An anonymous reader writes: Automated license plate readers have become a serious point of contention between law enforcement and privacy-minded citizens. But the advance of technology might make it a moot point — with some open source software and a cheap webcam, anyone can now start cataloging the cars visiting their street. A two-man team developed OpenALPR and started distributing it for free, along with the source code. Law enforcement and the agencies that build their plate scanners have argued in favor of the legality of such data collection, so it's not like they can suddenly start cracking down on private citizens doing the same. "An enterprising person could even use a car-mounted camera and create a mobile plate hunting device along the lines of what many police agencies already use." Is this particular privacy fight one that's still winnable?