Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology has a legitimate place as a useful law enforcement tool. Its use by mobile police patrols who are then in a position to stop and examine a suspicious vehicle is not much of a privacy problem.
The real privacy problems with ANPR come from public systems which monitor all the vehicles in view, e.g.
- All 24 million users of the 7500 miles motorways and A class roads in the UK, not just the 100,000 or so who have paid for a road traffic information service e.g. Trafficmaster
- Every vehicle entering or leaving the massive Blue Water retail shopping park near Dagenham (allegedly just monitoring the vehicles of staff)
- The notorious London Congestion Charge scheme where ANPR and other "scene " photos and videos are captured, not just of those people who are trying to evade the ?5 charge, but of all the people who have paid or are exempt.
- All vehicles crossing the main Forth and Tay bridges in Scotland