In a victory for privacy advocates, the Supreme Court of Virginia has ruled a lawsuit challenging a police department’s practice of keeping data from automated license plate readers for a year can move forward.
Last year, a judge dismissed a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Fairfax County, Va., ruling that a license plate doesn’t contain personal information.
But on Thursday, the state’s highest court reversed that ruling and sent the case back down to Circuit Court to determine whether the record-keeping process provides police with a “readily made” link to the vehicle’s owner.
Police have said the data is crucial to help find missing people and solve crimes. Critics worry the information can be used to track people who are not suspected of a crime.
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