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Drewstre
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Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:29 pm

Hiya-
So, maybe about a year ago, due to our work schedules, my girlfriend and I starting having dinner late at TGI Friday's since they are open til 3am. We'd go maybe two or three times a month. We took her car every time, but I paid every time. Soon after we started going, she started receiving discount coupons for TGI Friday's in the mail, addressed to her by name. Neither of us had filled out any surveys or anything like that, so there's really no way I could think of they could just all of the sudden know to target her in their advertising campaign. The coupons were pretty good, like 25% off, and kept coming every three months, with three months of coupons enclosed. When my schedule changed again, we pretty much stopped going. And the coupons stopped coming.

About three weeks ago, we went to Logan's Roadhouse for dinner, because I had a gift certificate. Neither of us had been there in years, if ever. Again, we took her car, and I paid. Last week, she received in the mail, addressed to her by name, some coupons for Logan's Roadhouse. Pretty good, like 25% off. Again, I just couldn't figure out how she could be personally targeted by their ad campaign.

She never, at either restaurant, showed any kind of ID; no alcohol was consumed. I never received any coupons.

The ONLY thing I can come up with is that maybe they have license plate scanners in the parking lot. Is that even legal, for a non-law enforcement entity? Is there another, less-creepy explanation I haven't thought of?

Thanks,
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:35 pm

Another possibility is that the location trackers in her phone or car identified which restaurants she frequented and allowed for accordingly targeted advertising.
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Drewstre
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:08 pm

Oh, good call. Her car is a 2007 Nissan Sentra, no GPS, unlikely to have any nefarious gadgetry. Her phone is an iPhone 6... it's definitely not loaded with all manner of apps, she uses it mainly for calls, texts, solitaire and Facebook.

That last one gives me serious pause, especially considering recent events. I wonder what would happen if we go back to TGIF a couple times without her phone and see if she gets coupons?

Still creepy as hell, tho, if it is Facebook. I mean, 25% off is pretty sweet, but the broader implications certainly do not merit saving 15 bucks.

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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:34 pm

It’s her phone. Google “phone beacons” for more info. I recommend going through the privacy settings on her iPhone with a fine tooth comb and turning everything off, or to “only when using” for stuff like maps. Turning off Bluetooth also helps, unless she uses it frequently enough that it would be a hassle.
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:04 pm

Yup, definitely being tracked via one of the apps on her phone. I'd bet cold hard cash on it.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:36 pm

I'd agree with the above. If it's an iPhone and she has the Google Maps OR straight up Google app, then I'd bet my checking account balance that's what it is, and similarly if it's Android all that stuff is just built in.

I'm not ruling out Facebook or anything either btw. Like, It's FOR SURE tracking every single thing she does on that phone. Y'all should get off Facebook.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:04 am

Maybe ask TGI Fridays and Logan's Roadhouse directly?
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:40 am

meerkt wrote:
Maybe ask TGI Fridays and Logan's Roadhouse directly?

Since these are large chains, managers of individual locations probably don't even know; marketing and promotions are almost certainly run out of corporate headquarters. You'll need to contact the mothership.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:46 am

In addition to all the social media apps that the others mentioned, did she ever signin to the free WiFi at the restaurants? If so, there's another vector.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:10 am

I'd go with the phone blabbing rather than the license plate but that said I'm sure there's nothing legal stopping them from using a plate scanner. It's a pretty common method for private car parks to operate in Europe and if the technology is available on the commercial market I would imagine it gets used for all sorts of things.

The problem they'd have is turning the license plate into her name and address. I assume the government database for that wouldn't be available to them so they'd have to have some kind of deal with someone else who knew she owned that car... maybe an insurance or finance company.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:33 am

Google's search engine and Facebook's networking services aren't the products...YOU are the product. Remember when all those emails about various companies updating their privacy policies hit? And when many websites started having pop-up-ish notifications regarding cookies or tracking data? Those are the results of the EU passing sweeping privacy legislation. The legislation is...a lot of things (IANAL), but some of the take aways include how they ask for consent to track you EU citizens, what they can do with the data, and I believe that they must provide you EU citizens with their personal data on request.

