Oh, I'm absolutely SURE the Fairfax Police won't abuse the information they collect on YOU
AAA Polls Finds Support for License Plate Data Retention Restriction
RICHMOND, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- A AAA Mid-Atlantic poll finds Virginia drivers want retention limits for data from license plate readers.
Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed legislation earlier this year that would limit the amount of time law enforcement officials can hang onto license plate data collected by License Plate Readers.
According to the poll, 22 percent of respondents in Virginia said they prefer a retention period of 24 hours and nearly 60 percent said they support retention limits ranging from 24 hours to 60 days.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Fairfax County Police Department, which means the likelihood of legislation on this topic being considering in the upcoming legislative session is uncertain, according to AAA.
The lawsuit accused the Fairfax police of violating the state Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act by collecting and storing personal information of citizens without a clear need and purpose.
"Whether the issue is resolved through the courts or the legislative process, AAA believes that Virginia motorists' privacy must be protected," said Martha Mitchell Meade, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "The use of License Plate Readers is not in question. AAA believes they are an important tool for law enforcement and aid in their work to protect and serve the public. Eliminating the current scenario, however, which allows police to keep information indefinitely, and establishing a time limit for the retention of data, would allow police investigations to continue while simultaneously protecting the privacy of other motorists."
LPRs can scan thousands of license plates per minute at any time of day, and they can instantly alert police of a stolen plate or vehicle or a vehicle that is connected to a crime when it drives by.
AAA supports a short retention period and agrees the limit should be less than 60 days, after which the plate data should be purged.