Privacy advocate detained at gunpoint when license plate readers mistakenly marked his car stolen

Brian Hofer has worked for the last half decade on defending citizens’ rights to privacy and creating tighter oversight surrounding the use of mass surveillance techniques and technology. As chair of Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission, Hofer, 41, has railed against what he describes as the seemingly arbitrary use of Automated License Plate Readers — cameras that ping police and private agencies by matching plate numbers with “vehicles of interest.”