Truth about License Plate Recognition

The Facts Don’t Lie

Like most B2B businesses, DRN solves problems for our customers. And by solving these problems, we do more than just drive revenue and results, we create a bigger impact. That impact touches anyone that drives a car and has an insurance policy. Our data and analytics mitigate risk for auto lenders enabling them to extend more loans at better rates. Insurance companies use our data and analytics to identify fraud and rate evasion on commercial and personal lines which in turn means better rates on policies for consumers.

DRN’s solutions are fueled by vehicle location data and analytics. That vehicle location data comes from License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology. LPR is a powerful force for good, yet misconceptions and misinformation linger that cloud the true facts about LPR. From the threats of a surveillance state to privacy breaches, LPR is too often depicted in a harsh and wrong light.

Four License Plate Recognition Truths

1. LPR Automates a Manual Task

The United States is home to the largest passenger vehicle market in the world with over 250 million passenger vehicles travelling on public roads and thoroughfares. Every car has a license plate and DRN’s cameras capture images of license plates that pass within the field of view of the camera. These cameras simply automate a process that has been done manually for years – capturing publicly visibly and publicly available information. We generate this LPR data from repossession agents looking for assignments provided to them by lenders. The LPR data records are stored in a database that can be searched only by authorized personnel. We combine our LPR data with analytics to power solutions for the auto recovery, auto finance and insurance industries helping them to locate their assets and connect with their customers.

2. LPR Does Not Capture Personally Identifiable Information

Even as the LPR data offers valuable insights for locating assets and connecting with customers, these LPR cameras simply take photographs of license plates and stamp the pictures with the date, time, and location coordinates of where they were taken, just like any modern smartphone camera. LPR data contains NO personally identifiable information – just a photo of an anonymous rectangle with alphanumeric characters on it – a license plate. Every state mandates by law that license plates be mounted on vehicles and visible for identification purposes.

3. LPR Data is Secure

The only way to link personally identifiable information (PII) about a person including the name, address, or face to an anonymous LPR data record is to obtain access to a state’s Department of Motor Vehicle database. That access is currently restricted by a strong federal law – the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) – which carries stiff fines and federal prison penalties for any violation. Because of the DPPA, the connection of a LPR data record to personal data from DMV records for malicious or abusive reasons is strictly prohibited under existing law. Insurance carriers and lenders have use to this data under DPPA permissible use.

4. LPR is a Force for Good

DRN’s customers, financial services and insurance companies, use LPR data to mitigate risk, recover assets, properly rate policies, fight auto theft and fraud, and connect with their customers. LPR is also used by law enforcement agencies to exonerate suspects and has helped to solve thousands of crimes – from murders to trafficking to abductions. LPR serves as a force for good making our communities safer.

Privacy concerns often dominate debates about license plate recognition. Yet the facts don’t lie. And for the industries that rely on LPR, to the consumers and citizens that benefit from LPR, the facts are in. LPR does good and is good business.

Heather Ford

Heather Ford

As the Director of Marketing at DRN, Ford has built an integrated marketing team that leverages traditional and cutting-edge digital marketing systems. Ford successfully transitioned marketing to manage measurable outcomes which has resulted in a consistent increase in sales leads and awareness every quarter.

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