A Bradley man has gone to war against Orland Park after being scanned at the mall, and issued a ticket for an expired license plate sticker.According to the Southtown Star, Ron Suryk is furious about being scanned and ticketed in a private lot at the Orland Square Mall, despite admitting that this sticker was expired and the offense was legitimate.
Police deparments routinely use automatic license plate scanners in mall parking lots nationwide, searching for stolen vehicles, drivers with open criminal warrants, and other offenses.
They can scan thousands of plates per hour, match drivers and cars with government databases, identify any vehicles wanted for any reason, and instantly alert the police to take action. The police cruisers only need to be in visual camera range of the plate, even with both vehicles moving.
So while many people would say that Suryk was probably overreacting, government surveillance is a valid privacy concern. Especially when private businesses start doing more than passively allowing these police actions, in this case.
But in California, some malls are taking it much further. These malls are now deploying their own license plate scanners, recording the identity of everyone who drivers in their parking lots, and sharing that data with police databases.
Being indignant over perceived poor hospitality by a town or a mall is one thing, but many people would be even more concerned to learn now much of their lives is completely monitored and tracked by the government.
These stories will keep coming as these technologies continue to become cheaper and more widespread.
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