If you're concerned about government surveillance, you're not going to like this development. The Department of Homeland Security put out a posting looking for a contractor to build a national license plate reader database. Local and Federal agencies have increased their usage of license plate readers, but there hasn't been an extensive central database. 

Homeland Security wants the database to work on smartphones that would take and upload photos, and then receive a notification if there's a positive match. Fred Cate, a law professer at Indiana University, calls the idea "A classic example of expanding data collection and centralization, concerning people who have done nothing to warrant suspicion, without a clearly defined purpose or the legally required privacy impact analysis." 

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[via ars technica