Outraged reaction by privacy rights advocates, including the ACLU, triggered a retreat by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Agency on Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to access or buy license plate tracking data gathered as cars are noted by surveillance cameras.  With tech-data companies lined up ready to bid on the plan, the solicitation proposal was withdrawn for further review and consideration under the guise that the plan had progressed so far without the knowledge of senior agency officials. Reporting on the departments’ reverse-course on the proposal, Bloomberg cites a July 2013 ACLU study that analyzed license-plate-captured information compiled by police departments in towns and cities across the United States:

“License plate readers are just one example of a disturbing phenomenon: The government is increasingly using new technology to collect information about all of us, all the time, and to store it forever,” the ACLU’s Catherine Crump wrote. “Where people travel can reveal a great deal about them -- where they go to the doctor, who all of their friends are, every deviation from their daily routine. That is not the type of information that should be collected about each and every one of us when there is no reason to believe we are doing anything wrong.”

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