On Friday, April 24, Representative Peter Breen passed HB 3289, legislation to regulate government use of automated license plate readers and retention of the tracking data generated by the devices. Rep. Breen worked extensively with the ACLU of Illinois to advance the measure. Together, they recruited a broad bi-partisan coalition of legislators to support the initiative. The final version of the bill was the third amended version, reached only after spirited negotiations with interested parties.
“Automated license plate readers can serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, but because of the power of this technology to track innocent civilians, we need to put responsible limits on their use. Our right to privacy is a fundamental right, cherished by our Founders and enshrined in the Illinois Constitution. This bill is a measured way to balance fighting crime and preserving innocent folks' privacy."
This bill limits license plate recognition systems to a specific range of uses for law enforcement, toll collection, and parking enforcement purposes, along with placing a 30-month maximum on the amount of time that location tracking information may be retained. Currently, there is no limit in Illinois law on the use of license plate readers or on the retention of tracking data from the readers.
After vigorous debate, the House passed the measure by a vote of 75-24-11. The bill will now move onto the Senate.