Tiburon Wants To Photograph Every Car Entering And Leaving... But Don't Worry About Your Privacy

from the well,-phew... dept

Tiburon is a nice little wealthy coastal town a little ways north from where I happen to live. It's a cozy place to go for a nice meal out or something -- usually somewhere I'll take visiting friends or relatives. It's certainly not a place where you'd expect there to be a big crime problem, and, indeed, the facts seem to bear that out. But, apparently, that's not stopping the local gov't from deciding to set up cameras to photograph and record every car entering and leaving the town. It will also record and use the license plate info. If that sounds like a bit of an invasion of privacy, well, the town's Manager, Peggy Curran, insists you're just paranoid:
"As long as you don't arrive in a stolen vehicle or go on a crime spree while you're here, your anonymity will be preserved. We don't care who you are and we don't know who you are."
Actually, if you didn't care, you wouldn't be recording the info, now would you?

This is really just a variation on the "if you haven't done anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about" sort of claim. It's a fallacy that privacy is only about if you're doing something wrong. So, for folks up in Tiburon, who wants to follow Peggy Curran with a camera when she's walking around? As long as she doesn't do anything illegal, her anonymity will be preserved. No one cares who she is. They would just be making sure she doesn't go on a crime spree or steal a car. By her own logic, that's perfectly reasonable, right?

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  1. identicon
    Luci, 22 Jul 2009 @ 9:29am


    Incorrect. There are still expectations of privacy. The collection of personally identifiable information (license plates?) can still be a huge issue. Even if I'm in public, you don't have the right to record my conversations. I can still deny you the right to take my photo if I have a valid reason for it.

    Expectations are not set by law, but by precedent and past experience.

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