I emphasize the EU citizens part because while some of the changes trickle on to US and global users (because it's easier to apply certain standards to everyone visiting a site), I don't believe the US has anything remotely close to the EU Law.

All of this is to say what others have. Your friend is being tracked by her phone one way or another. Some company sniffed her location, and once it was paired with an address, she got the coupons by mail. She might even have some emails sitting in her inbox (or spam folder) with digital coupons.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:22 am

cheesyking wrote:
The problem they'd have is turning the license plate into her name and address. I assume the government database for that wouldn't be available to them so they'd have to have some kind of deal with someone else who knew she owned that car... maybe an insurance or finance company.

Yeah......while I wouldn't be shocked if the government shared that data with a few 3rd parties, I highly doubt TGI Fridays is on the list. As mentioned above, research "phone beacons". These companies are going to continue to abuse privacy to the fullest extent possible until legislation prevents them from doing so. Without getting into R&P, I doubt that will be happening anytime in the next couple years.


Slightly off-topic, but apparently everyone's vehicle mileage is automatically uploaded to a database whenever service is performed, even for something as minor as an oil change. Car insurance companies are monitoring those numbers. The reason I know this is because I get a discount for low-mileage on my car, and apparently I went slightly over the threshold during one billing period. This resulted in an automated letter being mailed, informing me that I would be losing my discount next billing cycle.

This strikes me as grey-area dishonest. I am 100% the owner of my vehicle. The data regarding that vehicle should be mine as well, and I never consented to it being shared. While I can understand the need for having a record of major repairs (for any possible future owners), these repairs are not major. Some sort of mutual-consent should be required for release (such as giving a code to potential buyers when you're trying to sell). Also, who's to say the information being entered is correct, and what recourse is there in the event of an error? Apparently a mechanic having fumble-fingers when entering mileage can have direct financial implications.
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:32 am

cheesyking wrote:
The problem they'd have is turning the license plate into her name and address. I assume the government database for that wouldn't be available to them


That -is- illegal. Because people ended up dead.

The only thing you can find are records that are decades out-of-date, because they predate the Federal law that basically precludes any state DMV from making this available to the public.

cheesyking wrote:
they'd have to have some kind of deal with someone else who knew she owned that car... maybe an insurance or finance company.


They ultimately get it from the government as well, so they are equally constrained. It's hard to argue, when their systems verify what you submit against government records, that "this" data in their system was from you, whereas "that" data was from the government.

Not to mention that their lawyers, regulators etc... would flip out if they even tried: this is nuts. It's completely excluded from any kinda of commercial general liability coverage and if someone ended up dead (you know, like last time, why we have this law), it would rock the industry: Auto insurance isn't exactly voluntary.

So, no, this is not what is happening.
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:34 am

Google maps uses location data for traffic, and probably other things
In fact it will list how many times I've parked at a given Walmart.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:48 am

The Egg wrote:
Yeah......while I wouldn't be shocked if the government shared that data with a few 3rd parties, I highly doubt TGI Fridays is on the list. As mentioned above, research "phone beacons".


It's the phone.

I just got a new one, and whenever I go to X, the phone says "I see you went to X, can you take a picture of it? Review it?"

It's not "the phone", of course, it's Google Maps, or Google Now. It does this whether I have any app "open" or not.

So, yes, it's the phone.

The Egg wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but apparently everyone's vehicle mileage is automatically uploaded to a database whenever service is performed, even for something as minor as an oil change. Car insurance companies are monitoring those numbers. The reason I know this is because I get a discount for low-mileage on my car, and apparently I went slightly over the threshold during one billing period. This resulted in an automated letter being mailed, informing me that I would be losing my discount next billing cycle.


Yes, it's called "Carfax". You might have seen their ads?

It's based on the VIN though.

