Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Gann: warrantless license plate scanner tracking is not authorized by state law

Warrantless License Plate Scanner Tracking is Not Authorized By State Law

Oklahoma City (March 18th) -- State Representative Tom Gann issued a statement today following the dramatic defeat of SB 1620 on Thursday.

"In 2016, the legislature made the unfortunate decision to authorize the use of license plate scanner technology for the purpose of insurance verification. That law limited the use of this intrusive technology to that purpose only. This year, the legislature considered House Bill 3570, which was not heard prior to the 3rd reading deadline, and Senate Bill 1620, which was defeated on Thursday by a wide margin — becoming one of the very few bills to be defeated on the Senate floor. These bills would have authorized the use of this technology for purposes other than insurance verification. As these laws have failed, it's important for the public and city councils across the state to know that: There is no specific statutory authorization for using these systems."

While the legislature was considering these proposals, Gann says that numerous concerning details have been brought forward.

While the advocates of this data advocate for its ability to automate NCIC and Amber alert scanning, it's clear that the real impact of this technology is to create a database of vehicles' travels, complete with the vehicles' identifiers, including its bumper stickers, and to then allow warrantless searches of that data, data that's stored in the cloud and that is then subsequently shared with many, many diverse government entities including those that are not in Oklahoma.

To demonstrate this concern, Gann pointed to the fact that in the past 30 days, Tulsa's data collection has been queried 2,143 times compared to 1,364 Amber and NCIC alerts.

"That's 2,143 searches that have clearly occurred without a warrant and undoubtedly compromised the information of many innocent persons," Gann states.

Gann also states that departments who use this technology have been known to share access to the data collection with federal agencies, including the FBI and ATF.

"No Oklahoman should ever have to worry about their movements being shared with the Biden Administration's federal police state," Gann declared. "That's clearly what this technology is enabling."

In the case of the Del City Police Department, that Department appears to be sharing their information with more than 60 other government entities including the US Postal Service, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the Texas Financial Crimes Intelligence Center.

In addition to sharing Oklahomans' travel data with many government entities, the technology also appears to allow government entities to create custom hit lists that will inform them whenever certain people attempt to travel into or within their city limits.

"In my view, these abuses are clear violations of the 4th Amendment, and are not specifically authorized by state law. By defeating SB 1620 by such a wide margin, the Legislature has clearly signaled that it doesn't intend to authorize them at any point in the near future."

Tulsa: https://archive.is/SMyNY
Del City: https://archive.is/Jcq7e


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