A new report says immigration agents may soon start tracking license plates across the U.S.
According to The Verge - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has reached a deal with Vigilant Solutions, a top network for license plate data. The report comes amid fears of a major sweep in San Francisco and other Northern California cities in which federal officers would look to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people. The San Francisco Chronicle reported it on January 17th.
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Now the ACLU is slamming ICE's access to license plate records. It says the implications go far beyond immigration.
Senior policy analyst Jay Stanley, who studies license plate readers with the ACLU issued a statement to The Verge.
"Are we as a society, out of our desire to find those people, willing to let our government create an infrastructure that will track all of us?"
ICE issued a response The Verge.
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"Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations," spokesperson Dani Bennett said in a statement.
"ICE is not seeking to build a license plate reader database, and will not collect nor contribute any data to a national public or private database through this contract."
ICE officials have released this statement:
"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has issued an award of a single source, firm-fixed price contract to obtain query-based access to a commercially available license plate reader database. Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations. ICE conducts both criminal investigations and civil immigration enforcement investigations. ICE is not seeking to build a license plate reader database, and will not collect nor contribute any data to a national public or private database through this contract. Due to privacy concerns during a previous solicitation, in 2015, ICE completed a privacy impact assessment which was used to create a framework for use of the technology. The privacy impact assessment was updated prior to ICE's use of any license plate reader database, to reflect how the contract meets the established privacy requirements. The contract must comply with established privacy requirements outlined in the privacy impact assessment. These are the most stringent requirements known to have been applied for the use of this technology."
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Report: ICE to start tracking license plates across U.S.