possibly go wrong?