TESTIMONY OF THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
IN OPPOSITION TO:
H.B. NO. 6639: AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF AN AUTOMATED NUMBER PLATE RECOGNITION SYSTEM
JOINT COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
April 1, 2013
The Division of Criminal Justice respectfully recommends the Committee take NO ACTION on H.B. No. 6639, An Act Concerning the Use of An Automated Number Plate Recognition System. While the Division is certainly cognizant of the potential privacy concerns that may be raised with regard to the use of automated number plate recognition devices, those concerns by no means outweigh the value such devices may have in the investigation and prosecution of serious crime.
The Division is particularly concerned about the proposed Section 5 (d), which provides for the destruction of any data collected through an automated number plate recognition system within 14 days of the collection of such data unless criminal activity associated with the data is collaborated. The Division not only believes that the 14-day period proposed in the bill is unreasonable, but that any limitations on the time may in fact be unreasonable and contrary to the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute serious crimes. It is not difficult to see how data placing a motor vehicle in a particular place at a particular time could be critical to solving crimes. Consider this in the context of “cold case” investigations where evidence can be pieced together many years after a crime is committed and the data collected through an automated number plate recognition system can easily take on new importance. There is no statute of limitations on the crime of Murder; there should be no statute of limitations on the ability of law enforcement to solve the Murder.
The Division would suggest that the issue more appropriately addressed by the General Assembly is that of properly storing any collected data rather than placing arbitrary and unreasonable limits on the duration for which it may be retained. The Division stands ready to work with the law enforcement community to address this and other privacy concerns. In conclusion, we thank the Committee for this opportunity to provide input on this matter. We would be happy to answer any questions or to provide any additional information the Committee might require. Thank you.