license plate recognition

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pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

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Individual traffic police officers can and do have a pattern of disproportionately stopping black drivers,72 while traffic cameras with automatic license plate recording act irrespective of the race of the driver. So in this way, a change of technology can cut down on specific incidents of racist behavior. Yet we should be careful about drawing general conclusions about the overall effect of any new technology: as criminologist Clive Norris has shown, license plate recognition has now become a way of tracking known individuals as they move around, and it is no surprise who is tracked more and who is tracked less.73 The underlying problem remains: there is still racism in the system, but it is now manifested in different ways. Data acquisition shifts the place where racism happens from the street to the database query. There is no evidence of intentional discrimination by the companies, and the patterns may change as the systems evolve, but we should be cautious about ascribing too much blame or credit to the companies involved.


pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, Zipcar

Cities intent on building more variety, freedom, sharing, and sustainability in mobility have no choice but to confront the privilege of private cars. Demand, Supply, and Surprise Some brave cities have tinkered with the economics of demand. In 2003 the London mayor Ken Livingstone adopted the world’s most geographically extensive congestion charge on vehicles entering the heart of the city on weekdays.* The system uses automatic license plate recognition cameras to identify and charge most private vehicles entering the city core, with exemptions for emergency vehicles, taxis, and residents. The fee started at a hefty £5 but has since been bumped to £10. After three years, the charge had reduced traffic in the core by a quarter and was pulling in £122 million a year. It showed that travel behavior really is elastic: when people start paying the true cost of driving (which, in London’s case, includes pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and the burden imposed on other users by drivers using a disproportionate share of road space), they find other ways of moving.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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Similar uplifting statistics can be found in many other police departments across America. Other powerful systems that are currently being built can also be easily reconfigured to suit more predictive demands. Consider the New York Police Department’s latest innovation—the so-called Domain Awareness System—which syncs the city’s 3,000 closed-circuit camera feeds with arrest records, 911 calls, license plate recognition technology, and radiation detectors. It can monitor a situation in real time and draw on a lot of data to understand what’s happening. The leap from here to predicting what might happen is not so great. If PredPol’s “prediction” sounds familiar, that’s because its methods were inspired by those of prominent Internet companies. Writing in The Police Chief magazine in 2009, a senior LAPD officer lauded Amazon’s ability to “understand the unique groups in their customer base and to characterize their purchasing patterns,” which allows the company “not only to anticipate but also to promote or otherwise shape future behavior.”


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

the repossession business: Shawn Musgrave (5 Mar 2014), “A vast hidden surveillance network runs across America, powered by the repo industry,” BetaBoston/Boston Globe, http://betaboston.com/news/2014/03/05/a-vast-hidden-surveillance-network-runs-across-america-powered-by-the-repo-industry. Shawn Musgrave (5 Mar 2014), “Massive license plate location database just like Instagram, Digital Recognition Network insists,” BetaBoston/Boston Globe, http://betaboston.com/news/2014/03/05/massive-license-plate-location-database-just-like-instagram-digital-recognition-network-insists. 2.5 billion records: Vigilant Video (23 Feb 2009), “Site specific preparation sheet for LEARN V.4.0 server installation,” https://www.aclu.org/files/FilesPDFs/ALPR/texas/alprpra_portharthurPD_portarthurtx%20%287%29.pdf. In addition to repossession businesses: Cyrus Farivar (27 Feb 2012), “Your car, tracked: The rapid rise of license plate readers,” Ars Technica, http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/09/your-car-tracked-the-rapid-rise-of-license-plate-readers.

The Dubai police are integrating custom facial recognition software with Google Glass to automatically identify suspects. With enough cameras in a city, police officers will be able to follow cars and people around without ever leaving their desks. This is mass surveillance, impossible without computers, networks, and automation. It’s not “follow that car”; it’s “follow every car.” Police could always tail a suspect, but with an urban mesh of cameras, license plate scanners, and facial recognition software, they can tail everyone—suspect or not. Similarly, putting a device called a pen register on a suspect’s land line to record the phone numbers he calls used to be both time-consuming and expensive. But now that the FBI can demand that data from the phone companies’ databases, it can acquire that information about everybody in the US. And it has. In 2008, the company Waze (acquired by Google in 2013) introduced a new navigation system for smartphones.

