California didn’t see this coming when allowing illegals to register vehicles.
Via The Guardian:
California shopping centers are sending data from license plate readers to a private surveillance technology company that partners with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), according to a new report.
The revelation comes at a time of increasing scrutiny of tech firms and private companies that build tools and provide services for the Trump administration’s increasingly aggressive immigration policy. A new research paper this week has also exposed the ways in which prison companies appear to be influencing immigration policy and profiting from expanding partnerships with Ice.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation found that Irvine Company, a real estate developer that operates dozens of malls throughout California, has been conducting vehicle license plate reader surveillance for Vigilant Solutions, a firm that maintains databases and works with law enforcement. The automated license plate recognition technology allows cameras to capture images of plates and link them to GPS locations.
The EFF uncovered a December 2016 disclosure on Irvine Company’s website that it was collecting license plate information along with location and time data and sending it to a “searchable database” operated by Vigilant.
Earlier this year, US officials confirmed that Ice had developed a contract with Vigilant that would give immigration authorities access to the company’s vast database during investigations, sparking privacy concerns and protests. Vigilant has refused to comment on its relationship with Ice.
After the EFF published its report on Tuesday, Irvine Company officials said the firm’s contract with Vigilant specified that the data was “only shared with local police departments”. A spokesman told the Guardian that the technology was in use at three southern California shopping malls – Irvine Spectrum Center in the city of Irvine, Fashion Island in Newport Beach, and the Market Place in Tustin.
Dave Maass, the author of the EFF report, told the Guardian he was skeptical of the claims from Irvine Company, which previously had disclosed few details of its surveillance efforts.
“You could imagine a hypothetical situation if a mall has the Vigilant system … somebody pulls into that parking lot. Maybe Ice gets an immediate alert: ‘Here’s the person, go get them,’” he said, noting that the mechanisms of data sharing are unclear since the companies have been secretive.