D.C. police collecting millions of license plate images per year, report says

(WJLA) - The Metropolitan Police Department is collecting images of license plates by the millions and storing them in a massive database with no regard to whether or not that person is under suspicion of anything, according to WAMU.

WAMU's Martin Austermuhle reports that D.C. police cars which are equipped with Automatic License Plate Readers have collected more than 150 million images of license plates through this past September.

They're generally used to match up the license plates with a list of vehicles that are known to be stolen and keeping tabs on high-crime areas, police officials tell WAMU, but civil liberties advocates believe that they can be used to track people who have done no wrong.

"The ACLU does not oppose the use of license plate readers, but we do have concerns when police departments not only check plates to see if they're stolen, but then store information on all innocent people for months and even years at a time," ACLU attorney Catherine Crump told the station.