License plate scanners approved

Cuyahoga County  Council hearing

(Cuyahoga County) - Cleveland and 18 suburbs are getting license plate scanners. 

Cuyahoga County Council approved funding for the scanners at a cost of more than $870,000. 

Seventy-three scanners will be stationed at various intersections and will read license plates as vehicles pass by.

Local law enforcers claim the automated devices will help track stolen vehicles and criminals. However, Mike Brickner of the Ohio ACLU says the data could be used to track law-abiding citizens and violate their privacy. 

He tells Newsradio WTAM 1100 that there are few safeguards restricting the use and storage of data from the scanners. 

Brickner contends that in the wrong hands, the information could be used to blackmail people, pry into the lives of innocent citizens, or to stifle activists and political activity. 

Brickner says the ACLU will continue to press Cuyahoga County Council to pass legislation restricting who has access to the data and how it can be used. 

Mobile scanners on police cruisers have been in use since 2010, in Lorain, Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM & Getty Images)

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