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State high court taking up license-plate scanning case

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 30, 2015

The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide when the public can see records of high-tech police monitoring programs like the scanners that officers use to record millions of license plate numbers.

A state appeals court ruled in May that scanning programs used by Los Angeles police and sheriff’s officers were part of a criminal investigation and thus off-limits to the public. Authorities said officers were collecting the information to look for auto thieves and other criminals.

Most Bay Area communities also have automated license scanners on officers’ cars or at fixed locations, and some have already cited the Los Angeles case as authority to withhold their records, said attorney Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Her group and other civil liberties advocates asked the state high court to take the case.

The court unanimously set the appellate ruling aside Wednesday and will hear arguments at a later date.

Read the whole story at SF Gate

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