Appeals Court Says Police Can Withhold License Plate Scans

CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police don’t have to disclose license plate records that advocacy groups sought to gauge how high-tech surveillance was being used, a California appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The unanimous ruling by the 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected a California Public Records Act request for data compiled by the Los Angeles police and sheriff’s departments.

Law enforcement departments across the country are increasingly using automated license plate readers mounted on patrol cars and fixed locations to check plate numbers against a “hot list” of vehicles associated with crimes, such as stolen cars, child abductions or arrest warrants.

Police can store the data for years to use in future investigations and Los Angeles police said they had used the information to identify a vehicle linked to a homicide and another at the location of an armed robbery.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation contended the…

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