Minn. makes license plate tracking data private - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Minn. makes license plate tracking data private

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

A state agency has ruled that vehicle location data derived from police license plate readers across Minnesota is private.

   The ruling by the Department of Administration comes three months after Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak asked the state to reclassify the data, which the Star Tribune first reported was public by default in August.

Monday's reclassification expires in 2015, but state lawmakers are working on legislation to make the information permanently private.

   License plate readers store records on every vehicle they spot on the road. Their purpose is to help police identify criminals, but they also log sensitive location information on law-abiding citizens.

   Rybak asked for the data to be reclassified after Minneapolis police received many requests for vehicle location data. The reclassification request itself made the data temporarily non-public.

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