“Be Vewy Vewy Quiet, We’re Hunting the Fourth Amendment”
Along with many other privacy concerns in this growing Information Age, license plate scanners have become a hot topic of debate. And Vigilant Solutions, one company providing law enforcement with such power, doesn’t want customers talking about it.
Vigilant Solutions, founded in 2009, claims to have the nation’s largest repository of license-plate images with nearly 2 billion records stored in its National Vehicle Location Service (NVLS). Despite the enormous implications of the database for the public, any law enforcement agency that signs up for the service is sworn to a vow of silence by the company’s terms of service.
But only criminals have their license plate information filed away for easy access, right?
That database is used by law enforcement and others to track stolen cars or vehicles used in crimes, as well as to locate illegal immigrants, kidnapping victims and others — though the vast majority of license plates stored belong to ordinary drivers who aren’t suspected of a crime.
Just to remind folks, since the Fourth Amendment needs all the love it can get nowadays, here’s what it says:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,” which has become the new norm, falls far short of “innocent until proven guilty,” the standard our nation is supposed to uphold. And it’s a standard Campaign for Liberty will keep fighting to restore.