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Government Privacy Transportation

California Legislature Approves Trial Program For Electronic Plates 185

Do you worry that the widespread use of plate-scanning cameras might be used in ways that violate your privacy ? Now you can ratchet your worry level up a bit: Ars Technica reports that "This week, the California State Senate approved a bill that would create the nation’s first electronic license plate. Having already passed the state’s assembly, the bill now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for his signature." From the article: "The idea is that rather than have a static piece of printed metal adorned with stickers to display proper registration, the plate would be a screen that could wirelessly (likely over a mobile data network) receive updates from a central server to display that same information. In an example shown by a South Carolina vendor, messages such as 'STOLEN,' 'EXPIRED,' or something similar could also be displayed on a license plate. ... The state senator who introduced the bill, Sen. Ben Hueso, a Democrat who represents San Diego, did not respond to Ars' multiple requests for an interview or comment. It still remains unclear as to exactly why this bill was proposed and what its objectives are. The precise technical details of the program are similarly unclear, as is how long plate information would be retained and who would have access to it."
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California Legislature Approves Trial Program For Electronic Plates

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  • Re:A screen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @11:53AM (#44783703) Homepage Journal

    Good point. I didn't think about the bright side of all this.

    California already has a cheaper system for identifying cars, which is the physical license plate. The California Highway Patrol (and police departments as far as I can tell) already don't car if you are driving around with expired plates (which is already very easy to distinguish) or even if you have plates at all. I see so many cars on a daily basis with nothing but a license plate frame and the dealer logo in it.

    I have no doubt that this is really just the entry point for authorities to place a GPS unit in every car.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun