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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2019 10:28 AM
From: Representative Greg Rothman and Rep. Robert F. Matzie
To: All House members
Subject: Automated License Plate Reader Privacy (Previously HB1811)

In the near future, Representative. Matzie and I will introduce legislation which provides restrictions on the use of data collected from automated license plate reader systems (ALPRs) and establishes a grant program to assist municipalities in obtaining this technology.

The termination of registration stickers on vehicles has brought about technology designed to automatically read all visible registration plates, check it against PennDOT and law enforcement records and detect any plate out of compliance with vehicle registration, and other laws. ALPR’s will continue to become more popular among law enforcement in the absence of the stickers, as it is the only method to detect unregistered vehicles.

The concern isn’t whether to use ALPRs to collect data, since they are already an invaluable tool for law enforcement, but rather this legislation aims to protect the right to have the information of Pennsylvanians kept private if they are doing nothing wrong.

The provisions in our bill will include who can use ALPRs, how the data can be collected and how long the data can be stored, among other things. Also, our bill will disallow for the use of ALPRs for passive surveillance and not allow the information gathered from ALPRs to be subject to the Right to Know Law.

This legislation also establishes a grant program, built upon by a $25 surcharge to Title 75 (Vehicle Code) Chapter 13 (relating to registration of vehicles) violations, that will provide funds to local law enforcement agencies to acquire ALPR technologies.

This legislation is similar to HB 2196 (2015-16) that was reported from the House Transportation Committee, but more so reflects HB 1811 (2017-18), which was voted out of the House in January 2018 by a vote of 184-0. Unfortunately, both efforts have fell short of the Governor’s desk, but we have confidence this session will be different.

If you don’t want law enforcement, or another governmental agency, being able to unnecessarily collect and build a dossier against law abiding citizens of the Commonwealth, this legislation is for you. We the People are entitled to privacy and the protection against unnecessary collection of data.

Please join us in sponsoring this important piece of legislation.


Introduced as HB317