Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Saturday, February 07, 2009
  Does this bother you as much as it bothers me?
(h/t to grandpa)
it bothers me in the context of giving this type of technology to people who have a history of abusing the publics trust. I think we have jumped the shark when it comes to traffic or vehicle violations. It has become more of a funding source and control path than that of a opportunity to promote safety. I would be OK with it if I trusted our "we are here to serve" employees.

The other night I was at a gas station and when I pulled in there were two state police cars getting gas. when I came out noticed that they were both in their cars and as I pulled forward at maybe 10 mph the closest cruiser driver threw his car in drive and started forward. I, being aware of my surroundings was looking at him as I drove on his right, he had to slam on the brakes, obviously embarassed. What did he do? Followed me dow the highway and pulled me over. After the usual license and insurance routine he said do you know why I pulled you over and I said yeah, because you drove ahead without checking your surroundings. I aplogized, for being in his area of responsibility, and you know played the you have all the control game and he gave me back my stuff and we parted ways. So he screws up and blames me. This is what we have to correct. This attitude of superiority that these people believe they have over the people who they proudly display "to serve and protect" enough said.........
Well, let me play devil's advocate for a second.

What bothers you about this, Greg? That you don't know your plate is being run? There is no assumption of privacy when it comes to the exterior of a motor vehicle.

Although I hate to fall back onto the "if you're doing nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about" argument, it's a lot less insidious in this case because it's not intrusive the way a stop-and-frisk is. All cars are equal to this system--no profiling--and frankly, if MY car got stolen and this system could help recover it, I'd be OK with that.

I just don't think THIS particular application rises to the level of personal outrage. It's close, but I think if you really look at what's going on you don't see any infringements on civil liberties here.
I can't say that I mind the simple law enforcement aspect of this. Although using this to enforce some of the more mundane infractions like out of date insurance, etc... strike me as overkill.

What sends a shiver down my spine is that the data that can be compiled from such a system to track and predict movement. I understand that people have no reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to the exterior of their vehicles, but the creation of a system that can divine the movements of a person, past and present, based upon ***random*** surveillance, bugs the heck out of libertarian sensibilities.
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