Personal Privacy

California Officials Have Admitted to Using License Plate Readers to Track Welfare Recipients

The Infinite Brief
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.

Following an inquiry from the EFF, the DHA has instituted a privacy policy (one that didn’t exist before their initial inquiry) requiring investigators to justify each request for LPR data. The Sacramento Bee reports the DHA accessed the data over a thousand times in two years.

Curated from Gizmodo

Leave a Response