cars in traffic

Axon Brings License Plate Recognition Technology, and Self-Regulation, To Police Dash Cameras

Alongside its announcement about adding ALPR to its cameras, Axon’s independent ethics board issued a report calling for government and industry regulation of the technology.

Axon, a key manufacturer of body and dashboard cameras for law enforcement agencies as well as the Taser, announced on Wednesday that it will incorporate automated license plate recognition (ALPR) into its next generation of dash cameras.

Accompanying the announcement was an unusual action by a major security technology company: a critical report issued by its independent AI and Policing Technology Ethics Board, which the company created last year. In the report issued Wednesday, the ethics board advocated for greater regulation of ALPR technology, going on to acknowledge its usefulness in public safety while pointing out concerns around its unregulated use.

The board, which appears to be housed at the New York University Policing Project, said that the technology has the potential to “exacerbate enforcement of low-level offenses” and runs the risk of “false positives and long-term tracking of innocent drivers.” In addition, the report found that there is little public information about how police departments actually use ALPR data, making it difficult to measure the potential pros and cons of Axon’s entry into the market, TechCrunch reported.

Some of the board’s recommendations included immediate self-regulation by vendors, including Axon, and law enforcement. In practice, this recommendation means design modifications to improve transparency, limiting ALPR use to prosecute low-level offenses, and offering opportunities for the public to weigh in on ALPR use in their communities.

In addition, the report called for federal, state and local governments to step in and develop statutes for ALPR technology that would make its use by police more transparent.

Barry Friedman, a NYU law professor and a member of the ethics board, said in a statement that the unregulated use of ALPR has made millions of people subject to surveillance by law enforcement.

“The danger to our basic civil rights is only increasing as the technology is becoming more common,” Friedman said. “It is incumbent on companies like Axon to ensure that ALPRs serve the communities who are subject to ALPR usage. This includes guardrails to ensure their use does not compromise civil liberties or worsen existing racial and socioeconomic disparities in the criminal justice system.”

For its part, Axon said in a press release that it plans to work with the board, public safety leaders and “diverse community leaders” to develop a framework for law enforcement agencies to deploy the technology. That framework will be consistent with the recommendations put forth by the board, Axon CEO and founder Rick Smith said.

“We embrace that we have an ethical obligation to develop this technology thoughtfully and bring new privacy safeguards to the industry,” Smith said. “While building ALPR, we'll be addressing items such as data retention and data ownership, creating an ethical framework to help prevent misuse of the technology."

In response to the board’s recommendations regarding data storage, Smith added that the company has never sold public safety data and has no plans to do so.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Survey: Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

  • Mobile Applications Are Empowering Security Personnel

    From real-time surveillance and access control management to remote monitoring and communications, a new generation of mobile applications is empowering security personnel to protect people and places. Mobile applications for physical security systems are emerging as indispensable tools to enhance safety. They also offer many features that are reshaping how modern security professionals approach their work. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • Unified VMS

    AxxonSoft introduces version 2.0 of the Axxon One VMS. The new release features integrations with various physical security systems, making Axxon One a unified VMS. Other enhancements include new AI video analytics and intelligent search functions, hardened cybersecurity, usability and performance improvements, and expanded cloud capabilities 3

  • HD2055 Modular Barricade

    Delta Scientific’s electric HD2055 modular shallow foundation barricade is tested to ASTM M50/P1 with negative penetration from the vehicle upon impact. With a shallow foundation of only 24 inches, the HD2055 can be installed without worrying about buried power lines and other below grade obstructions. The modular make-up of the barrier also allows you to cover wider roadways by adding additional modules to the system. The HD2055 boasts an Emergency Fast Operation of 1.5 seconds giving the guard ample time to deploy under a high threat situation. 3

  • Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems, an industry-leading manufacturer of pedestrian and vehicle secure entrance control access systems, is pleased to announce the release of its groundbreaking V07 software. The V07 software update is designed specifically to address cybersecurity concerns and will ensure the integrity and confidentiality of Automatic Systems applications. With the new V07 software, updates will be delivered by means of an encrypted file. 3