Park that Camera Car…LPR Legal in Arkansas?

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Guest Editorial

Manassas, VA – 15 August 2013 – If you have camera cars or LPR cameras on your trucks, take heed… the 2013 Regular Session of the 89th General Assembly of the State of Arkansas, passed this law that goes into effect 12:01AM Friday, August 16, 2013.  This is taken from AR House Bill 1996, which is now Act 1491 Entitled: “An Act to Regulate the use of Automatic License Plate Reader Systems; and for other purposes.”, Subtitle: “To Regulate the use of Automatic License Plate Reader Systems.”

An automatic license plate reader system is defined in the Act as “a system of one (1) or more mobile or fixed automated high-speed cameras used in combination with computer algorithms to convert images of license plates into computer-readable data.”

12-12-1803. Restrictions on Use.

(a)  Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, it is unlawful for an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or the State of Arkansas, its agencies, and political subdivision to use an automatic license plate reader system.

Just in case you’re curious, subsection b says an automatic license plate reader system may be used: by (1) a state, county or municipal law alpr_camera2enforcement agency, (2) by parking enforcement entities or (3) for the purpose of controlling access to secured areas.

In this writer’s humble opinion, that does not include repossession companies, forwarding companies or lenders.

This law, that goes into effect 12:01am Friday, August 16th also addresses who can use LPR data and in what manner that data can be used.  Again, in my opinion this data, in the state of Arkansas can only be used by members of law enforcement.  It cannot be sold, shared or transferred to ANY other entity; and it cannot be retained for more than 150 days.

A copy of the Act can be viewed by clicking this link:  http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2013/2013R/Pages/BillInformation.aspx?measureno=HB1996

Civil rights activists say LPR is a violation of a person’s privacy.  LPR technology is being challenged in a number of states – and here its use is extremely restricted.  What state will be next?  You should be aware of this law and keep track of laws involving LPR technology in your state.

From an insurance standpoint, if you repossess a vehicle using illegal methods a wrongful repossession claim is not far away.   While initially sold to lenders as a tremendous asset, the actual liability associated with LPR technology is just beginning to trend out.

Who is going to defend you when that claim arises?  Will it be the LPR provider who may have been providing data illegally to entities other than law enforcement?  Will it be the lender who required you to have camera cars and/or purchased the hit and authorized you to pick up the unit?  Will it be the forwarder?  Or will you be left standing alone at the defendants table in court trying to justify your actions?

All of these questions and more remain unanswered and will only be answered in the court of law…eventually.  But for now, the state of Arkansas has made a statement that shouldn’t be ignored.

With unmatched expertise and experience, Recovery Specialist Insurance Group (www.rsig.com) offers superior insurance protection, education & training and repossession assignment management technology designed for today’s lender and repossession professional. Have questions, we’re ready to help and can be reached at 703.365.0199.

 

From the desk of: Dana Loan, Recovery Specialist Insurance Group

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