The Bangor Daily News reprints a Bloomberg article on the explosive growth in the use of automobile license plate scanners, leaving you no place for privacy. Here’s a bit; follow the link for the rest:
It appears a new reality is emerging in which simply leaving home in your car makes you a likely target of surveillance. But, as efficient and effective as license plate scanners appear to be, they carry huge costs as well. The auto industry — which is already struggling to maintain its long-term marketing strategy of associating car ownership with that emotional touchstone personal freedom — may find that these profound social shifts further erode its pitch that “we don’t sell cars, we sell freedom.” Without their appeal to freedom, automobiles will struggle to compete with more pragmatic (if nontraditional) alternatives, such as car sharing and public transportation.
But the use of license plate scanners and other car surveillance techniques may already be so embedded as to prevent any rollback. And with private companies leading the way in normalizing surveillance in the name of financial savings — as Progressive Insurance has done with its Snapshot program, which offers discounts in return for collecting data about driver activity and behavior — the public may already be so inured to it as to quell any public outrage to the recent revelations.