A Kansas City area lawmaker wants to crackdown on automated license plate reader systems that are used to catch lawbreakers. The bill from Sen. Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee’s Summit, prevents state agencies and local governments from purchasing, installing, or using them and capturing data from vehicles on public roadways.

“Technology is something that is expanding everyday, and it just concerns me that a license plate reader, what bothers me about it is, I’ve talked with my local police department, I haven’t done enough research on it, yet, but they have said it’s helped them capture some people,” Cierpiot told Missourinet. “That’s all fine and good, but it’s reading everything. My concern is what do they do with that information?”

Exceptions would be made for the plate readers on police vehicles, and for how the data is accessed and used by a third party for law enforcement.

“I think most people are a little bit reluctant to be tracked all the time. Not that we’re doing anything. Just, you don’t want people to watch or see what you’re doing,” he said. “It’s just, I think it’s a human nature (thing). So, what I want to do is find out exactly what those records go to because if they’re doing a look up against a database to find license plates that are wanted, then that means they’re compared to something that that means they’re storing it.”

Cierpiot said that it’s all about safety and privacy.

“It’s just one of these things with government and technology, we’re being watched more and more and more and I know in the public, if there’s a camera out, they have a right to do that. If you’re in the public, you should probably expect it to be on a camera from time-to-time. But license plate readers are just a little bit different. I’m not saying we need to get rid of them,” he said. “I just want to make sure that whatever we do we have a state law that people could rely on and protects people.”

A Senate committee vote could be held on the bill soon.

Click here for more information on SB 1377.

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