Since 2016, Sacramento County officials have been accessing license plate reader data to track welfare recipients suspected of fraud.
Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance Director Ann Edwards confirmed to the paper that welfare fraud investigators working under the DHA have used the data for two years on a “case-by-case” basis.
It’s not immediately clear how travel patterns might reveal welfare fraud. As noted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, welfare fraud is statistically speaking, extremely rare. In 2012, the DHA found only 500 cases of fraud among Sacramento’s 193,000 recipients.