Critics raise concerns on information collected by toll cameras
By Scott Wickersham
July 25, 2014
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Critics raise privacy concerns over your personal information and toll cameras that track where you go and when.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation explained Friday why their contract with Cintra talks about driver's medical records. The NCDOT contract with Cintra stated the Spanish company must not make public driver's Social Security number, medical and criminal records. NCDOT said that's not something Cintra will even collect.
The North Carolina Turnpike Authority will handle toll collections and they won’t ask for any of that. The DOT needed to have protective language in the contract if that information ended up in Cintra's hands. What's more disturbing to some drivers is that toll road sensors and license plate cameras will track their every move. In the past, courts and law enforcement have used that data for criminal cases and even civil matters like divorce. For years, the North Carolina ACLU has been trying to pass legislation to limit law enforcements' use of this data.
They said there's no law that says police need a warrant to get it or who they can share it with. “These are things that are perfectly legal. But none of the government's business,” said Mike Meno with North Carolina ACLU. “Whoever is controlling these cameras, can paint a vivid picture of your life and where you go. Even folks who have nothing to hide are entitled to their privacy.” Terri and Jim O'Connor said it took months to clear their son of a car crash he wasn't involved in.
The license plate camera evidence implied he was at fault. “The DMV sent him a letter saying he owed money because he ran a light and hit a car and criminal history and a civil rights group is raising concerns about a different type of history,” they said. Another concern with tolls is the Turnpike Authority website has a warning right now about a phishing scam. Some of its users are getting fake emails asking them to pay an overdue bill.
If you click the link, it downloads a virus that could steal your financial data.