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Police License Plate Readers Press Release

August 07, 2013

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Survey: License Plate Recognition is a Valuable, Well-Regulated Technology


Washington, D.C. – License plate recognition (LPR) technology is a powerful tool that helps law enforcers solve crimes and save lives, according to a new survey of law enforcement professionals. The survey, conducted by Vigilant Solutions on behalf of NetChoice, also revealed that there are strong protections in place to prevent against LPR misuse.

Conducted by Vigilant Solutions, the survey polled 504 law enforcement professionals from around the country regarding their agencies use of LPR technology. More than 87 percent of respondents reported that LPR technology had been instrumental in investigating crimes and more than 60 percent reported that LPR had saved lives in their community.

“Opponents of LPR technology are basing their fears on hypothetical behaviors that don’t appear to exist in the real world,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice. “The survey reveals a life-saving technology, subject to strict rules, that has become a mainstay of criminal investigations. To the extent that LPR – like any technology – carries the potential for misuse, lawmakers and advocates should focus their efforts on bad behaviors, not good technology.”

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More than 99 percent of the law enforcement officers polled said that they knew of no instances in which colleagues misused LPR data. More than 90 percent reported that abusing LPR technology for personal purposes would cost them their jobs.

DelBianco said the findings point to a technology marketplace that is working precisely as it should.

“Technology mandates are almost never a good idea,” DelBianco said. “Again and again we’ve seen that the technology marketplace evolves to meet challenges faster and more elegantly than the legislative process ever could.”

NetChoice is a public policy advocacy organization that promotes Internet innovation and communication and fights threats to online commerce at state, federal and international levels. The Washington, DC-based group protects Internet commerce-driven competition and battles rules that hinder consumer choice and hurt small businesses. For more information, see www.netchoice.org.