CA: Data Driven 2: California Dragnet—New Data Set Shows Scale of Vehicle Surveillance in the Golden State

[ – 4/22/21]

This project is based on data processed by student journalist Olivia Ali, 2020 intern JJ Mazzucotelli, and research assistant Liam Harton, based on California Public Records Act requests filed by EFF and dozens of students at the University of Nevada, Reno Reynolds School of Journalism.

Tiburon, California: a 13-square-mile peninsula town in Marin County, known for its glorious views of the San Francisco Bay and its eclectic retail district.

What the town’s tourism bureau may not want you to know: from the moment you drive into the city limits, your vehicle will be under extreme surveillance. The Tiburon Police Department has the dubious distinction of collecting, mile-for-mile, more data on drivers than any other agency surveyed for a new EFF data set.

Today, EFF is releasing Data Driven 2: California Dragnet, a new public records collection and data set that shines light on the massive amount of vehicle surveillance conducted by police in California using automated license plate readers (ALPRs)—and how very little of this surveillance is actually relevant to an active public safety interest.

Read the full article


Related posts

Notify of

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...


  1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t
  4. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  5. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  6. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  7. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  8. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  9. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  10. Please do not post in all Caps.
  11. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links. Posts that include a URL may take considerably longer to be approved.
  12. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  13. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  14. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people
  15. Please do not solicit funds
  16. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), or any others, the first time you use it please expand it for new people to better understand.
  17. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  18. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
  19. We no longer post articles about arrests or accusations, only selected convictions. If your comment contains a link to an arrest or accusation article we will not approve your comment.
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

These tactics do not make policing better, or make communities safer, but only serve to make us more like the Orwellian dystopia that was foreshadowed in “1984”. We have been duly warned.

This is borderline lifetime gps monitoring for a sex offender driving there. They can know every global position street by street of an RSO by tracking these photos with this system. oh hey did I just use the term global position system. gps.. how has this not been challenged in court? Even from an ethical standpoint.. this is wrong on so many levels… Tracking civilians turn by turn, block by block..this is police state 101..
Back to us.. driving as a sex offender is not a crime, this is borderline under investigation without probable cause or warrant, nor should it make you be on a hit list.. who’s to say who’s driving? Or if the sex offender is even in the car? So many flaws.. so wrong.. I see these popping up more and more in states. The future is scary.
The government will give up trust in civilians before the public gives up trust in the government.

I think Law Enforcement using all this new technology is a big move in the right direction for public safety Ironically this technology also benefits sex offenders living in California especially if a sex crime occurs in your town or neighborhood they can check their database and see your information dosen’t match the suspects description.
It’s not a coincidence that California past SB384 tiering system multiple law enforcement agencies have stated that IML is useless and I’d bet it’s because EEF ALPR and STINGRAY technology.
Since 2006 so much has changed I haven’t had a compliance check done in about 5 years but I’m not stupid I know my name came up 3 or 4 times and detectives surveilled me coming and going from my home a couple days and moved on to the next person on their list
Sex offenders and law enforcement agencies are fighting a psychological war and counter-surveillance is a must document everything invest in a small hidden body camera a document your day-to-day life and most importantly any encounters with law enforcement

Good luck 😬👌

“…state supervision, like sex offenders…”

So we are under supervision now, like probation/parole? How far we have come from Smith v. Doe.

Video preface:

“Anything said in this video is NOT meant to be malicious or to offend…”

Of course not. Online bullying and vigilante misuse of Megan’s Law to carry out criminal executions are, after all, not real….


As a word of reassurance, from my understanding, many of these guys and women do not have real meaningful and gainful employment beyond the vigilante work which they gain followers over. Where would they be, if there weren’t naive, soft-hearted and unlucky average joes which aspects of human sexuality they (vigilantes) could delightfully prey on?

These types of activities make it harder to argue the United States is the freest country. Sure seems like people’s freedom of movement are being violated in the name of public safety. All of this technology will be used for harm in the future. Sci-fi movies of the past are coming to real life.

So, how can this be argued as illegal collection for license plates? And that the registration scheme has collateral consequences for upstanding citizens?

My wife probably is probably on of these lists because I drive her car. She’s barely had anything but a parking ticket, but her plate will come up hot according to this.

I submitted a request for my ALPR records from the local police department. The printout I received was actually quite boring and disappointing. Every photo showed my car either on the street in front of my house or in my driveway behind my fence gate. 🤷🏻‍♂️

A Collection for collecting sake.

I know that APLR was installed on the freeways between San Francisco and Antioch to combat the running gun battles on them. The howls about cars/people being shot up silenced the complaints of loss of privacy. I noticed the EFF didn’t mention that use… But they never do. Nor did they mention it’s use in shutting down the recent looting caravan that was roving from big box store to big box store.

Background checks, law enforcement contacts are terrifying. I’ve been registered for nearly 28 years. I’ve only had compliance checks while I was still on probation. I’ve had some background checks that obviously used the California Megan’s law site. When called on it, the response was “sue us. See what happens”. Most recently, it’s clear a background check used the Federal SORNA site. I’m unsure what happens to that if my petition takes me off the California registry. I’ve also had extortion calls from people pretending to be law enforcement agents. They got their information from the Megans law site. Their signature is VERY clear. “We COULD come and have you arrested”.

Law enforcement NEVER threatens… They just show up and do what they can do.

I did something terrible. I took full responsibility for what I did.
I have hopes that with the tiered registry, that at least some of these terrors will be relieved.

In the mean time I live my life and am VERY careful. As the old driver safety commercial used to say… I can be right. I can be dead right. So I don’t relay on being right or having rights.

Does anyone know if “under state supervision” means on probation or parole or if it also means on the state registry? No guesses please.

“Law enforcement agencies create “hot lists” of license plates, essentially lists of vehicles they are actively looking for, for example, because they’re stolen, are suspected of being connected to a crime, or belong to an individual under state supervision, such as a sex offender. When an ALPR scans a license plate that matches a hot list, the system issues an alert to the law enforcement agency that the vehicle was sighted. “