My 2 Cents: OKC Police's New License Plate Scanners

Tuesday, November 13th 2012, 11:17 pm
By: News 9

No doubt it is an invaluable tool for police officers, but does it make you kind of nervous?

Today the Oklahoma City city council gave the green light to the OCPD purchasing 16 license plate scanners to be mounted on patrol cars.

These scanners can photograph and cross check hundreds of license plates on moving or parked cars against the crime database almost instantly, and alert the officer if there's a stolen vehicle, an outstanding arrest warrant, or maybe a vehicle wanted in an Amber Alert.

And let me tell you, as a driver who's been hit twice by uninsured motorists, I wish they'd cross check the tags against the insurance database, but that sounds doubtful in the beginning at least.

But while I'm all for giving our law enforcement the best possible tools to fight crime, these license plate scanners are passive spies that automatically track the movements of innocent citizens too.

That makes me plenty uncomfortable, not because I have anything to hide, but because I don't want my government recording where I go.

There will need to be a very strict and short time limit on how long that information can be kept.. say a month max .. before it is erased.

We're going to keep an eye on this when the scanners are installed and follow what measures the OCPD comes up with to protect our privacy.