Cape Coral approves more license plate readers

Reporter: Michael Hudak Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Cape Coral has approved the addition of six new license plate readers. They will go up at two locations; three at NE Pine Island Road and Pondella Road and three at NE Pine Island Road and NE 24th Ave.

They can help find stolen cars by reading their plates then alerting law enforcement, and police say they are a crucial tool to help fight crime for that reason. But they can also track your movements, and some people say they’re worried about being tracked this way.

Others, however, told WINK News they aren’t too worried because movement tracking is already being done via their smartphones or android devices. Legal experts remind us that the difference between the two issues is that phones can have their location services turned off, whereas the public has no control over the operation of license plate readers.

Law enforcement, however, is legally prohibited from accessing a random person’s information through the license plate reader system unless there is a warrant or criminal activity that they are investigating.

“If you’re an honest, working-hard citizen, why would you even worry about it?” said Cape Coral resident Johnny D. “There’s more important things to worry about in life than a stupid reader on your car.”

A few people in town brought up not concern for what law enforcement is going to do with their information, but what a potential hacker might do if they were able to break into the system.

“Keep everything compartmentalized, it’s gonna be good,” said one resident who did not wish to be named. “If it leaks, it’s really bad, right? We have a lot of things to consider in this electronic world, especially just taking pictures and keeping them somewhere. If they can keep it private, it’s probably fine. If not, well then that’s the issue, isn’t it?”

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