Organizations not thrilled with new Chicago PD license plate readers

A new program that allows the police to scan license plates and digitally track their data, to help combat the city’s high numbers of carjackings, has come under fire by nonprofit groups that are worried about the new technology invading civil liberties.

License Plate Reader technology will soon be featured on 200 new police vehicles to help combat carjackings beginning this month and finishing in March, according the mayor’s office.

The program centers on License Plate Readers, devices that attach to the top of police cars and scan license plates to record the time, date and location and upload it to a database, said Dave Maass, senior investigative researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that “defends civil liberties in the digital world.” After the data is recorded, it will be compared with a “hot list” of license plates that are connected to crimes, Maass said.