An ICE agent. Photo: LM Otero/AP/REX/Shutterstock The U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency will gain access to a massive license-plate database, the Verge reported on Friday, raising fears that it will harness the data to advance its already emboldened crackdown on illegal immigrants. An ICE representative told the Verge that the agency has contracted with Vigilant Solutions, which operates a database of over 2 billion license-plate numbers that it has gathered in partnership with private firms, like vehicle-repossession agencies, as well as local law enforcement. The Verge explains how ICE could use its newfound information: A historical search would turn up every place a given license plate has been spotted in the last five years, a detailed record of the target’s movements. That data could be used to find a given subject’s residence or even identify associates if a given car is regularly spotted in a specific parking lot. Agents could also get “instantaneous email alerts” whenever a plate they’re searching for is found. “Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations,” agency spokesperson Dani Bennett said in a statement. “ICE is not seeking to build… Read full this story
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