California proposes location-tracking, e-ink license plates that display "STOLEN" if a car is boosted

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/29/bumperstumper.html

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$7/month monthly fee for a license plate. Does that include any other perks, like ad-free music or something?

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I, for one, welcome our new old overlord overlords.

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My credit cards used to squawk any time I traveled, or shopped somewhere new. I guess they broadened their parameters for me, including “travels sometimes.”

Wouldn’t it be cool if your license plates said STOLEN any time you went out of town? Or if you visited one of those neighborhoods?

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Some agent provocateur is going to get STOLEN as their vanity plates now. If not already.

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As if there wasn’t enough profanity and road rage on our highways already, now we’ve got a new way to tell off and set off the driver behind you (or behind the person whose license plate you compromised and whose message you modified, if the security software protecting the remote modification capability was written by the lowest bidder.)

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Such weaponized bits of tech already exist and aren’t super pricy.

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Hack yours and you can change it to your annoying neighbors plates just as you are driving past a speed camera.

Isn’t one of the main features of license plates that they are supposed to be hard to change?

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Get fake plates and double sided tape. Steal cars. Problem solved.

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I’m sorry, but $700 for the plates PLUS $7/month? Apart from fleet owners, who in their right mind would want these?

Apparently, the car owner cannot even control the messages transmitted on the plates. I might see the value in $700 plates if it allowed me to flash a message to the tailgating asshole behind me to back off a bit.

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Why would they charge for this? Think of how much money they’ll save by not paying people to drive around scanning license plates all day. Plus that can only cover a small percentage. Electronic tracking gives them much better coverage.

Feed that data-hungry beast. So far it’s only been snacking.

I don’t think it’s for anyone besides fleet owners. I imagine it would be great for rental companies.

What I don’t think it’s great for is the purpose Cory stated

I mean, PA just eliminated registration stickers altogether. It’s fairly trivial to run plates and determine if registration is expired.

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Meter maids? Cory, check your calendar. It’s 2018

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Almost certainly not allowed. My high school girlfriend tried to get plates that said DUI. Nope. She was a fun girl.

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That’s going to a lot cheaper for car thieves than getting one of these.

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Sure but that also means you won’t catch many people driving on expired plates unless you run every plate you come across. The stickers make it easy to spot expired registration at a glance.

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e-ink displays look like paper. So a piece of paper with “STOLEN” printed on it will look like a license plate.

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Things are about to get worse for that one stollen pastry chef or aficionado in the state with a vanity plate.

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