Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

This Company Built a Private Surveillance Network

Government spying is invasive and obnoxious. However, perhaps an even bigger risk is the spying by corporations. One company maintains a surveillance database of 9 billion license plate scans (and growing), accessible by private investigators and most anyone else who can pay for the access. Who knows what these people will do with the information gleaned?

The following is an excerpt from an article by Joseph Cox in the Motherboard web site:

(DRN), is not run by a government, although law enforcement can also access it. Instead, DRN is a private surveillance system crowdsourced by hundreds of repo men who have installed cameras that passively scan, capture, and upload the license plates of every car they drive by to DRN’s database. DRN stretches coast to coast and is available to private individuals and companies focused on tracking and locating people or vehicles. The tool is made by a company that is also called Digital Recognition Network.

“What DRN has built is a nationwide, persistent surveillance database that can potentially track the movements of car owners over long periods of time. In doing so, highly sensitive information about car owners can be made available to anyone who has access to the tool.

“Even if you’re not suspected of a crime or behind on your car payments, your location information may be included in this database—in fact, the vast majority of vehicles captured are connected to innocent people.”

You can read more at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ne879z/i-tracked-someone-with-license-plate-readers-drn.

Categories: Offline Privacy & Security

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