The city of Sandusky's license plate reader appears to be part of a nationwide network of systems designed to track Americans and store data on the comings and goings of … everyone.
But the Sandusky Police Department and city officials might not have been aware they were signing on to the federal surveillance program when they approved keeping the equipment.
A group identified as North Coast Homeland Security provided and installed the reader on a Sandusky police cruiser in mid-November, and the Sandusky city commission approved the program about 10 days later.
Two cameras are mounted on the trunk of the SPD cruiser with one facing the rear and one facing the front. As as cars pass, plates can be read from both vantage points.
The American Civil Liberties Union calls the federal funding for license plate readers a dangerous trend, in a report issued by the civil rights organization earlier this month titled 'You are being tracked.'
“More and more cameras, longer retention periods, and widespread sharing allow law enforcement agents to assemble the individual puzzle pieces of where we have been over time into a single, high-resolution image of our lives,” the report sates.
“The knowledge that one is subject to constant monitoring can chill the exercise of our cherished rights to free speech and association.”
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Click here to read the July 2013 ACLU report, 'You are being tracked.'