Fleming Amendment to Stop Federal Funding for License Plate Tracking Passes House
This amendment gets the federal government out of the business of buying cameras to collect and store images of license plates.
Congressman John Fleming, M.D., released the following statement after his amendment passed on the House floor today by a bipartisan vote of 254-172:
“Federal, state, and local governments should not be in the business of tracking and storing data about the activities of innocent Americans. This amendment gets the federal government out of the business of buying cameras to collect and store images of license plates. State and local governments may still decide to buy and use cameras for that purpose, but my amendment would keep your federal tax dollars from paying for them.
"There’s been a proliferation of license plate readers that take pictures of every plate that passes by. While there are legitimate law enforcement uses for public safety cameras, photographing every passing plate and storing those images inevitably leads to the tracking of people’s movements. Such readers allow government agencies to indefinitely store data on an individual's church attendance, mental health counseling, or legitimate government protest activities. This indiscriminate and bulk collection and storage of license plate data, especially when no crime has been committed, raises serious privacy questions, and I’m glad the House of Representatives has joined me in taking a step toward defunding the practice.”
Video of Rep. Fleming’s floor remarks in support of the amendment can be seen here.
Dr. John Fleming is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.