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Ypsilanti Township residents voice distrust in license plate readers

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License plate readers

Ypsilanti Township residents are objecting to the proposed installation of license plate readers in the area. Members of a social justice group say it is a privacy issue and will be tough to regulate.

Every time a vehicle passes by one of these cameras, it tracks the vehicle's make, model, color, and, as the name would suggest, the license plate.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office says if the township approves the technology, there would be very strict guidelines.

While law enforcement sees this as a tool to find people to solve crimes, Cindy Bodewes from the Washtenaw Regional Organizing Coalition doesn't trust the operators of the technology.

"They don't know that that company has sold that data to another company or for other reasons, or given it to ICE or any of those kinds of things. And what the sheriff is about is policy. When the sheriff leaves office, how do we know that the next sheriff won't use it inappropriately?"

Ypsilanti City Council voted unanimously to ban the technology with the city limits citing privacy concerns. Neighboring Ypsilanti Township is still considering the issue.

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