Deployment of new police surveillance equipment like license plate scanners are rolled out with regularity, and civil liberties and privacy concerns are rarely addressed or considered.
So it is with another announcement of a local New Jersey law enforcement agency using these systems, this time in Mt. Laurel. From the article:
An ALPR can be likened to the town watch concept, adding extra eyes in the community to assist law enforcement who have a responsibility to enforce laws and apprehend criminals.
Comparing it to a friendly neighborhood watch, is one way to look at it. Another way is to suggest that it is a massively intrusive big brother collecting and scanning the location and movements of all citizens, regardless of any accusation of a crime or due process.
And that data, where your car was located, what time, near or with whom, it all logged and stored indefinitely in nationwide databases, where it can be matched with data from other law enforcement sources, to retroactively track your movements.
There is little to no oversight as to what law enforcement or government officials are able to use this information, and for what purpose.
But the surveillance state appears to be here for good, privacy be damned.