AZ wants police data wiped after 24 hours

State police currently plan to keep data obtained from license plate scans for three months. Senate bill would require erasure after one day.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

When the Arizona state police installed new technology to identify stolen cars, it received widespread support. But that changed when Republican lawmakers realized the police would be tracking exactly where drivers' cars were located and keeping the data on file for three months. Now the state Senate is working on passing a bill to stop the data retention, The Arizona Star reports.

the state Department of Public Safety, which has installed special scanners on the front of several patrol cars. The scanners "read" the license plates of passing vehicles and compare them with a computer list of stolen cars and trucks, or those whose owners are wanted for some other reason.

Sen. Pamela Gorman, a Republican, who wrote SB 1636, has no problem with that. But she said the computer attached to the scanner keeps a record not only of the license plates scanned, but, using a clock and a satellite tracking system, exactly when and where the vehicle was spotted.

But Lt. Robert Ticer, commander of the DPS vehicle theft task force, admitted last year that the information might be kept on file for up to three months.

On a voice vote yesterday, the Senate gave preliminary approval to Gorman's bill requiring police departments with the technology to wipe the information obtained from their computers within 24 hours.

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