In this day and age of constant communications and observation, I guess the announcement from TLO shouldn’t surprise me as much as it did. It seems that TLO is launching a new service tomorrow that will use License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology and will return to you the places, times and dates that those license plates (and presumably the car it is attached) were spotted by the LPR and give you “the historical whereabouts of both individuals and vehicles.”

I haven’t seen the reports yet, but I’m not sure whether I’m impressed that TLO has this ability now, or scared that this type of information is out there for public consumption. I’m also going to guess that this type of survellance to public record searching technology is only going to get bigger as time goes on.

So… in just reading this press release, are you:

  • impressed
  • scared
  • meh
  • moving to Europe

Important Admin Information: TLO Unveils Vehicle Sightings
Unveils Vehicle Sightings
Starting Thursday,
June 27, 2013
Administrator information – Please Read
Vehicle Sightings to be Released Tomorrow To TLOxp Users
state-of-the-art License
Plate Recognition (LPR)
technology, Vehicle Sightings
searches and reports provide valuable information for both locating
subjects and investigating the historical whereabouts of both individuals
and vehicles.
TLOxp’s Vehicle
Sightings Search
returns a free preview of nationwide sightings available for the subject
license plate.
TLOxp’s In-Depth
Vehicle Sightings Report
account receives 5 free reports!
powerful report provides detailed information including actual
photographs of the vehicle and plate with time and geographic stamps for
each individual sighting. Integrated with online mapping tools, visual
pinpoint location information is available with a single click.
  • If you utilize User

    for managing your users, you will need to activate Vehicle Sightings
    for your users. This can be done easily by clicking “My Account” and
    then selecting the “User Groups” tab.  Vehicle Sightings will
    be available for selection upon product release.
  • If you do not utilize
    User Groups
    Vehicle Sightings will be automatically available to your users upon
    release. You may customize your users’ access by setting up User
    Groups. Additionally, you may restrict access to this report upon
    release by clicking “My Account” and then selecting the “Users” tab.
PLEASE NOTE that this report is not included in any flat
rate or per seat pricing plans and is available only on a transactional
basis. After your account’s 5 free reports have been run, you will be
billed per report.
Vehicle Sightings
Report Pricing*
FREE Vehicle Sightings Reports, (Per
TLOxp account. Expires August 1, 2013)
per category Choose from current, recent, or historical.
Receive all three categories for one great price.
Sightings Reports are free during a TLOxp trial period.
questions or need assistance?
contact your sales representative or Customer Support at 888-493-2209
  • Anonymous

    It is an interesting service to those considering a move away from TLO. What concerns me is their initial statement explicitly states ‘historical whereabouts’ but when ordering, they represent the categories of current, recent, or historical. This is confusing. Wondering how 'current' the information will prove. When this is known, we will then be able to answer your question and I for one am hedging towards the EU.

  • Coincidentally (or not), today's San Francisco Chronicle ran a page 1 story about local and state law enforcement authorities in Northern California (and presumably nationwide) putting license plate readers on police cars and contributing the data to a common database (similar to a nationwide fingerprint database). The data show the location and time the license plate was recorded. Some people will say this is a great way to catch crooks. Some will say it's a scary invasion of privacy. Some will say it's cool technology. I wonder what the courts will say. Here are the first few paragraphs:

    "After the city of San Leandro purchased a license plate reader for its Police Department in 2008, computer security consultant Michael Katz-Lacabe asked the city for a record of every time the scanners had photographed his car.

    "The results shocked him.

    "The paperback-size device, installed on the outside of police cars, can log thousands of license plates in an eight-hour patrol shift. Katz-Lacabe said it had photographed his two cars on 112 occasions, including one image from 2009 that shows him and his daughters stepping out of his Toyota Prius in their driveway."

    Later in the article:

    "A year ago, the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center – one of dozens of law enforcement intelligence-sharing centers set up after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – signed a $340,000 agreement with the Silicon Valley firm Palantir to construct a database of license plate records flowing in from police using the devices across 14 counties, documents and interviews show."

  • Anonymous

    I wouldnt bother moving to Europe if you are concerned about this – Here we call it ANPR (automatic number plate recognition)and it is installed on most police cars. In London is also installed as part of the 'Congestion Charge' system which automatically charges your car to enter central London – the police have access to the system and it is very effective.

    The police car systems are very effective. I was pulled over a few weeks back when driving my wife's car.. they had used the ANPR which linked to the insurance database that indiciated her car was insured for her only. Fortunately, I have my own car which has insurance for me to drive any car!

  • Anonymous

    CNN just had a story on this last night. Not the TLO database but the plate readers. It would seem the ACLU is getting involved as to the privacy concerns it raises. Here is a link to the story