Virginia Awards $1.6 Million for License Plate Readers Despite Privacy Concerns

Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board has awarded $1.6 million in grants for the purchase of license plate readers, despite concerns over privacy, Nathaniel Cline reports for Virginia Mercury. The grants will enable 32 localities to acquire 212 devices as part of a broader allocation of $53.5 million in federal funds for law enforcement equipment and training.

The decision has reignited debate from the last legislative session, when a bill allowing law enforcement agencies to use and store license plate reader data was defeated. Critics are arguing that the technology threatens privacy, while supporters believe it is a valuable tool for law enforcement. The issue of license plate reader usage has been the subject of lawsuits and previous legislative efforts with privacy advocacy groups expressing concerns over data sharing and the potential diversion of funds from other crime-fighting initiatives.


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