The Egg wrote:
This strikes me as grey-area dishonest. I am 100% the owner of my vehicle. The data regarding that vehicle should be mine as well, and I never consented to it being shared.


I'm sure you did, in the fine print.

The Egg wrote:
While I can understand the need for having a record of major repairs (for any possible future owners), these repairs are not major.


I thought you were 100% the owner? :P

Having a record of oil changes is nice for future owners the same way, isn't it? If they can see that the car was regularly serviced on the dot, isn't that also useful information to them?

Sure, the owner might self-service or the service might not be recorded, but, hey, likewise with "major repairs". Unless the vehicle was salvaged, there's no guarantee you'll know.

The Egg wrote:
Apparently a mechanic having fumble-fingers when entering mileage can have direct financial implications.


Or, people just doing their jobs can catch insurance fraud.

You're not mad about this "privacy", you're mad because you're paying the insurance rate you're supposed to be paying.

Yes, that does have financial implications: for the insurance companies and ultimately the general public! :wink:
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:04 am

Glorious wrote:
The Egg wrote:
While I can understand the need for having a record of major repairs (for any possible future owners), these repairs are not major.

I thought you were 100% the owner? :P
Having a record of oil changes is nice for future owners the same way, isn't it? If they can see that the car was regularly serviced on the dot, isn't that also useful information to them?
Sure, the owner might self-service or the service might not be recorded, but, hey, likewise with "major repairs". Unless the vehicle was salvaged, there's no guarantee you'll know.

I *am* 100% the owner. If I choose to sell the vehicle, at that time I should be able to decide who I'm going to give access to that information (obviously if I don't allow a potential buyer access, they shouldn't buy from me).

Glorious wrote:
Or, people just doing their jobs can catch insurance fraud.
You're not mad about this "privacy", you're mad because you're paying the insurance rate you're supposed to be paying.

Fraud? As in, with intent? :lol: My car is now 8 years old and just rolled 60k miles. The threshold is 8500 miles per year. Do the math.
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:15 am

The Egg wrote:
Glorious wrote:
Or, people just doing their jobs can catch insurance fraud.
You're not mad about this "privacy", you're mad because you're paying the insurance rate you're supposed to be paying.

Fraud? As in, with intent? :lol: My car is now 8 years old and just rolled 60k miles. The threshold is 8500 miles per year. Do the math.

They're calculating rates based on current usage patterns, not the entire lifetime of the vehicle. If you statistically become riskier because you're driving more, the rates go up. Nothing nefarious going on here.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:16 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Another possibility is that the location trackers in her phone or car identified which restaurants she frequented and allowed for accordingly targeted advertising.


I bet that is it.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:28 am

just brew it! wrote:
The Egg wrote:
Glorious wrote:
Or, people just doing their jobs can catch insurance fraud.
You're not mad about this "privacy", you're mad because you're paying the insurance rate you're supposed to be paying.

Fraud? As in, with intent? :lol: My car is now 8 years old and just rolled 60k miles. The threshold is 8500 miles per year. Do the math.

They're calculating rates based on current usage patterns, not the entire lifetime of the vehicle. If you statistically become riskier because you're driving more, the rates go up. Nothing nefarious going on here.

No.....I understand exactly what happened. I drove a few more miles during one of the time periods, even though on average I drive less. I took care of it with a phonecall, but I still don't like that a mechanic can hit the wrong key (or round up to the next 1000) and could potentially end up costing me money, maybe without recourse. Legitimately asking, what happens if there's an error on a Carfax?

Edit: I'm guessing that I drove more, as I haven't actually verified. It's legitimately possible there was an error.
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:30 am

Glorious wrote:
I just got a new one, and whenever I go to X, the phone says "I see you went to X, can you take a picture of it? Review it?"


I hate how I turn this stuff off only to find it back on an update or 2 later...
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:13 am

The Egg wrote:
I *am* 100% the owner. If I choose to sell the vehicle, at that time I should be able to decide who I'm going to give access to that information (obviously if I don't allow a potential buyer access, they shouldn't buy from me).


