Last week, North Carolina state representative John Faircloth removed a controversial license plate tracking bill from the General Assembly’s calendar. According to local media, the measure — HB 348 — will sit stagnant in a state senate committee and will not be brought back up this legislative session.
Faircloth was the bill’s primary sponsor, and although it passed the state house of representatives, constitutionalists and civil libertarians raised a ruckus that effectively killed the measure.
The (Raleigh) Times-News reports on the bill’s demise:
Faircloth said he decided to pull the bill from the calendar after concerns were raised over the technology that would have been used to photograph drivers’ license plates. Some of those concerns were voiced by Alamance County residents questioning intrusive technology being used to spy on individuals without cause.
As The New American reported on July 23, the bill would have allowed state and local law enforcement to use automatic license plate reader systems to create databases of people traveling on state roadways.
The language of the bill defined the proposed tracking devices as "a system of one or more mobile or fixed automated high-speed cameras used in combination with computer algorithms to convert images of license plates into computer-readable data."
In very broad language, the bill authorized use of the cameras to:
any agency or officer of the State of North Carolina or any political subdivision thereof who is empowered by the laws of this State to conduct investigations or to make arrests, and any attorney, including the Attorney General of North Carolina, authorized by the laws of this State to prosecute or participate in the prosecution of those persons arrested or persons who may be subject to civil actions related to or concerning an arrest.
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