Our New Brief on Vehicular Surveillance

Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technology is now ubiquitous – no vehicle is solely a mechanical device. Similarly, Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) are regularly funded and installed by police departments across the country. Despite this, there is a lack of work that evaluates the Fourth Amendment problems implicated by this technology.

Our brief explores in depth the multitude of privacy problems involved in the growing surveillance of our roadways. It also explores the need for new legal interpretations of automobile privacy protections and proposes a comprehensive list of reforms and actions needed to ensure that privacy is protected as CAV use grows.

This brief incorporates the expertise of those who have tracked automobile privacy for years. We consulted with experts who currently do the work to draft, evaluate, and write privacy policies that guide CAV manufacturers. Additionally, this brief was crafted with expert Fourth Amendment legal knowledge from out litigation working group chair.

The only regulatory efforts in CAV data protection currently are a set of industry guidelines and standards that are not legally binding. The loose and noncommittal nature of these guidelines means that automotive companies do not completely follow standards that protect user privacy. A lack of privacy protections is compounded by the fact that vehicular and roadway technology is often used by government agencies to monitor racial and ethnic minorities, political protesters, and immigrants.

At Restore the Fourth, we believe that privacy must be a guaranteed protection for all travelers.

Read our latest issue brief here.