First off, I'm going to stop you here, bluntly: Recalls.

Car, as sold by OEM, has a tendency to explode. The fact of whether or not the defect known as "car explodes" was rectified is not something that you should be able to arbitrarily decide to record.

You, the seller, are not the OEM. You might not know about it. Me, the buyer, is also the not the OEM, and I might not know about it. Thus, having the OEM report this and record that it was rectified, FREE-OF-CHARGE, is kinda-of-good-idea, seeing as how it promotes the common weal and harms neither of us. Pareto optimal!

It's also, you know, supervening Federal law. It's not going to change, so in what sense will your vaunted "100% ownership" really hold true as principle? 'Cause that doesn't sound like a principle, it sounds like you trying to rationalize how you shouldn't have been caught. If not that, then what? Where's the real issue? This seems like dissembling, no?

Second off, yes, obviously: If your oil-change guy reports this, you shouldn't buy service from them? Isn't that same the principle? Oh but they didn't tell you, you say in response? OK, it's almost certainly policy that they're not going to violate for the loss-leading service of oil changes, right? So, would you have been honestly willing to go somewhere else over this? If not, equally mooted whether they told you or not.

The Egg wrote:
Fraud? As in, with intent? :lol: My car is now 8 years old and just rolled 60k miles. The threshold is 8500 miles per year. Do the math.


Sounds like the insurance company did, and for this to not be "fraud" (com'n, take it easy :P ), that would require that you didn't. :wink:

The straightforward response here would be "Oh, I went over and they noticed even though I didn't. Oh well."

---

I'm not even trying to cast aspersions on your character, no one cares. The insurance company doesn't even really "care"---this is completely automated.

I was more generically referring to how Carfax actually didn't even start with your idea of "major repairs should be recorded!"

No, it was actually started over what you are so upset about: mileage. More specifically, odometer fraud.

Ever read the Roald Dahl book Matilda? Carfax was originally about stopping Matilda's dad, who ran a comic fictional scheme that was also unfortunately tragically real.

So how do you do stop people from selling cars with manipulated odometers? Oh, right, an independent history of what the mileage used to be: Matilda's dad can't stuff sawdust in that!

---

But if you get so offended by all this, gee, maybe I got too close to the mark, then? :P

The Egg wrote:
No.....I understand exactly what happened. I drove a few more miles during one of the time periods, even though on average I drive less.


Right, but if it is contractually defined as the former, like, ...OK?

The Egg wrote:
I took care of it with a phonecall, but I still don't like that a mechanic can hit the wrong key (or round up to the next 1000) and could potentially end up costing me money, maybe without recourse.


1) That literally is recourse, of basically the best kind imaginable.
2) You insurance company could fat-finger something else and cost you money
3) Literally anyone can fat-finger literally anything and cost you money. The mechanic could "hit the wrong key" and fail to acknowledge that you paid. You think -this- is onerous? If they mistakenly lien your vehicle this is cupcakes by comparison.

The Egg wrote:
Legitimately asking, what happens if there's an error on a Carfax?


What happens if there is an "error" on the car you buy on Craigslist, in which the Odometer says 40k, but Carfax (and reality) say 185K?

You can call Carfax. You can rage on social media about CarFax. You can actually sue Carfax. (I didn't even bother to look up how to dispute a carfax thing).

Tom from Craigslist might be a little hard, though.

The Egg wrote:
Edit: I'm guessing that I drove more, as I haven't actually verified. It's legitimately possible there was an error.


And once you told the insurance company, they were immediately like: "whatever this is literally doesn't matter because this is a valued customer with proven history etc...".

Fin.

We don't need to upend the world with vacuously ill-advised principles.

