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Electronic license plates questioned

Department of Motor Vehicle and Licensing Director David Dixon says the new electronic registration system is being created for the right reasons.
The system comes online in January and is aimed at reducing wait times at the DVDL offices while combating crime but it uses an ID chip that doesn’t sit well with some.
Sociologist Dr Frank McField is objecting to the system saying it raises serious privacy issues.
“The sole purpose of the system is to track to see if the plates are being used for any criminal activities,” Mr Dixon says.

Mr Dixon assuring there’s no sinister motive behind Cayman’s new electronic licensing plates with built-in Radio Frequency Identification chips. RFID is getting widespread use as a tracking tool.

The DVML Director adds, “Because the system can allow for electronic ticketing of offenders as well as the tracking and monitoring of traffic flows and patterns which will be of benefit for the NRA.”

But some like Dr Frank McField say tracking packages are different from tracking people saying state and law enforcement must be separate.

“Helping them to collect money and their going to just throw away the right to privacy. No, No, No They can collect the money in a different way I think,” Dr McField says.

But Mr Dixon says safeguards are in place to prevent the data from being shared beyond road information and fighting crimes like stolen cars.

“The system is controlled directly by DVML and the police. It is our system and it not linked to not other database,” Mr Dixon says.

The new plates also feature a holographic tag and a green sea turtle… The plate cost remains unchanged at CI$75.

Old licence plates will be removed on a phased basis free of charge. Mr Dixon says the electronic plates and the machinery are already on-island and staff are in the process of being trained by the Germany-based manufacturer Utschtonnjes International.

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About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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