Street Democracy writes:
The vastness of unaccountable concentration of private power is no more apparent than with latest technology used to monitor the public in their every day movements.
Technology the public don’t have and as corporate power owns and hoards hundreds of thousands of acres of land, hoards equally as much property, they will always get the best positions too monitor the public or usage of highly evolved technology, gain access no matter where they are positioned.
To say it undermines their freedom of expression to take photographs, or monitor their product, laptop, video communications is one thing, but the public own their own right to privacy which shouldn’t be violated?
Where is the boundary of private corporations listening in to private conversations and the privacy violation if corporations have the freedom to explore as we do?
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Do corporations have a legal right to track your car? If you think that is a purely academic question, think again. Working with groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, states are considering laws to prevent private companies from continuing to mass photograph license plates.
This is one of the backlashes to the news about mass surveillance. However, this backlash is now facing legal pushback from the corporations that take the photographs and then sell the data gleaned from the images.
In a lawsuit against the state of Utah, Digital Recognition Network, Inc. and Vigilant Solutions are attempting to appropriate the ACLU’s own pro-free speech arguments for themselves. They argue that a recent Utah law banning them from using automated cameras to collect images, locations and times of license plates is a violation of their own free speech rights. Indeed, in an interview, DRN’s counsel Michael Carvin defends this practice by noting, “Everyone has a First Amendment right to take these photographs and disseminate this information.”
He argues that a license plate is an inherently public piece of information.
“The only purpose of license plate information is to identify a vehicle to members of the public,” he says. “The government has no problem with people taking pictures of license plates in a particular location. But for some irrational reason it has a problem with people taking high speed photographs of those license plates.”