A vast hidden surveillance network runs across America, powered by the repo industry

BetaBoston:

Few notice the “spotter car” from Manny Sousa’s repo company as it scours Massachusetts parking lots, looking for vehicles whose owners have defaulted on their loans. Sousa’s unmarked car is part of a technological revolution that goes well beyond the repossession business, transforming any ­industry that wants to check on the whereabouts of ordinary people. An automated reader attached to the spotter car takes a picture of every ­license plate it passes and sends it to a company in Texas that already has more than 1.8 billion plate scans from vehicles across the country.

While public debate about the license reading technology has centered on how police should use it, business has eagerly adopted the $10,000 to $17,000 scanners with remarkably few limits.

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