Seattle Suburb Has its Eyes on License Plates

In the Seattle suburb of Medina, security cameras are now capturing all vehicle driving into the city, and using license plate recognition software to check cars and drivers for criminal records.

"Under the 'automatic license plate recognition' project, once a car enters Medina, a camera captures its license-plate number. Within seconds, the number is run through a database.

If a hit comes up for a felony - say, the vehicle was reported stolen or is being driven by a homicide suspect - the information is transmitted instantaneously to police, who can 'leap into action,' said Police Chief Jeffrey Chen."

Officials hope the program will cut down crime, and some have argued that crime prevention outweighs the right to privacy. Civil libertarians call the move an intrusion.

Full Story: Cameras keep track of all cars entering Medina

Comments

Comments

Privacy Issues

If you don't want the police tracking you by your car's license plate number don't drive.

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95