license plate readers

License Plate Readers, and Citigroup Foreclosure Failures (E5)

We discuss news that Citigroup never bothered to mail checks to 23,000 Americans who were wrongfully foreclosed on, despite owing them a combined total of $22 million. We also talk about license plate readers, the NYPD, and a shadowy surveillance corporation called Vigilant Solutions, which has a massive spy database full of photos of license plates. Does the thought that the cops can get a text notification if a car with a certain license plate enters a given area creep you out? Then you need to listen to this segment.

We also give an update on the latest scandals of Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Instagram), and tell Fox Business pundit Dagen McDowell to quit her job.

Further Reading

To read more about the failures of the Independent Foreclosure Review, and the regulator overseeing it, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, see Alexis’ article for The Nation, “Foreclosure Review Report Shows That the OCC Continues to Bury Wall Street’s Bodies,” this storify summarizing the MONSTROSITY that was the Office of the Comptroller for the Currency’s “Independent” Foreclosure Review settlement, or Alexis’ “What You Can Buy for Having Your House Stolen” Tumblr.

The Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement was a monstrosity

To read more about Kade’s nemesis, Vigilant Solutions, see

For more on the latest scandals burying Rep. Aaron Schock, see this article by Luke Brinker at Salon. And for more on why Fox Business pundit Dagen McDowell should quit her job, read Alexis’s post on

And as a general reminder, please RATE US on iTunes, and help Kade with her dream of knocking NPR shows out of the top five News & Politics podcasts on iTunes.

Credit Where Due


The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at Theme music for BITCH PLEASE is “Hachiko (The Faithful Dog)” a song by The Kyoto Connection. And the theme for QUIT YOUR JOB is “Fortitude” by J.O. Finally, you should know that the font for our logo is by the graphic designer Marisa Passos.

3 thoughts on “License Plate Readers, and Citigroup Foreclosure Failures (E5)”

  1. I disagree that the license plate readers are so hard to regulate. There is no constitutional right to collect data.

    Remember when it was possible to listen to mobile phones using an FM radio? And someone taped a congressman’s phone call, and Congress simply forbade people from wiretapping phone calls in that manner? That’s all this is. You just ban it, citing the overwhelming public interest in privacy and longstanding abhorrence of wiretaps.

    Of course some companies and even agencies will continue to do it, but it becomes harder to introduce evidence in court if it’s been collected illegally. And it will be harder for public agencies and law-abiding companies to buy the data if it was collected illegally.

  2. Hey Steve! Thanks for your comment. I wish you were right, but the tricky part about license plate databases is that they contain photos of cars that are taken in public. How could you write a law that would stop people from collecting pictures of cars without creating an impossible, unconstitutional rule? I think one way might be to create a special privacy interest—by statute—in location data. But it’s not as easy as it sounds!

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