Town of 9,000 to set up photo database of visitor license plates

One has to really wonder just how bad the crime spree must be in a town of only 9,000 people that they feel the need to be able to photograph the license plates of every car entering, and leaving, the town. Especially since the town of Tiburon, on the shores of San Francisco Bay, only reported a total of 99 thefts, 20 burglaries and two auto thefts for all of 2008.

The advantage that Tiburon has in this case is that it is located on a narrow peninsula with only one road into the town and one road out of it. It is in these two spots that the Town Manager Peggy Curran is saying that the still cameras will be setup to only take pictures of license plates. According to officials the photographs would only be kept for 30 to 60 days, unless there was a crime committed during that time, before being erased.

Lee Tien, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, appreciates Tiburon officials’ efforts to limit the use of the license plate database.

But he is still not sold on the idea.

“The logic is always, well, wait a minute. If you keep pushing this, then that means we should track everyone just because some people might be bad guys. That’s not the way I think America is supposed to be.”

Source: AP – Town on SF Bay wants to photograph every car

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