Daily Dashboard

Who Holds the Key to the Cache of Car Data?

SURVEILLANCE—U.S.

March 1, 2010

Consumer advocates are warning that controls are needed to protect the motorists' data recorded by commercial outfits, reports the New York Times. "It's a huge Pandora's box," says Jack Gillis of the Consumer Federation of America, citing the potential for "tremendous violations." Database and auto-repossession companies are among those who use automatic license plate recognition technology in their daily operations. Advocates say that, among others, this begs the following questions: How long are the photos stored? How secure is the data? Is the data shared? Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center offers a scenario of misuse, noting that while many companies say their data is encrypted, "you have to ask, 'who has the key?'" (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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