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New ALPR Vulnerabilities Prove Mass Surveillance Is a Public Safety Threat

[Dave Maass and Cooper Quintin at EFF]

"When law enforcement uses ALPRs to document the comings and goings of every driver on the road, regardless of a nexus to a crime, it results in gargantuan databases of sensitive information, and few agencies are equipped, staffed, or trained to harden their systems against quickly evolving cybersecurity threats."

As the EFF points out, it's often vulnerable software - and even when it's not, it violates the security principle of only collecting the information you need. Information security and data strategies are not core law enforcement skillsets, and the software they buy is often oversold.

As the EFF explains:

"That partially explains why, more than 125 law enforcement agencies reported a data breach or cyberattacks between 2012 and 2020, according to research by former EFF intern Madison Vialpando. The Motorola Solutions article claims that ransomware attacks "targeting U.S. public safety organizations increased by 142 percent" in 2023."

The use of these tactics seems uncontrolled - perhaps this is one area where legislation could help.


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