Protecting your Privacy from ALPR/ ANPR Automatic License Plate Recognition Systems Posted on 7 Nov 01:48
Countermeasure to ALPR/ ANPR Automatic License Plate Recognition Systems
(ALPR) Automatic license plate recognition systems (often referred to ANPR automatic number plate recognition systems outside of the North America) is a mass surveillance technology designed to identify owners of vehicles by computer using optical character recognition (OCR).
These ANPR/ALPR systems originated nearly four decades ago in England. As the technology has become more portable and less costly (although relative to other forms of "traffic" enforcement are still quite pricey at about $20,000 USD per system), these systems are currently being deployed throughout cities in North America. Like other forms of automated photo enforcement and red-light camera use, the rate of their proliferation is outstripping the rate of privacy laws to limit their use on Constitutional grounds.
Systems being produced like the ELSAG MPH-900 have the capability of scanning hundreds of license plates every minute. Beyond merely number plate recognition, these systems query multiple databases including driving records, tax collection, criminal databases, and other information not publicly disclosed. These systems can be used by both private and public entities and the potential for privacy invasion is extremely high.
Such systems have been used to track movements of millions of law-abiding motorists as well as gathering places of large groups of people--like those who attend gun-shows or political rally’s.
As the technology has evolved, these systems are transitioning to infrared (IR) imaging. Today's license plates are often designed to specifically reflect IR light in the near-infrared spectrum. Since these systems operate in the IR spectrum of light, they're use is undetectable and invisible to the naked eye. and can be used discretely in the darkness of the night.
Fortunately the countermeasure industry and those concerned about taking back our privacy rights have devised several solutions to this growing threat to our civil liberties.
Veil Corporation has engineered and patented a countermeasure product called Veil G5 that is an infrared absorbing coating designed to be applied to license plates and license plate covers which absorbs the light used by these systems. License plates which are treated will appear very dark to the ALPR's imaging components making optical character recognition much more difficult to do since these systems need sufficient contrast between the numbers and letters and the rest of the plate. (see picture provided).
Beyond enhancing your anonymity to these privacy invading systems, Veil G5 has the added bonus of protecting from the use of police laser traffic speed enforcement. Police laser operates in the same spectrum of light that ALRP systems do. Veil G5 is the only countermeasure of its kind and the fact theit retails for less than $100.00, makes it the most cost effective multi-use countermeasure available.