Privacy Concerns Rise Over Ohio's License Plate Scanners
#1 Feb 14, 2013
The argument as I see it is, succinctly: Does a person have a reasonable expectation of privacy from governmental examination of the information contained in the several databases cross-checked when a license plate displayed on a vehicle is entered into a automated query system? If so, should there be a level of cause in order to justify an initiation of such governmental inquiry?
My OPINION: Yes, there is a reasonable expectation of privacy of the information. And yes, a governmental entity should be required to show at least some level of cause for access and examination to and of said information.
The GOV'T's view: Information available through inquiries of associated license plate information is, virtually exclusively, a matter of public record and, therefore, is not protected by a justifiable expectation of privacy. Thus, arbitrary and automated inquiries are valid (as well as fruits of evidence gleaned from the lawful inquiry).
This excerpt (author unknown) initiates an applicable summary thusly:
'Exploring Constitutional Conflicts'
"The U. S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy. The Bill of Rights, however, reflects the concern of James Madison and other framers for protecting specific aspects of privacy, such as the privacy of beliefs (1st Amendment), privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), privacy of the person and possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment), and the 5th Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination, which provides protection for the privacy of personal information. In addition, the Ninth Amendment states that the "enumeration of certain rights" in the Bill of Rights "shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people." The meaning of the Ninth Amendment is elusive, but some persons (including Justice Goldberg in his Griswold concurrence) have interpreted the Ninth Amendment as justification for broadly reading the Bill of Rights to protect privacy in ways not specifically provided in the first eight amendments."
SOLUTION?= initiate state-level action to codify statutes requiring governmental agencies to establish reasonable, articulable suspicion or other standard of cause prior to the initiation of a privately owned and operated vehicle license plate alphanumeric designation...
That is to say, call upon your duly elected representatives if you are in disagreement with current standard procedures of governmental inquiry as they relate to automated, arbitrary examination of license plate information.
#2 Feb 14, 2013
(*apologies for grammatical errors)
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