Just call 'em (Should anything like this happen, error or not, companies[particularly those with relationships] actually price discriminate for complainers all the time--true story!) Make the jobs of all those local insurance agents/resellers a little less superfluous. :wink:
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:20 am

The Egg wrote:
No.....I understand exactly what happened. I drove a few more miles during one of the time periods, even though on average I drive less. I took care of it with a phonecall, but I still don't like that a mechanic can hit the wrong key (or round up to the next 1000) and could potentially end up costing me money, maybe without recourse. Legitimately asking, what happens if there's an error on a Carfax?

Edit: I'm guessing that I drove more, as I haven't actually verified. It's legitimately possible there was an error.
Carfax will get corrected when the vehicle is sold or traded, and ultimately, that's what their most important role is. Per-service readings don't have to be 100% correct as long as they can characterize the usage for each owner. IOW, the Carfax side of things isn't there to help you by tracking the mileage.

Instead, it might be more beneficial to focus on your relationship with your insurance agent. We're with State Farm, and they periodically ask for the mileage on our vehicles (if we don't respond, they just up the rate to typical 10k-12k miles/year rates). I assume that your insurance company has some way that you can voluntarily report the mileage, too. As long as they have records (and assuming you are being honest), they should keep you at the desired rates. They probably have another way to track your vehicle electronically and get even better data...but that's giving up more privacy. (We passed when State Farm offered us that.)
On second thought, let's not go to TechReport. Tis a silly place.
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:27 am

Pville_Piper wrote:
I hate how I turn this stuff off only to find it back on an update or 2 later...


I turned it all off on the old phone, which stuck as far as I knew [EDIT: then again my old phone was SERIOUSLY OLD, so no updates for years and years], but yeah, these things suspiciously "change" to the "default" of sharing all the time.

On the new phone, I don't even know what to do yet and I'm not annoyed enough yet or I'd have done it already

---

I'm just saying that there is extremely basic google "Stuff" on your phone that is constantly registering your presence at virtually any establishment of note. Therefore, to a virtual certainty, we can state that it is the phone.

With that stuff working (which it clearly does by default), the only remaining step is some sort of account that links all the information with an email address. We can safely assume Google's massive marketing engine does the rest.

And since google "helpfully" does things like "Oh, you logged into gmail? Oh, ok, Chrome is now you using that Google account for your Chrome browsing"* just ~6 months? ago, it is almost certainly google taking that step for you, somehow.

*It still does that by default :evil: :evil: :evil: , and they submarined-in this behavior change and didn't even allow you to opt-out for like a month or something. :roll:
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:43 am

Honestly I'm not really sure there is a way to turn this kind of stuff all the way off in recent versions of Android. I suppose you could turn off the cellular radio and GPS and wifi, but what is the point then?

Right now, you just have to kind of accept that if you have a smartphone, it's getting tracked. That's not to say we should just accept it and do nothing about it, but all that convenience comes at a cost currently. Kinda like "smart" TVs. You want a "dumb" TV? Good luck! Even if they did still make them, you'd be paying a few more hundred bucks because they can't track what you watch on a dumb TV.
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:57 am

The Egg wrote:
No.....I understand exactly what happened. I drove a few more miles during one of the time periods, even though on average I drive less. I took care of it with a phonecall, but I still don't like that a mechanic can hit the wrong key (or round up to the next 1000) and could potentially end up costing me money, maybe without recourse. Legitimately asking, what happens if there's an error on a Carfax?

Edit: I'm guessing that I drove more, as I haven't actually verified. It's legitimately possible there was an error.

Instead of looking at it as a penalty, IMO you ought to look at it as a bonus and budget for the possibility that it might go away. Not all insurance companies even offer that discount, and if they do, state insurance regulators can easily their positions on permissible fringe benefits. If they're going to offer it at all then of course they're going to track it somehow. Too easy to abuse otherwise. And unless you want a phone-home GPS tracker installed in the car, the next best option is a periodic reporting service like CarFax.

(The feds who track these things for purposes of doling out federal highway dollars figure the average car in the US now gets driven 13.5k miles per year -- more statistical analysis here if curious.)
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:50 pm

I realize now that I innaccurately skimmed the OP: he was getting direct-mail coupons (snail-mail, USPS), not e-mail coupons.

