The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency now has access to a nationwide database of license plate readers.
According to The Verge, this means the agency can track in real time the location of cars spotted by repossession agencies, private groups and camera-equipped police cars. That all amounts to as many as 100 million sightings per month, which could be used in criminal investigations and searches for undocumented immigrants.
Technology of this nature is used by other law enforcement agencies, and the data is also collected from cameras on street poles, streetlights and highway overpasses. Privacy advocates worry about the technology's surveillance power and warn it can be used to violate the rights of targeted minority groups — such as Muslim communities and communities of color.