20.1 C
New York
Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Civil liberties groups: California giving Alabama license plate data could lead to abortion prosecutions

Three civil liberties groups have demanded law enforcement agencies in 22 California counties stop sharing automated license plate data with departments in other states.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Unions of Northern California and Southern California sent letters to 71 law enforcement agencies — including the Lodi Police Department and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office — stating that sharing such data violates California law and could enable prosecution of abortion seekers and providers elsewhere.

Law enforcement agencies were given until June 15 to respond to the letters and comply with the demand, according to the EFF.

The organization conducted a months-long investigation involving hundreds of public records requests, that it says revealed many California police departments share records containing detailed driving profiles of local residents with agencies in other states with strict abortion regulations, including Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

As an example, the state of Idaho has enacted a law that makes helping a pregnant minor get an abortion in another state punishable by two to five years in prison.

ALPR camera systems collect and store location information about drivers, including dates, times, and locations, and the EFF said this sensitive information can reveal where individuals work, live, associate, worship, or seek reproductive health services and other medical care.

“ALPRs invade people’s privacy and violate the rights of entire communities, as they often are deployed in poor and historically over-policed areas regardless of crime rates,” EFF staff attorney Jennifer Pinsof said. “Sharing ALPR data with law enforcement in states that criminalize abortion undermines California’s extensive efforts to protect reproductive health privacy.”

Since 2016, sharing any ALPR data with out-of-state or federal law enforcement agencies is a violation of the California Civil Code, the EFF said.

However, the organization said many agencies continue to use services such as Vigilant Solutions or Flock Safety to make that information available to out-of-state and federal agencies.

The EFF said sharing ALPR data with law enforcement in states that criminalize abortion undermines California’s efforts to protect reproductive health privacy, specifically AB 1242, which prohibits state and local agencies from providing abortion-related information to out-of-state agencies.

Lodi Police Chief Sierra Brucia said he read the letter Thursday morning, and will be consulting with the city attorney to determine what should be done moving forward.

“The first conversation I had, was I called the city attorney to set up a meeting and make sure we’re in compliance with the law,” he said. “If we’re not, then we will remedy the situation to make sure we are in compliance with the law. I’d be surprised if we’re not, but we will double check and go over our our procedures and standards to ensure we comply.”

A total of six law enforcement agencies in San Joaquin County received letters from the three groups, including Stockton, Manteca, Ripon and Tracy police departments.

Founded in 1990, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world.

For more information, about visit tinyurl.com/EFFALPRs.


(c)2023 the Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, Calif.)

Visit the Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, Calif.) at www.lodinews.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Source link

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles