Police Practices

Automatic License Plate Readers: You Are Being Tracked


Click here for more information on the report

A new ACLU report shows that police departments across the country are expanding their use of automatic license plate readers (ALPR’s) to track the location of American drivers. Unfortunately, few of these departments have any meaningful rules in place to ensure transparency, or protect the privacy of drivers.

When it comes to ALPR guidelines, Ohio is a mixed bag. The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) has a good policy, one that requires all license plate records to be deleted immediately if they do not raise any flags. It further specifies that data cannot be collected, stored, or shared for the purpose of data mining. However, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office retains data for 90 days, and public records have not been collected from many other Ohio agencies, making their ALPR policies a mystery.

The OSHP’s ALPR policy proves that law enforcement agencies can still do their jobs while protecting the privacy of innocent people. Ultimately, Ohio needs state legislation that would create similar standards for all law enforcement agencies.

Click here for more information on ALPR’s.