Even License Plates Are Sensitive Information

When you think about your license plate, are you thinking about your personal data?  While it’s not quite your social security number, it’s something that can lead to plenty of information.  Some cities collect enormous amounts of data from police cameras, which includes running license plates to cross-reference with crimes.

This type of license plate data has been captured indiscriminately and isn’t just targeted at potential criminals. Toward the end of last year, a case that reached the California Supreme Court decided that while the data that Los Angeles police collected wouldn’t have to be released in its entirety, there should be a way to release the data in a redacted fashion.

While releasing the license plates and potential activity surrounding it was ruled an invasion of privacy, this is information that now must be released to the public and civil liberties groups like the ACLU.  Los Angeles will assuredly redact the information, it’s something that cities and counties across the country struggle with.

Since so many of these license plate images were not associated with any crime, it was ruled that they information would need to be released in some form.  While license plate lookups are restricted to members of law enforcement, databases like this, that house identifying information, are important.

Whether through a court ruling or through proactive government officials, more information is being made available online, which means more redaction is needed to ensure the security of constituents’ personal information.  Even when this type of information isn’t released explicitly, a strong redaction workflow can protect documents containing personal info from hackers as well.

Extract works with local and state governments to ensure that personal information is automatically redacted, so citizens have nothing to worry about in terms of their private data being compromised.  Rather than have clerks manually redact every document that comes through a government office, Extract sets up an automated workflow that leaves governments with little to no manual verification.

If you’d like to learn more about how we do this, please reach out today, and we’d be happy to give you a demo or explain our solution more fully.


Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing.  Chris received his bachelor's degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.