Florida Town To Record All Drivers

from the you-have-no-privacy-anywhere dept

A town in Florida has decided that you don’t need any privacy if you dare to drive through their town. They’re setting up a system of cameras that will take photos of license plates and drivers of all cars and record that info in a database. The database will also cross-check the license plate to see if you happen to be driving a stolen car, and alert the police immediately. They will also use the system to pinpoint who drove where at what time when investigating robberies. The police chief in charge of the program shrugs off any privacy concerns, noting that the roads are public so people should “have no expectation of privacy.” Next thing you know, they’ll just put GPS chips in everyone so that they know where everyone is at all times.

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Comments on “Florida Town To Record All Drivers”

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NOBODY says:

No Subject Given

I think that’s quite a leap don’t you mike?
Privacy advocates and the courts would have a field day with that one. Chips being implanted in people to know where they are? I don’t see that happening here. As far as cameras go though, you don’t seem to mind it when the cameras are not all tied together. They say the average person spends six hours a day on film being recorded by security cameras. We don’t even think about that. How is this any different? And if you’re not stealing people’s shit or driving around in a stolen car with stolen plates (you should go to jail for being stupid in that case) then what do you have to worry about? Ever stop to think that something like this might mean that you don’t get mugged at three in the morning? Or that the guy who would have stolen your car can’t because he was already cought and thrown in prison where he belings?

NOBODY says:

Re: No Subject Given

Besides, I have a feeling it will work about as well as the facial recognition system they tried and scrapped in NY. Great as it would be to get criminals and stolen vehicles off the street, we just don’t have good enough technology to pull it off yet. They’re welcome to spend tax dollars on it though.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

The GPS line was a throwaway joke… apparently not that funny. Oh well.

Anyway, I don’t think the issue is the camera so much as the fact that it’s being recorded in a database. That seems a bit excessive. You can track someone if they’re suspected of a crime, but tracking all the people all the time seems to go a bit far.

NOBODY says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Assuming it works. I think we’re giving these beurocrats and indian programmers far too much credit. To date there have only been a couple of even moderately successful deployments of systems like this. The vast majority of projects like this fail within the first couple of years. Tracking everyone and putting them into a database sounds good to some, but you’re talking about millions of dollars in software development, and millions more in hardware. Oh, and the software has to be perfect and work every time, and the hardware needs to be weather proof. I think that combination is highly unlikely. Not impossible. Just unlikely.

dorpus says:

Biostat revolution

Tracking systems like this are being implemented through law enforcement and health care. The next job revolution will be in the field of biostatistics, people with the expertise to make sense of all the accumulated statistics. Like computer science in the 1970s, it has been an obscure and under-publicized field. A great field with strong job security for the scientifically inclined.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:


I once asked a cop friend of mine why they don’t use barcode license plates and put scanners on the fronts of all police cars, they could continuously scan all the cars near them and watch for stolen cars, etc.

He told me that they can’t do that for the same reason they can’t sit with their radar guns on 24/7 – it violates our civil rights. According to him, the police have to believe you are speeding before clocking you with their radar gun, just as they have to believe you have broken some law before they can run your plates or confirm your ID. The law can be as simple as a broken tail light, improper lane changes, failure to signal, etc., but there has to a REASON for them to check you out.

If the system worked in such a way that it checked the license plate number, saw no matches in the system (i.e., not stolen) it would then flush the number out of the system, I don’t see a problem with it – maybe even put a 24 hour FIFO buffer on it.

If however it is really storing all the information into a database forever then we as citizens need to be concerned as there is no reason for the police to have this and once they do there is nothing to prevent its misuse and abuse.

martin g (user link) says:


Erm . . not quite sure what all the fuss is about ? The UK has had licence plate readers operating on all the motorways for decades now. All vehicles ( except the ones with unreadable plates etc ) are tracked throughout their entire motorway journey using cameras/and OCR. The database is naturally cross-checked for stolen vehicles on a realtime basis.
And now, of course, central London has a similar system via the ?congestion charge zone? All vehicles are tracked down to a few hundred metres.

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