They Don’t Get It, Local Edition

In an article about police’s increasingly routine use of automatic scanners,

which can be affixed to police cars, bridges, or building to amass millions of digital records on the location and movement of vehicles…includ[ing] such details as location and license plate numbers[,]

comes this little tidbit.

The Mesquite Police Department, in Texas, has vehicle records stretching back to 2008, though the city plans to begin deleting files older than two years.

“There’s no expectation of privacy” for a vehicle driving on a public road or parked in a public place, said Lt Bill Hedgpeth, a police spokesman.  It’s just a vehicle.  It’s just a license plate.”

There’s also no expectation that police—our employees—will surveill us constantly, building a permanent database (some might say, a dossier) on us while on an idle fishing expedition, for future prurient curiosity.  There’s no expectation that government—our employee—will track our movements, and thereby track our meetups, and with whom, just because it feels like it.

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