Remember we told you about San Jose and its plan to install license plate readers onto garbage trucks? LPRs are devices that police departments install on patrol cars to automatically read the license plates in front of them.
The idea is to pull over the bad guys if a scanned license plate matches a criminal record. It sounds like a good plan for city governments to consider, if it's keeping your family and you safe. Although, some people are understandably concerned about their privacy.
They might not need to worry so much. Those license-plate-reading garbage trucks could be running into a virtual roadblock.
Some cities are already overloaded with far too much LPR scans. In fact, Oakland, California's police department has maxed out its 80GB hard drive. To put that into context, the computer you're using probably has about 4GB of RAM, or memory.
There's a ton of information being collected. In fact, LPRs, which use optical character recognition technology, can scan up to 60 license plates a second.
Add to that the fact that Oakland and government agencies, like the Drug Enforcement Administration, were saving years' worth of stored LPR scans. Now, Oakland and other cities are putting limits on how long they'll save LPR data. Most cities are cutting back from saving years' worth of scans, to just a few months' worth of scans.