Surveillance Scope Creep: What About All of the Information?
Cameras placed throughout the District of Columbia are collecting 1,800 images of license plates per minute, according to the Washington Post. These license plate images are downloaded to a database where they can be used to track the movement of anyone in the city.
The cameras are owned by different agencies, so the data retention policies vary from one to three years, making it possible for your location to be pinpointed anywhere you drive in the city for up to three years.
While this is an incredibly useful tool for law enforcement, serious privacy concerns are raised when we start storing data on the movement of thousands of citizens without their knowledge or consent, and without consistent policies and standards regarding the retention, access rights, use, protection, and sharing of these data.
Captain Kevin Reardon of the Arlington County Police is quoted as saying "One of the big questions is, what do we do with the information?"