CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Automatic license plate recognition cameras have been in South Florida for years.
Police consider them a useful crime fighting tool.
But now they are being called into question over how the data collected is eventually being used.
“I think we need to wake up and realize our privacy is important,” said Raul Mas Canosa, who is suing the city.
Camera clusters, such as one across from the University of Miami on US1, are scattered throughout Coral Gables.
“I suspect that these companies are not really in the business of security,” said Mas Canosa. “They are in the data mining business. There is a lot of money to be made by tracking our movements everyday.”
His lawsuit claims “The unlawful and invasive policies…using dozens of automatic license plate recognition cameras and software, the City surreptitiously tracks, records, collects, and aggregates the personal and private activities of its citizens and visitors, without any prior suspicion of wrongdoing….Furthermore, it shares this data with a private vendor, who sells it to still other governmental entities.”
Mas Canosa says, “Selling that information to insurance companies, to banks, to other institutions that have a need to know where we are going everyday.”
Coral Gables’ city attorney doesn’t see things that way.
“The complaint contains numerous factual inaccuracies about the City’s ALPR program and the legal claims that the complaint asserts are also contrary to well-established case law,” said the attorney.
Mas Canosa’s response?
“See you in court.”