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Collecting debts and license plate recognition technology

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - Posted by Philip Harvey

In the US, License plate recognition technology has steadily been on the rise. In a staggering statistic, one aggregator of the data that receives information from the repossession companies estimates it has scans of 40% of all cars in the US. The technology can scan up to 1,800 license plates per minute and is currently priced between $10k- $17k US, and on the way down.


Privacy advocates in the US are alarmed at the dramatic increase in the use of the technology and the fact that there are no laws preventing its use currently in place.


Repossession companies have reportedly targeted lower socio economic areas, where they receive more positive hits for vehicles that have client instructions for repossession. The incentive for this is the $400 earned for each repossessed vehicle. Tow trucks and spotter cars fitted with the technology drive around car parks in attempt to locate vehicles that have active repossession instructions on them.


It w will be interesting to see how this argument unfolds. 


In Australia, next time you enter or exit a car park of a major shopping centre, see if you notice the camera that is taking a photo of your license plate and ask what they do with this data.


This article was sourced from

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