It isn’t just police departments that are scanning licence plates, and tracking your location. Automatic license plate scanners are being used by private companies, in parking garages and shopping mall parking lots, monitoring where and when they notice your car. Is is a good thing?One garage in Santa Monica uses license plate scanning technology to help you find your car. According to this article in the LA times, the system is connected with “find your car” kiosks, to help you locate where you left your car in the concrete labyrinth that is a modern parking garage. By matching your license plate with multiple cameras, the system will tell you the level and area where your car was tagged.
Privacy concerns with these systems are many. Who has access to this data, and what is it being used for? While most people are happy that private shopping mall parking lot surveillance systems are tapping into law enforcement databases to locate stolen cars, the implications of all of this data being stored are significant. The combined use of license plate scanners and databases nationwide creates a net of government surveillance, the likes of which few people are aware.