Vehicle location data

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Vehicle location data is the big data collection of vehicle locations, including automatic vehicle location data. This usually includes times and often photographs as well.[1]

automatic number plate recognition of vehicle registration plates from images collected by cameras mounted on vehicles or fixtures along roads, [1]
[2] [3] [4] as well as radio-frequency identification (RFID) from dedicated short-range communications transponders[5] [6] (such as those used for electronic toll collection and parking lots). Databases of this information may be maintained by government or private entities. Private companies use vehicle location data for vehicle repossession and consumer profiling.[1] Government databases have been subjected to legal orders for location data.[6][7] Access may be restricted to use in criminal cases, but may also be available for civil cases, such as divorce.[7]

Automatic number plate recognition

Vehicle registration plates may be automatically scanned with equipment, mountable on vehicles, that identifies an image characteristic of a registration plates, takes a photograph, and reads and records the registration number.[1] Such scanning may be done by government [1][2] or private industry.[1][3][4] Private industry collects this information for profit through, directly or indirectly, activities such as consumer profiling and repossession.[1][4] Companies have collected over 1 billion scans of registration plates in the United States,[4] stored in multiple national databases.


Radio-frequency identification (RFID) read from dedicated short-range communication transponders voluntarily obtained by citizens for electronic toll collection enable recording of time and location data at toll crossings.[7] Scanning equipment has also been installed at additional, non-toll locations,[8][5] enabling further data collection. Transponders have also been hacked, allowing reading and tracking by unauthorized parties.[9] [10]

Privacy concerns

The American Civil Liberties Union issued a report on license plate tracking, finding that the vast majority of scans collected are the vehicles of innocent persons.[11] [3] [12]

See also


  1. ^
    Wall Street Journal
    . Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  2. ^
    Center for Investigative Reporting
    . Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Pilkington, Ed (17 July 2013). "Millions of US license plates tracked and stored, new ACLU report finds". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Aegerter, Gil (19 July 2013). "License plate data not just for cops: Private companies are tracking your car". NBC News. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b Lutz, Jaime (8 May 2013). "Big Brother has it 'E-Z': City now tracking cars through local streets thanks to E-ZPass". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b Tynan, Dan (2010-06-27). "Location-Tracking Services: Why You Should Think Twice". PC World. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Newmarker, Chris (10 August 2007). "Adultery has a new monitor: E-ZPass". USA Today. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  8. ^ Hill, Kashmir (12 September 2013). "E-ZPasses Get Read All Over New York (Not Just At Toll Booths)". Forbes. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  9. CNET Networks
    . Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  10. ^ Lawson, Nate (7 August 2008). "FasTrak talk summary and slides". Root Labs. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  11. ^ "You Are Being Tracked: How License Plate Readers Are Being Used to Record Americans' Movements". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  12. ^ Sullivan, Bob (17 July 2013). "ACLU: Digital dragnet ensnares millions of innocent drivers". NBC News. Retrieved 13 February 2019.