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Ypsilanti City Council bans license plate readers citing invasion of privacy

License plate readers
Tony Webster
Creative Commons
License plate readers

Automatic license plate readers will not be installed in the City of Ypsilanti. This is after the Ypsilanti City Council voted to ban them at last night’s meeting.

When a car passes a license plate reader, the device tracks the vehicle’s make, model and color and, as the name would suggest, the license plate.

While law enforcement sees this as a tool to track people down to help solve crimes, Ypsilanti City Council see it as an invasion of privacy.

Next door in Ypsilanti Township, they support adding the cameras, but after Tuesday night’s 5-0 vote, they will not be installed within the city limits.

Annie Somerville is the council member representing the Third Ward.

“Aside from wanting to send a clear message that we do not support that technology, we also wanted to make sure that if in the future, our police department is interested in exploring that, that they would actually, there would have to be an amendment from an ordinance.”

Somerville says even if there was an interest in the license plate readers, the cost of installing them would not be a good use of resources.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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