Washington state may make history as the first US state to enact trackable electronic license plates. Plans have been in the works for years evidently to toll more and more roads, but one thing standing in the way is keeping track of exactly where all the vehicles are at all times. Republican State Representative Mark Harmsworth is not sure about the viability of the solution for this issue. If he has his way, the "serious privacy concerns" of mandatory digital license plates that track all Washingtonians vehicles at all time will not come to be.
Harmsworth describes the program as “kind of like a Kindle.” I mean, technically, I guess Kindle is another source for the Big Data mills that are continually second-guessing our every next move before it's made.
On top of that though, the license plates themselves would be somewhat pricey at the cost of about $300 each. That doesn't even count the added (maintenance and upkeep? server storage?) fee of $7 to $12 per month on top of that.
MyNorthwest deconstructs the situation reasonably well:
<blockquote>How do you like that blockbuster bit of news there? You would have to rent a license plate that’s like a Kindle, and they would not only be able to track where you are, but that license plate would always be interacting with the state. You’d have to pay $300 for the plate, and, like a Netflix subscription, you’d have to pay a monthly fee to the state. And it’s all so your license plate can talk to state data collections.</blockquote>
“The state is grabbing more money, it wants to know more about what you’re doing, more about your driving behavior, and I just don’t think that’s acceptable,” Harmsworth said.
We're entering the era of ubiquitous internet and collecting data, tracking behavior and transmitting the findings is par for the course today. If more people don't speak up about the importance of our (Constitutionally guaranteed) privacy rights, then they may become as much a forgotten thing of the past as the Betamax.
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