The California State Auditor released a report Thursday criticizing how law enforcement agencies have handled data collected by automated license plate readers.
The audit looked at four agencies, including the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, and found problems with how hundreds of millions of images were gathered, stored and shared. State Sen. Scott Wiener requested the audit.
“The fact that we have law enforcement agencies that are violating state law, adopting no policies to protect the data, or incomplete policies, retaining this data for years and years, and disseminating it broadly, that's a huge problem and has to stop,” Wiener said.
The audit recommends having the California Department of Justice develop a policy for automated license plate reader use and giving the department power to make sure the policy is being implemented.
“We are going to ask the attorney general to crack down on these agencies that are violating existing state law,” Wiener said. “It’s really unacceptable.”
Wiener says he plans on crafting legislation to address some of the problems, including privacy protection, to “make sure that this data is not being indefinitely retained and to make sure it’s not being broadly disseminated.”
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