Automatic license-plate readers (ALRPs) are among the most prolific yet least-talked-about technologies fast eroding Americans’ diminishing right to privacy. The camera-based systems, mounted on police cars or in static locations, automatically photograph license plates and feed information about their location into government and other data bases. Now, privacy advocates can fight back, simply by getting dressed in the morning. As reported in MIT Technology Review, a new clothing company, Adversarial Fashions, is selling a line of men’s and women’s wearables with license-plate patterns that are designed to trigger ALPR cameras and feed the systems useless data and obfuscate actual plates.
Three different patterns are offered. One depicts black-and-white plates with miscellaneous letter-number combinations or license plates, another has the same thing mixed with circuit imagery, and a third puts into license-plate form the text of the fourth Amendment (the one against unreasonable searches and seizures). The collection includes T-shirts, hoodies, crop tops, skirts, jackets, and dresses. The company suggests shoppers might consider buying a size larger than normal, since the patterns are most easily read when the garments hang straight. And this is one instance where you want the readers to get a good, clear look.