Seattle Police Made 1.6 Million License Plate Scans in Three Months


If you drive in Seattle, there is a good chance the police department knows where your car has been at least once in the past three months, says the Seattle Times. Police recorded license plates on 72 percent of city streets while searching for stolen cars and chronic parking offenders during an 86-day period this past summer. In all, police made more than 1.6 million scans of more than 600,000 unique plates. Citywide, the scans yielded 1,858 stolen cars and illegal parkers. The analysis provides the first snapshot of the Seattle Police Department's license-plate-scanner program. It has come under scrutiny amid concerns about how much information government agencies collect. Critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union, complain that retaining the records on vehicles' whereabouts could potentially lead to abuse.

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