'I am tired of being surveilled': Detroit's plan to add more license plate readers draws backlash

Detroit police want to add more license plate readers around the city, a plan that is drawing backlash from some residents.

Currently, there are 83 readers in Detroit, and police want to add 100 more.

These cameras create a database of cars that pass them. They only capture license plates and vehicle characteristics.

The Board of Police Commissioners held a public hearing Thursday to gather feedback from residents.

"I am tired of being surveilled," Detroit resident Meeko Williams said.

Despite the reassurances that the cameras don't capture faces, the technology has led to some stereotyping fears, worries about how data is being stored, and concerns about the surveillance of innocent people.

"A license plate number should be considered personally identifying information. In a literal sense, no, it is not identifying information. It does not describe a specific person. But for the department's own spec report, it can be linked with other information to easily identify individuals," said Gabrielle Dresner, with ACLU Michigan.

The commissioners are expected to vote next week, though that vote could be delayed. 

Other nearby cities also utilize the technology, including Warren and Ferndale. The cameras are lauded as a way to help solve crimes, recover stolen vehicles, and find people after AMBER Alerts are issued.

Additionally, plate readers are on some Metro Detroit freeways amid a rise in shootings on roadways.