Big Brother has been spotted in the City of Henderson.

The Henderson City Council has passed a motion to allow for the expenditure of $160,000 in hard earned tax payer money to implement Automated License Plate Recognition Systems (ALPRs) as a means of enforcing traffic laws throughout the city. The ACLU of Nevada is strongly opposed to the use of ALPRs due to a plethora of potential civil rights violations and has submitted written testimony to the Henderson City Council voicing our concern for legislation that is in our opinion, a blatant violation of civil liberties. 

ALPRs allow for the access of personal information of potentially every driver on the road while a majority of those drivers are not engaged in any type of criminal activity. There is broad potential for abuse with the use of overbearing and excessive surveillance that does not adequately justify law enforcement interests, especially when the privacy interests of society are paramount to those of law enforcement. From the ACLU of Nevada’s perspective, there is no compelling state interest that justifies the enactment of such wide sweeping data mining of a majority of citizens that have in no way acted illegally. 

Furthermore, there is not enough information as to what can and will be done with the collected data from ALPRs and how it will be disseminated. In an age when we are already asked to give up an immense amount of privacy in return for security, it is extremely irresponsible for government to try and further their watchful hand in an attempt to collect data on the majority of law abiding citizens for relatively minor offenses. 

To view the ACLU of Nevada’s testimony to the Henderson City Council, click here.