Nearly a decade ago, the Minneapolis Police Department started mounting automatic license plate readers on squad cars, presumably to aid with traffic enforcement. Then a Star Tribune investigation revealed that the MPD had purchased the technology without realizing (or perhaps not caring) that the data would be public.
MPD turned over more than 2 million plate scans — without any infrastructure to protect people’s privacy rights. Anyone could learn your daily routine by getting your license plate number.
During the recent push to ban facial recognition technology (FRT) in Minneapolis, we mentioned this story frequently when talking to lawmakers and