License plate info gathered at 3 OC shopping centers could be given to ICE, report finds

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- A new report indicates that information from license plates collected at three popular Orange County shopping centers can be shared with ICE.

The report was done by nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation and focused on the use of automated license plate readers at Fashion Island, The Market Place and the Irvine Spectrum Center.

The Irvine Company, which owns all three, has a contract with Vigilant Solutions to collect data and share it with local law enforcement.

"If you're not really doing anything wrong and if you're not really committing a crime I don't think it should be of any concern," said Sarah Forsling, of Salt Lake City, Utah.

In a statement, the Irvine Company disputed the report.

"Vigilant is required by contract and have assured us that ALPR data collected at these locations is only shared with local police departments as part of their efforts to keep the local community safe," it said.

ICE said it uses the ALPR technology but follows stringent privacy rules. Regardless, the ACLU has concerns.

"What we need is a lot more information and a lot more transparency from Vigilant and with the Irvine Company about what exactly they do with this data," ACLU staff attorney Mohammad Tajsar said.

Vigilant Solutions calls the allegations inflammatory. In a statement, it said, "The entire premise of the article is false. Vigilant Solutions and Irvine Company do not share the ALPR data gathered at malls with ICE."

Vigilant asked for a full retraction from EFF and is looking into legal options.
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