A single geofencing company, Placecast, delivers location-based ads to ten million phones in the US and UK for chains like Starbucks, Kmart, and Subway. Microsoft does the same thing to people passing within ten miles of some of its stores; it works with the company NinthDecimal. Sense Networks uses location data to create individual profiles. CORRELATING DIFFERENT DATA SETS Vigilant Solutions is one of the companies that collect license plate data from cameras. It has plans to augment this system with other algorithms for automobile identification, systems of facial recognition, and information from other databases. The result would be a much more powerful surveillance platform than a simple database of license plate scans, no matter how extensive, could ever be. News stories about mass surveillance are generally framed in terms of data collection, but miss the story about data correlation: the linking of identities across different data sets to draw inferences from the combined data.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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Previously, such high-tech gear would only have resided in a spy agency or with the FBI, but now, given the exponential drop in pricing of these technologies, even a neighborhood mom can spy on her kids or potentially cheating spouse. In the world of big data, we can even leak our physical location without a bugged mobile phone or GPS tracker hidden in our car. A new technology, known as an automatic license plate reader (ALPR), allows both governments and individuals to use video cameras and optical character recognition to record the locations of cars as they pass from one camera point to another, revealing the real-time movement of any vehicle throughout a city or country with great detail. From Minnesota to New Jersey, and from Ankara to Sydney, hundreds of millions of individual license plate records have been stored. As a result, a query can be applied against these massive databases to determine the position of any vehicle over time.

Army, news archive, Mar. 7, 2012, www.​army.​mil. 46 The longitude and latitude: Ibid. 47 Not only can we be tracked: The product can now be found at http://​www.​trackingkey.​com. 48 From Minnesota to New Jersey: For an excellent review of the social and privacy implications of automatic license plate readers, see the American Civil Liberties Union report You Are Being Tracked: How License Plate Readers Are Being Used to Record Americans’ Movements. 49 Private companies such as Digital Recognition Network: Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-Devries, “New Tracking Frontier: Your License Plates,” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 29, 2012. 50 He then used the data: Ibid. 51 In 2009: Kate Crawford, “San Francisco Woman Pulled Out of Car at Gunpoint Because of License Plate Reader Error,” ACLU (blog), May 15, 2014. 52 To date, Euclid has: Quentin Hardy, “Technology Turns to Tracking People Offline,” Bits (blog), New York Times, March 7, 2013; Gene Marks, “Why the Home Depot Breach Is Worse Than You Think,” Forbes, Sept. 22, 2014. 53 The cloud is here to stay: Frederic Lardinois, “Google Announces Massive Price Drops for Its Cloud Computing Services and Storage, Introduces Sustained-Use Discounts,” TechCrunch, March 25, 2014. 54 All the major cloud service providers: Keir Thomas, “Microsoft Cloud Data Breach Heralds Things to Come,” PCWorld, Dec. 23, 2010; Ed Bott, “Dropbox Gets Hacked … Again,” ZDNet, Aug. 1, 2012. 55 In late 2014, hundreds: Daisuke Wakabayashi and Danny Yadron, “Apple Denies iCloud Breach,” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 2, 2014. 56 As a result, the plans: Jaikumar Vijayan, “Classified Data on President’s Helicopter Leaked via P2P, Found on Iranian Computer,” Computerworld, March 2, 2009. 57 In fact, there are more than a hundred: Threat Working Group of the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity, “Threats Posed by the Internet.” 58 Every single day, the NSA: Dana Priest and William M.


pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

There’s also software that detects your mood via facial recognition to make tailored recommendations. If you are willing to give up privacy altogether, the mobile app Placed gives you coupons for providing information on what store you’re in. As you get out on the city streets and public places, there’s now an unprecedented array of sensors, CCTVs, and vast wireless networks that are set up to detect your motion, sense your car, read your license plate, and capture key biometric information such as facial recognition. Then there are all the low-cost satellites from above so that “all of the Earth will be held to a mirror, in near real time, at an increasing granularity of visual infrared and other kinds of data.”33b Wow, are we ever being watched. Not just being watched but also identified. The NameTag app enables users of Google Glass to take a picture of a stranger and identify them in the FacialNetwork company’s database, which includes occupation and social media profiles.34 Similarly, the NEC company is developing tools to enable hotels and businesses to automatically recognize their important visitors.35 These efforts rely on converting each person’s facial data into a “faceprint” of mathematical code along with a large database to find a match.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar


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The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons

Part of its activities included the Nuremberg Files Web site, where the public was solicited for as much information as possible about the identities, lives, and families of physicians who performed abortions, as well as about clinic owners and workers.76 When a provider was killed, a line would be drawn through his or her name. (The site was rarely updated with new information, and it became entangled in a larger lawsuit lodged under the U.S. Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.77 The site remains accessible.) An associated venture solicits the public to take pictures of women arriving at clinics, including the cars in which they arrive (and corresponding license plates), and posts the pictures in order to deter people from nearing clinics.78 With image recognition technology mash-ups, photos taken as people enter clinics or participate in protests can be instantly cross-referenced with their names. One can easily pair this type of data with Google Maps to provide fine-grained satellite imagery of the homes and neighborhoods of these individuals, similar to the “subversive books” maps created by computer consultant and tin-kerer Tom Owad, tracking wish lists on Amazon.79 This intrusion can reach places that the governments of liberal democracies refuse to go.