Homeland security officials on Wednesday abruptly shelved a proposal to build a national database of license-plate scans after criticism from privacy advocates.
The proposal, which had been posted online last week by the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, sought a contractor who could establish a searchable database of license plates, with the times and locations where they were spotted by traffic cameras and other sources.
But in a statement late Wednesday, the department announced a reversal.
“The solicitation, which was posted without the awareness of ICE leadership, has been canceled,” said spokeswoman Gillian Christensen. “While we continue to support a range of technologies to help meet our law enforcement mission, this solicitation will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets our operational needs.”
It was unclear whether the proposal was dead or was merely withdrawn for revisions.
Well, their “operational needs” probably include that people don’t know about it…