RICHMOND, Va. (Dec. 28, 2015) – A bill prefiled in the Virginia legislature for the 2016 session would put limitations on the storage and sharing of information collected by Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) by law enforcement in the state, and place significant roadblocks in the way of a federal program using states to help track the location of millions of everyday people through pictures of their license plates.
Del. Bob Marshall (R-13) prefiled House Bill 141 (HB141) on Dec. 21. The legislation would prohibit Virginia law enforcement agencies from collecting or maintaining personal information in a manner where such data is of unknown relevance and not intended for prompt evaluation and potential use respecting suspected criminal activity or terrorism by any person without a warrant. The bill sets strict limits on storage and sharing of data legally collected without a warrant.
Notwithstanding the restrictions set forth in this subdivision, law-enforcement agencies shall be allowed to collect information from license plate readers without a warrant; however, any information collected from a license plate reader shall be retained for no more than seven days and shall not be subject to any outside inquiries or internal usage except for the investigation of a crime or a report of a missing person.
HB141 also prohibits law enforcement agencies from obtaining ALPR information from a third party vendor if the agency would not have been permitted to collect or retain it pursuant to the law.
Passage of HB141 would prevent the state…