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Massachusetts Committee Approves Bill to Limit ALPR Use, Help Block National License Plate Tracking

By Michael Maharrey

Today, a Massachusetts cabinet upheld a bill that would put despotic limitations on the use of programmed permit image reader systems (ALPRs) by the state. Passage into law would also place poignant roadblocks in the way of a sovereign program using states to help lane the plcae of millions of bland people by pictures of their permit plates.

The Joint Committee on Transportation combined and authorized Senate Bill 2299 (S2299) on Feb. 9. The new check was formed on S1909, introduced by a bipartisan bloc of 12 senators and representatives. The legislation boundary the use of ALPRs by police to “legitimate law coercion purposes.” The law defines these as “detection or review of a crime, traffic defilement or parking violation; operation of AMBER alerts; or searches for blank or involved persons.”

The check would also put despotic stipulations on the influence and pity of information collected by permit image readers. Police would be compulsory to contention any collected information to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security within 48 hours or destroy it. The due law would concede the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to keep ALPR information for 120 days. After that time it must be destroyed, S2299 would concede the executive bureau to keep information longer only with a aver or refuge request.

The due law would extent entrance and pity of stored data. Any information obtained or shared in defilement of the law would be unfit in court.


Notwithstanding any ubiquitous or special law or law to the contrary, ALPR information produced, obtained or confirmed in meaningful defilement of this section shall not be admitted, offering or cited by any bureaucratic entity for any purpose in any criminal, civil, or executive proceeding.

Passage of S2299 would forestall the state from formulating permanent databases using information collected by ALPRs, and would make it reduction likely that such information would finish up in sovereign databases.


The ACLU estimates that reduction than 0.2 percent of image scans are related to rapist activity or car registration issues.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the sovereign government, around the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) marks the plcae of millions of vehicles. They’ve intent in this for over eight years, all but a warrant, or even open notice of the policy.

State and internal law coercion agencies work many of these tracking systems, paid for by sovereign extend money. The DEA then taps into the internal database to lane the locale of millions of people – for the elementary act of pushing – but having to work a outrageous network itself.

Since a infancy of sovereign permit image tracking information comes from state and internal law enforcement, thoroughfare of this legislation would take a major step toward restraint that program from stability in Massachusetts. The feds can’t entrance information that doesn’t exist.

“No information means no sovereign permit image tracking program,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive executive Michael Boldin said.

Law coercion generally configures ALPRs to store the photograph, the permit image number, and the date, time, and plcae of vehicles. But according to annals obtained by the ACLU around a Freedom of Information Act request, the DEA also captures photographs of drivers and their passengers.

According to the ACLU:

Secret $1.8 Million Cryptocurrency Script

One internal 2009 DEA communication stated clearly that the permit image program can yield “the requester” with images that “may embody car permit image numbers (front and/or rear), photos of manifest car occupants [redacted] and a front and back altogether perspective of the vehicle.” Clearly showing that passenger photos are not an occasional, random byproduct of the technology, but one that is intentionally being cultivated, a 2011 email states that the DEA’s complement has the ability to store “up to 10 photos per car transaction including 4 passenger photos.

With the FBI rolling out facial a national recognition program in 2016, and the sovereign supervision building biometric databases, the fact that the feds can potentially entrance stored photographs of drivers and passengers, along with minute plcae data, magnifies the remoteness concerns surrounding ALPRs.

Passage of this legislation would represent a good first step toward putting a big hole in sovereign plans to continue location tracking, and expanding its facial recognition program. The reduction information the state creates accessible to the sovereign government, the reduction ability they have to lane people in Massachusetts, and elsewhere.


S2299 now moves to the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it must pass by a infancy opinion before moving brazen in the legislative process.

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this essay first appeared. He proudly resides in the strange home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog repository here and his essay repository here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can revisit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

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