Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR’s) are used to automatically spot, photograph and record license plates. Plus, they photograph the car the plate is on! Then your license plate (and all that other information) is forever stored in a variety of databases. Remember, this records and stores the precise location (within a few yards!) of where your car was spotted.
There are a variety of reasons ALPR’s are dangerous.
First of all, they are difficult to defeat because your license plate must be displayed everywhere you go and the LPR’s are all over. Sure there are thousands of stationary readers in places like parking garages and along public roads, but they’re also on police cars, repossession companies use them, some buses and even some trash trucks use them!
Because you can’t cover or conceal your license plate, it is in constant danger of being recorded with your location down to within 36 inches or so!
Imagine this… even if you register your car through an LLC, a trust, or your attorney’s office that doesn’t protect you!
Sure, if someone runs your plate through the Department of Motor Vehicles, the address may trace back to your attorney’s office. But if they run your plate through a database that uses LPR’s to collect information, they are likely to see your car parked in front of your house, at your place of employment, at your church and at all the places you go, which you thought no one knew about!
Second of all, there is no regulation at all. Currently, there is no regulation on how this information is collected, recorded (including history) or shared. None.
Thirdly, both the government and private sector use LPR’s. You might consider it bad enough that the government has a detailed record of where you’ve been, but really consider for a moment what it means that the private sector holds these records.
When the government holds these records, there is at least the veil of “reasonable use”. And let’s face it, the government doesn’t care about you or where you’ve been until they need that information for something.
The private sector, on the other hand, loves to track you and know everything about you and is actively seeking to sell that information to anyone they can. 24/7 they are trying to sell your private information.
Fourth, the data never goes away. Even if no one cares today about tracking you, at any given time, they can go back and see everywhere your car has been recorded for years. You have no control over this. You can’t even find out when or where they photographed you and your car!
Private investigators have essentially unlimited access to these databases of license plate location histories. Currently, there are well over 10 billion of these photos/plates/locations easily and cheaply available to private investigators.
In fact, as of 2021, the average license plate and vehicle are recorded over 9 times in these databases. That means YOU are likely in the database nine times!
Catch-22: License plate covers do offer some limited protection from these ALPR’s. Not much. Not much at all really, but if 1 in 10 times they obscure the reader’s photo, well, at least that’s better than nothing. The problem is, license plate covers that actually help are largely illegal. This means that you’re drawing more attention to yourself with the cover than you’re avoiding!
Real Pro Tip: Get a new license plate every year.
Sure, it costs a few extra dollars to get a new license plate rather than simply getting a new validation sticker, but your new plate has no history in the database! If I run your plate now, I might come up with nothing or only a couple of locations rather than nine!
Last resort Tip: If you start today parking your car so the tag is hidden from view (say backing into a parking space against a bush or wall), you ‘ll lessen the odds of your plate being photographed and cataloged.
I hope you find this information valuable!
Committed to your success and safety,
Private Investigator &
#1 Best Selling Author
P.S. – And, of course, don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…
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This week’s blog tips come straight out of my #1 Best Selling book 51 Weird Private Investigator Tricks That Actually Work: How to Trick, Track, Find and Follow Someone Like a Pro