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Police Don’t Need Warrant for License Plate Data, Court Rules

March 25, 2020, 8:48 PM

Police can tap data from an automatic license plate reader without a warrant, a Texas appeals court ruled, declining to expand U.S. Supreme Court privacy protections.

“Taking a picture of a license plate displayed on a vehicle that is traveling on a public road would not be subject to Fourth Amendment protection, nor would it constitute a search,” Justice Leanne Johnson wrote for the Texas Appeals Court, Ninth District.

The Texas decision diverges from actions by other states’ courts to protect people’s stored information. The Supreme Court has granted warrant protections to historic cell tower data, and state courts have...

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