That changes things. I'm pretty sure Google maps analytics doesn't provide home address or allow you to individually derive it from aggregate anonymous data: Most of the research I remember were researchers who were given "anonymized" data for an individual and then "de-anonymized" it. Unsurprisingly, that operation is not very difficult: Virtually all of us return to a residential address daily, and for many of us our name is on the publicly-recorded deed. That's just the easiest way that captures a significant amount of "Economically-relevant" individuals right-off-the-bat.

So they have all that, but they just don't just hand it out: Just glancing at it their API is nowhere near that granular, and don't (Again quickly looking) see any evidence that this can be done via that channel.

They may sell aggregated anonymous data-sets like that separately (i.e. to large companies in big relationships with special transactions) in a way that someone could link "Identity #1234567 went to TGIF store #1111 and then went to $PROBABLE_DOMICILE" and send all of them anonymous coupons, but I don't think that's it. Especially since OP clearly said they were in her name. That really makes it unlikely...

----

OP, do either you or you GF (almost certainly her---her name etc..) use Facebook? They were the next place I looked and they publicly advertise something exactly like this to marketers.
Last edited by Glorious on Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
DancinJack
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:54 pm

Glorious wrote:
OP, do either you or you GF use Facebook? They were the next place I looked and they publicly advertise something exactly like this to marketers.

Not IN the OP, but from the OP.
Drewstre wrote:
Oh, good call. Her car is a 2007 Nissan Sentra, no GPS, unlikely to have any nefarious gadgetry. Her phone is an iPhone 6... it's definitely not loaded with all manner of apps, she uses it mainly for calls, texts, solitaire and Facebook.
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Glorious
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:07 pm

I'm sticking a giant finger in the face of ...erm... Facebook, then.

As I said, Facebook is advertising (to businesses, but very publicly) something that integrates with pre-existing direct-mail practices. It's not exactly (at first glance) precisely what OP is alleging but it is awfully close.

I'd look into the location-share settings (whether external from phone OS/internal to app) for Facebook, long and hard.
 
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:19 pm

Glorious wrote:
I'd look into the location-share settings (whether external from phone OS/internal to app) for Facebook, long and hard.

That presumes that the Facebook app (or the underlying OS for that matter) will report honestly. My default presumption WRT Facebook is that the phone will never tell me the full details of what's being "shared".
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Glorious
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Re: Can private companies use license plate scanners?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:29 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
That presumes that the Facebook app (or the underlying OS for that matter) will report honestly. My default presumption WRT Facebook is that the phone will never tell me the full details of what's being "shared".


I mean, I haven't touched Facebook in two years and want nothing to do with any social media or whatever, and I advise everyone to do the same, but...

....I think they are probably more cagey than that. I don't think they outright lie to you, that could get them into trouble. It's more like

1) It's really, really confusing. So many options, so many interactions. Oops?
2) Related to 1, you need like a guide because even finding all of these options (forget properly understanding them to pick n' choose correctly) took a guide, and I'm sure that guide changes all the time.
3) Changes constantly revert things to the "default" which is never privacy-maximalized or have weird interactions or just make it difficult to do this because, related to 2, this is needlessly complicated. You need to be really motivated and willing to suffer.
4) Related to 3, Suffering: Turning "everything" off on my old phone meant that, for instance, Google Maps wouldn't store my home address. To my recollection, if you wanted to have a "home" that meant you had to let them track you, even though there's no such necessity technically (why can't my phone locally store a "Home address?). It was pure "punishment" for turning off the spying I guess.

So, in my opinion, it's always "mostly" possible, but unless you are severely inclined to rigorously check and reapply as necessary, human frailties being what they are, it's basically going to be on in some fashion.

And it's complicated by how some of it it is not evil or nefarious at all, but honest public boon: Traffic data, for instance. How nice!

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