Local police in Virginia will retain their ability to collect data from license plate reader cameras for at least another year, even though an attorney general's opinion last year declared that doing so was illegal, says the Washington Post. On Monday, the second of two bills in the General Assembly to limit police collection of such data was tabled for the year, after both legislators agreed that their bills required more study and more specific wording.
This means the debate weighing the importance of personal privacy vs. solving crimes and finding missing persons will continue for another year. The conversation is happening across the country as politicians try to decide how long data collected from license plate reader cameras — which can snap hundreds of license plate photos per minute, with time, date and location information — can be maintained. After a ruling by then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II last year, the Virginia State Police began dumping their license data after 24 hours. But many police departments decided to ignore the attorney general's opinion.