Today at the ACLU of Maryland, we are taking our data back and we want you to join us.
Earlier this week the ACLU of Maryland sent requests to state and local police departments for more information about Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs). ALPRs are cameras that are mounted on the back of police cars or on the side of the road that record your license plate every time you pass by. Currently, there are over 320 of these ALPRs in Maryland.
Many of these ALPRs are linked to Maryland's "fusion center", known as the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, where the license plate information is sent and stored in a central database.
Thanks to our request, we already know that the data is retained there for at least a year, but it is unclear just how long individual police departments plan to keep it (or whether the centralized storage could expand). Maryland needs legal protections to limit the collection, retention, and sharing of our travel information - and we need these rules right away.
As use of Automatic License Plate Readers expands, and as more and more data about our travels is stored over time, this system becomes a warrantless tracking tool and we, as Maryland residents, have a right to know what information has been recorded and stored about us.
That is why I have requested my own data from the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center and am asking you to do the same.
Take action to protect your right to privacy. Simply fill out and mail this prepared template, attach a copy of your Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Registration Certificate, and take action today!
Staff Attorney, ACLU of Maryland