CBP does end run around warrants, simply buys license plate-reader data

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: Hello end game of the third party doctrine: Gleichschaltung. We can curtail it a little bit by enforcing that this kind of end-run can't be legally admissible, but that neither does anything about parallel-construction bullshit nor the more fundamental problem of the gigantic parasites collecting, siloing, and selling access to the data for anyone to abuse. ...or we can at least change liability laws so that data silo firms are liable for the misuse of their data hordes, to make it prohibitively expensive to be an asshole.
The trunk of a black sedan is dotted with electronic devices.

Enlarge / A worker for repo firm Relentless Recovery in Cleveland, Ohio, backs a car equipped with automated license plate recognition cameras out of the garage before going out to scan for cars that need to be repossessed on April 30, 2018. (credit: Dustin Franz | The Washington Post | Getty Images)

US Customs and Border Protection can track everyone's cars all over the country thanks to massive troves of automated license plate scanner data, a new report reveals—and CBP didn't need to get a single warrant to do it. Instead, the agency did just what hundreds of other businesses and investigators do: straight-up purchase access to commercial databases.

CBP has been buying access to commercial automated license plate-reader (ALPR) databases since 2017, TechCrunch reports, and the agency says bluntly that there's no real way for any American to avoid having their movements tracked.

"CBP cannot provide timely notice of license plate reads obtained from various sources outside of its control," the agency wrote in its most recent privacy assessment (PDF). "The only way to opt out of such surveillance is to avoid the impacted area, which may pose significant hardships and be generally unrealistic."

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