FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the Virginia Supreme Court to take up a case that challenges how long police departments can hold onto data from automatic license plate readers.
The ACLU sued Fairfax County police over the issue, trying to end the department’s practice of keeping license plate data for a year. The Washington Post reports that a judge threw the case out last month, saying a license plate is not “personal information.”
Police call license plate readers a valuable crime-fighting tool, but some worry they can be used to track people’s movements.
The Virginia Supreme Court could make a precedent-setting decision if it takes up the ACLU’s appeal. Police departments could be allowed to keep license data indefinitely or to get rid of it almost immediately.
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