As well as providing its customers with access to its data banks of car location data and photos, DRN also resells that access to other companies who cater to even more clients. Those include a company called Delvepoint which more explicitly markets to private investigators. There is wide room for abuse though. Maass pointed out that could include stalking, obtaining information for litigation through undisclosed means, gathering information on celebrities to sell, or more.
Over 1, accounts have access to the DRN system, the contract adds. These accounts can be shared among multiple people at an organization, though. In a closed Facebook group for private investigators that Motherboard gained access to, multiple posts include people asking for others to run plates for them through their own access to a license plate reader system, though they did not specifically mention DRN.
Company executives have previously admitted unauthorized users have gained access to the system. We give them the complete control to ensure that what they decide to do with it is what happens with it.
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Notably, DRN does not immediately ban someone for abusing the service, according to the contract. It reads that if DRN determines or suspects that the user has used the data for personal or non-business purposes, "Licensor [DRN] shall notify Licensee in writing of the alleged breach and give Licensee an opportunity to cure any curable breaches within 30 days of Licensee's receipt of such notice; thereafter Licensor may take immediate action, including, without limitation, terminating the delivery of, and the license to use, the Licensed Data.
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And members of the public have no realistic way of knowing whether their data has been collected by DRN, or examined by a DRN user. There are very few ways to pry information from private companies; details about government surveillance networks are at least theoretically subject to Freedom of Information Act requests and government oversight. Private industry needs big data to help solve problems such as fraud and private industry is much more responsible when they know the public is watching. It does not contain any personally identifiable information. DRN products are built with robust reporting and auditing capabilities to ensure transparency at the organization level into usage and compliance with state and federal laws, contractual obligations and internal policies.
But armed with the license plate, an investigator or other third party could also use a different service to search for the name and address of who the vehicle is registered to. As Motherboard recently reported , Departments of Motor Vehicles DMVs are making tens of millions of dollars selling drivers' names, addresses, and other personal information to an array of industries. DRN's legal argument for its collection is that the company is automating a task that has been done manually for years—capturing publicly available information.
Critics say that taking photos and automatically uploading and parsing them at this scale qualitatively creates something to be concerned about. Although public photography is generally legal under the First Amendment and there has been some pushback against private collection in a few states, lawmakers haven't fully grappled with the ramifications of turning plate photos into a persistent, searchable database that provides a map of millions of peoples' lives.
In , Arkansas banned the collection of license plate data by private entities while allowing law enforcement to continue using the technology. DRN pushed back , saying the law violates their First Amendment rights. DRN also contested a Utah law that banned private collection; the company dropped the suit after the state amended that law.
What does my car insurance policy cover? Can I drive someone else's car?
Beyond the collection, there is also the issue of accessing the data. In that case, police used license plate data to track an alleged drug trafficker driving back and forth across bridges. The ACLU, EFF, and other lawyers argue in the filing that looking up historical location data collected by license plate readers should require a warrant. But one legal issue with industry use of license plate data is that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to non-government entities—a private investigator, or a repo man, or an insurance company does not need a warrant to search for someone's movements over years; they just need to pay to access the DRN system, or find someone willing to share or leverage their access, like Motherboard did.
Every insurance company has a different underwriting policy which results in different prices. You can compare policies side by side at sites such as InsuranceQuotes , Esurance and Insurance. For those who already have auto insurance, Consumer Reports suggests doing a rate check every two or three years.
You should also shop the market whenever your personal circumstances change, such as getting married, divorced or moving to a different house or apartment. Want more tips like these?
Can everyone get 'driving other cars' cover?
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Get the Better newsletter. There's a better way to park Nov. Sign Up. Ask an Expert Is travel insurance worth it? After confirming the sighting with the help of a drone, Fay says he called the former owner of his residence to see if she was aware of the vehicle. Upon removing the vehicle skeleton remains were found inside. When Moldt went missing more than two decades ago, the housing development was still under construction.
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Google Maps recently rolled out the ability to see local bikeshare availability , how busy your public transportation ride will be, and even a tool that helps addicts find recovery resources. The app now also seems to have an unintended new feature: solving decades old missing persons cases.