IP Source

Sunday 5 February 2012

Victoria and ALPR

New submitter cqwww writes on SlashDot, "A small magazine in Victoria, BC just uncovered a massive public traffic surveillance system deployed in Canada. Here's a quote from the article: 'Normally, area police manually key in plate numbers to check suspicious cars in the databases of the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC) and ICBC. With Automatic License Plate Recognition, for $27,000, a police cruiser is mounted with two cameras and software that can read license plates on both passing and stationary cars.

According to the vendors, thousands of plates can be read hourly with 95-98 percent accuracy, while the vehicle is in motion. In August 2011, VicPD Information and Privacy Manager Debra Taylor called me to explain that, even though VicPD had the ALPR system in one of their cruisers, the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] ran the system, and I should contact them for any information. "We actually don’t have a program," Taylor said. "We don’t have any documents per se." ... A month later, Taylor handed over 600 pages. ... [The claim they kept no documents] was apparently only in reference to digital information. VicPD had kept 500 pages of written, hard-copy logs of every ALPR hit they’d ever seen.'"

(Ed.note) I was aware of this last summer actually. The Times Colonist reported that 1 (maybe 4) vehicles were testing the system. At that time, they had deployed a 6 camera configuration, and VicPD said they were sucessful at speeds of up to 80kmph. Therefore not only were they scanning the traffic going both ways, they were also scanning parked cars simultaneously.

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