Theres every reason to be wary of the manifold electronic technologies that can, and do, track us nearly everywhere. Some are based on radio signals, some on the Internet, others on visual recognition. Americans, if we really value freedom and individual autonomy, need to think about setting some limits.
Still, the devilishly clever device that Raleigh police have deployed on a few patrol cars might well fall into the acceptable category. Its based on optics and rides atop the vehicles, on the light bar. Its called Automated License Plate Recognition and the stated purpose is to constantly scan traffic for license plates that have been reported stolen. In that sense, its a substitute for having vigilant police officers doing the same work. Now they can do so while keeping their eyes on the road, and on the lookout for other offenses.
Why is this not an invasion of privacy? Vehicle theft is a crime. Folks who ride around in a stolen car on the public highways surely have forfeited their right to be left alone.