AS A police officer who is soon to retire after more than 27 years on the job, I am a bit hesitant at the idea of license plate reading devices on dashboards of cruisers (“Under all-seeing eyes,” Page A1, April 9). This technology is exploding rapidly and police departments are scanning countless license plates of cars that happen to drive past police cruisers.
I am concerned about privacy and possible misuses of this technology. As a crime-fighting tool, license recognition technology seems very worthwhile, but is it not also a great revenue enhancer for local communities to use instead of raising taxes? Is that a good reason to invade our privacy while motoring?
I don’t often side with the American Civil Liberties Union, but I am concerned like the ACLU is about databases recording the movements of people in the course of an ordinary day. Before moving too quickly, we need to assure citizens that we aren’t being spied on to build databases. The job of the police is to serve and protect, but not necessarily record.