Further Reading Virginia man demands cops stop routine scans via license plate reader A Virginia state court has decided that a license plate number is not personal information—essentially validating law enforcement's use of license plate readers in the commonwealth. In a recently published opinion letter , the 19th Judicial Circuit of Virginia ruled against a man who sued the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) and its chief of police. The man alleges that the agency has been “unlawfully” collecting information about his license plate in violation of state law. Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Smith ruled that a license plate number is not "personal information," as defined under Virginia law , essentially because, as license plate numbers must be made publicly visible, there can be no privacy interest. Therefore, according to Judge Smith, license plate numbers cannot be considered "personal information." (It is worth noting however, that in Google Street View, all license plates are blurred.) According to the judge's letter, the FCPD has used LPR technology since at least 2010, and its scanners can read 60 plates per second. The device is commonly used by law enforcement nationwide as a way to scan unknown plates against a known "hot… Read full this story
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