ACLU RI calls for cities to stop using Flock license plate cameras
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Rhode Island sent a letter Tuesday to the leaders of Cranston, Pawtucket and Woonsocket, calling on them to stop using newly-installed license plate cameras.
The cameras, manufactured by Flock Safety, were installed in the three cities as part of a 60-day trial. The cameras take pictures of license plates, which can then be matched with a database of vehicles involved in crimes.
In its letter, the ACLU says the cameras are a privacy concern and were installed without public notice or guidance.
“In the absence of legislatively established limits on the use of the cameras, the privacy rights of the public remain at the absolute discretion of the police department and a private company, which can change their privacy guidelines at any time,” the letter said.
The letter asks city councilors to enact ordinances prohibiting the cameras.
At a press conference in August following the installation of the cameras, Colonel Michael Winquist of the Cranston Police Department said the cameras did not record people or faces. Colonel Winquist also said if a photo is not used within 30 days, it’s deleted.