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25 Current Issues Crim. Just. 565 (2013-2014)
When the Profile Becomes the Population: Examining Privacy Governance and Road Traffic Surveillance in Canada and Australia

handle is hein.journals/cicj25 and id is 123 raw text is: When the Profile Becomes the
Population: Examining Privacy
Governance and Road Traffic
Surveillance in Canada and Australia
lan Warren, Randy Lippert, Kevin Walby and Darren Palmer*
Abstract
Use of automated licence/number plate recognition ('ALPR/ANPR') technologies in
Canada and Australia raises significant policy questions for privacy advocates and
criminal justice practitioners. The proliferation of mass surveillance through
ALPR/ANPR also presents several conceptual puzzles about the links among criminal
justice data flows, individual privacy and state responsibility in this actuarial age. In this
article, we use case studies of ALPR/ANPR in Canada and Australia to examine privacy
as a technique for governing road traffic surveillance. We explain our findings in light of
Harcourt's (2007) argument against the use of actuarial prediction and 'hit rates' that are
rationalised as the chief measure of law enforcement activities and effectiveness. Finally,
we question the regulation of surveillance technologies such as ALPR/ANPR through
current Canadian and Australian information privacy laws, with specific focus on privacy
by design ('PbD'), a strategy that favours improving law enforcement efficiency at the
expense of privacy.
Introduction
The dilemma of reconciling law enforcement mandates with information privacy rights has
international relevance. This tension is acute in situations where law enforcement agencies
adopt new technologies to replace manual identity matching and criminal history checks
involving a growing range of publicly accessible and private information. Digital
technologies enable the rapid sorting of increased volumes of information to assist with the
efficient detection and prevention of serious crime and enforcing a larger array of low-level
fines (Brown et al 2013). Automated data sorting is increasingly evident in contemporary
law enforcement through mobile applications of camera surveillance technologies,
such    as   Automatic    Licence    Plate   Recognition    ('ALPR').    However,    the
Ian Warren, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria,
Australia, email: ian.warren a deakin.edu.au; Randy Lippert, Professor, Department of Sociology and
Criminology, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, email: lippert a uwindsor.ca; Kevin Walby,
Assistant Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,
email: k.walby(uwinnipeg.ca; Darren Palmer, Associate Professor, School of Humanities and Social
Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia, email: darren.palmer a deakin.edu.au.

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