Written by Nick Heer.

How Parking Applications Affect Your Privacy

Speaking of parking and privacy, Not My Plate is a way for European citizens to generate GDPR requests for removal from parking networks that rely on automated plate recognition. Researchers devised some ingenious ways of tracking plates and, by extension, vehicles and possibly people. From the whitepaper:

One discovered methodology involved (re-)registering the license plates into parking and toll road applications that start- and stop sessions based on automatic license plate recognition. Out of the 120 license plates monitored, we were able to track down the live location of slightly over 29% of vehicles during a 100-day window (26.5% of which using methodology #1, and additional 2.5% using methodology #2 which was tested on a smaller scale).

Another technique was proven to work in areas without cameras, such as on-street parking in cities and residential neighborhoods. A proof-of-concept stalkerware application was developed to routinely create one-second parking sessions for a multitude of parking zones across the country, intercepting any errors that would indicate the vehicle is already parked there. When used in areas that offer limited free parking time, the scan would only have to run once a day and would not incur any charges for the attacker.

In the U.S. and Canada, vehicle plates are typically assigned to the owner. But in other places, plates are attached to a specific vehicle for its entire life.