The lawsuit was filed in the Fairfax County Circuit Court district, and targets a policy that enables the police to store massive amounts of data on drivers obtained through Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR). The ACLU alleges that the Fairfax Country’s data collection and storage amounts to an illegal invasion of privacy.
"The Department’s ALPR database can be used to discover the location of thousands of vehicles at a particular time and date," said ACLU of Virginia’s legal director Rebecca Glenberg, "it is an unacceptable invasion of privacy."
In 2013, Virginia’s attorney general ruled that data collected by plate readers is personal information under state law and, therefore, cannot be kept by state police unless it is part of a criminal investigation. The ruling prompted state law enforcement to stop data collection, but local police agencies continue the practice.
Tuesday’s suit was filed on behalf of Fairfax resident Harrison Neal who, according to the ACLU, discovered that his license plate has been scanned twice in one year and stored in a database, despite the fact that he was not part of any police investigation.