Automated License Plate Readers: Legal and Policy Evaluation

January 2023 - January 2023

Executive Summary

Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) are a surveillance technology that can alert law enforcement about vehicle locations in real-time or provide information on past movements. In recent years, growing numbers of public and private entities have begun using ALPRs, moving some communities to implement policies aimed at limiting the potential damage posed by the technology. This memo analyzes legal and policy concerns related to the technology. It concludes by suggesting policy options that communities can advocate for, including a ban or moratorium and appropriate safeguards if the technology is used.

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