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Boston Police indefinitely suspend license plate reader program citing privacy concerns

15
Dec
2013

Privacy advocates scored a major victory in Boston this week when the city’s police department announced it would indefinitely suspend its use of automated license plate readers. Commissioner William Evans aims to review the policy surrounding license plate readers so he knows that it’s being used effectively and that it doesn’t invade anyone’s privacy, said spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca. When the unredacted data was finally released in July, it revealed the precise GPS data and license plate numbers for over 40,000 different vehicles, prompting the department to freeze the program while it figures out how to proceed. The Globe reveals that the license plate with the highest number of scans was flagged for lapsed insurance over 90 times, while a stolen Harley Davidson was spotted 59 times between October 2012 and March 2013, nearly always at the same time of day.

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