ICE to gain access to database that tracks license plates

ICE to gain access to database that tracks license plates
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The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency will soon have the ability to track license plates across the U.S., The Verge reported Friday.

ICE has reached a deal with Vigilant Solutions, a top source for license plate data, to gain access to the firm’s database of billions of license plates.

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The move will allow the agency to start implementing location tracking for the plates.

“Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations,” an ICE spokeswoman told The Verge in a statement.

“ICE is not seeking to build a license plate reader database, and will not collect nor contribute any data to a national public or private database through this contract.” 

Vigilant did not return multiple requests for comment by The Verge.

Vigilant has built up its database using information from local law enforcement, car repossession firms and other private organizations.

Using the database, ICE agents will be able to see where license plates have been located over the past five years, as well as find individual’s residences, according to The Verge.

Officials can also be instantly alerted when new records of specific plates are located.

Civil liberties groups slammed ICE’s access to the database.

“There are people circulating in our society who are undocumented,” American Civil Liberties Union senior policy analyst Jay Stanley told The Verge. “Are we as a society, out of our desire to find those people, willing to let our government create an infrastructure that will track all of us?”