What is your license plate telling police?

Every day, Atlanta police scan license plates to search for lawbreakers – but where does all of the information go?

That’s a good question, and one the Atlanta Police Department refused to ask when Creative Loafing came knocking. Starting in mid-2012 the APD started using automatic license plate recognition systems, or ALPRs, to help track down suspected car theifs and other ne’er-do-wells. The fancy patrol car-mounted machines can read hundreds of license plates each minute, sending a ping to an officer when something hits. But privacy advocates worry law enforcement may be overstepping their bounds and intruding on peoples lives.

As time has gone on, more and more departments have started using the technology.

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Clay Duda is a freelance journalist specializing in investigative reporting, feature writing, editorial photography, and digital media.