York County Libertarian Party

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Letter to the editor: Keep city police from spying on innocent citizens

Urge council to act now to protect York residents’ privacy interests

York City Police Chief Wes Kahley recently said his department is ready to deploy license plate scanners. As a privacy activist, I’d like to remind the citizens of York of the potential surveillance impacts inherent with the devices. The scanners allow police to automatically scan upwards of 1,500 plates per minute. Along with a photograph, the devices record the GPS coordinates of each scan.

In a short amount of time, the devices will allow police to compile a detailed database of innocent citizens’ mobility patterns. The Department of Homeland Security has issued memorandums instructing police agencies to compile individualized predictive mosaics on citizens based on where they travel in a particular geographic area. This information is then compiled in a database and shared with other law enforcement agencies, and sold to private data mining companies.

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