Detroit OKs $5 million expansion of license plate reader technology

Detroit City Council on Tuesday approved a $5 million expansion of the use of license plate readers across the city, using federal pandemic relief funds.

It’s the latest City Council vote on surveillance technology that has ignited debate in the community. Other surveillance tools Detroit police utilize include ShotSpotter — City Council last year OK’d spending $8.5 million on the gunshot detection technology amid fierce support and opposition — Project Green Light video surveillance and facial recognition technology.

Full story: Detroit OKs $5 million expansion of license plate reader technology

2 Replies to “Detroit OKs $5 million expansion of license plate reader technology”

  1. Detroit has voted for using millions of federal funds to put up cameras that are license plate readers. They supposedly do not take pictures of the driver or capture the faces. Kentucky Officials have said otherwise meaning faces can be captured on the license plate readers. The readers would only be used for car theft and violent crimes. They would not be used for traffic violations, because that goes against the Detroit police policy. The picture of the license plate from the camera is stored for 90 days. One problem with these cameras is that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has frequently purchased access to this database. ICE could use this data to deport or question immigrants. This would be something Detroit police should stop before signing any contracts. Would the benefits of these license plate readers such as helping find people who committed violent crimes or auto theft outweigh the amount of freedom we are given being under constant surveillance?

    1. Hi Laci, everyday technology pushes the thin line of freedom without constant surveillance and protecting citizens from violent criminals. License plate readers such as those in Detroit seem to be effective in their intended goal but have a lot of unintended consequences. ICE having access to their databases threatens the livelihood of families in the US, which is unfair given the reach of the cameras and the fact that they were only intended to take picture of license plates. License plate cameras that also take pictures of faces and keep them on databases is false-advertisement ,and it should be announced to the public that their picture is also being taken. I personally think that the money spent on the high-tech license plate scanners could be reallocated and used for better resources.

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