Profile photo of

In the air or on the ground, here’s more of the tracking capabilities. Probably none of us are ICE targets here, but the mere fact that the technology is being used by the feds and others, and the fact that there is considerable input from multiple unnamed sources as you read even just this excerpt, should be of concern to anyone who cares at all about personal privacy, liberty, etc. Here’s just an excerpt from the full article – again, focus on the capability, not the target population associated with this article:

ICE agents would be able to query that database in two ways. A historical search would turn up every place a given license plate has been spotted in the last five years, a detailed record of the target’s movements. That data could be used to find a given subject’s residence or even identify associates if a given car is regularly spotted in a specific parking lot.

“Knowing the previous locations of a vehicle can help determine the whereabouts of subjects of criminal investigations or priority aliens to facilitate their interdiction and removal,” an official privacy assessment explains. “In some cases, when other leads have gone cold, the availability of commercial LPR data may be the only viable way to find a subject.”

ICE agents can also receive instantaneous email alerts whenever a new record of a particular plate is found — a system known internally as a “hot list.” (The same alerts can also be funneled to the Vigilant’s iOS app.) According to the privacy assessment, as many as 2,500 license plates could be uploaded to the hot list in a single batch, although the assessment does not detail how often new batches can be added. With sightings flooding in from police dashcams and stationary readers on bridges and toll booths, it would be hard for anyone on the list to stay unnoticed for long.

Note the reference in the 2nd paragraph to “commercial LPR [license plate reader] data.” That could be read multiple ways, with multiple implications – not many of which are soothing go-to-sleep thoughts.


Combining that with the “eye in the sky” story in the above post, and knowing that’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of capability, leaves one with less than a comfortable sense of peaceable privacy. Cameras everywhere – just slow down and look around some time (plus the ones high above that you don’t see) ….