Flock’s data can help police paint a detailed picture of the movements of specific vehicles, alarming abortion activists.
Flock Safety, a rapidly expanding company that sells license plate readers to police and neighborhoods across the US, has an ambitious mission: to eliminate crime.
“Flock’s mission as a business is to eliminate crime,
So it would be inaccurate to characterize Flock as being for or against any particular issue.
License plate reader companies are just one of several tech companies that are facing scrutiny for the ways in which they provide data or technology to law enforcement seeking to prosecute abortion cases
Facebook came under fire for providing Nebraska police with the private messages between a mother and daughter who were being investigated for allegedly conducting an illegal abortion.
Abortion activists have increasingly sounded the alarm about surveillance tech
Flock’s website says its products help capture “objective evidence” that is then run through machine learning-enabled software that allows the company to, for instance, help police identify vehicles that may be traveling with the suspected car.
Therefore, law enforcement in a state where abortion is legal can share data with police in a state where abortion is banned
For instance, in California, the Vallejo police department, which has detected nearly 400,000 vehicles in the last month, shares its license plate reader data with law enforcement in Texas and Arizona.
“The cities and/or law enforcement agencies own the data and they decide – not Flock – with whom they share their footage and how they wish to enforce their laws,” Thomas said.
Dave Maass, the director of investigations at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization, said he hoped current and prospective Flock clients in places where abortion is legal will scrutinize the company’s stance on abortion laws and “ask themselves the question: can I trust this company with our people’s data”
Flock Safety’s position illustrates how surveillance isn’t actually about benefiting society or protecting people – it’s about enforcing the political goals of those in power,” he argued.
Many surveillance companies pitch their services as a way to increase public safety, but “Flock Safety’s position illustrates how surveillance isn’t actually about benefiting society or protecting people – it’s about enforcing the political goals of those in power,” he argued.
criminalize people seeking reproductive health and further erode people’s ability to move about their daily lives free from being tracked and traced”,