WBBM-AM 780 spoke with ACLU Attorney Adam Schwartz about a new measure which would regulate the use of automatic license plate readers (ALPRs) by Illinois law enforcement. ALPRs are mounted camera devices used in police cars to scan the license plates on every car in its vicinity. The information collected by the devices are stored in databases and are often used to locate stolen vehicles. However, the ACLU is concerned that ALPRs can be another method for unwarranted surveillance of law-abiding motorists. Schwartz stated:
“Of course, we don’t object to running the plates of passing cars, and seeing if the car going by is the AMBER Alert car everyone’s looking for,” he said.
However, the ACLU objects to unlimited use of the devices.
“What this is is a database of the comings and goings of millions of innocent Americans,” he said.