Every Step You Take

Or more accurately, every move you make.  At least in your car.  And in Oakland.  And who knows where else.

Personal privacy in our country continues to be unraveled and assaulted in myriad ways.  Oftentimes through what we voluntarily disclose, but also through the collection of data on any number of our activities, such as driving.  In Oakland, police have 33 license plate readers that record license plate numbers.  That information is publicly available.

That may not seem like a big deal, but if just about anyone can get hold of that information, and they get hold of a sufficient quantity of that data, then they can begin to assemble information about you that you might never intend that person to know.  Like where you live, where you like to hang out.  We go about our daily routines assuming that we are more or less invisible (if we live in a large enough city).  Increasingly, we need to realize that we are not invisible.  We are being tracked by people constantly, ostensibly in the name of public safety or security, but usually without very well-defined purposes.  And even for purposes of law enforcement and public safety, the vast majority of the data collected has no bearing on criminals, but people not under suspicion of any crime.

Does your city implement technology in this way?  Have they indicated what they intend to accomplish by it, and are they forthcoming about the reality that this information will be publicly accessible?  Is this even a source of concern?

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