US vehicle repossession service builds billion-scan ANPR database


In 2018, repossession services in the US were experiencing a boom in business as the number of Americans failing to keep up with their car payments reached its highest point since 2012. One of these, Ohio-based Relentless Recovery, was increasing its hit rate by equipping its agents' vehicles with cameras to help it build a database of every license plate in the state along with the locations where the vehicles may be easily found. Repo agents collect most of the billions of license plate scans produced in the US, but the data is owned by Texas-based Digital Recognition Network, which sells the data to insurance companies, private investigators, and other repo agents. Its sibling company, Vigilant Solutions, provides plate scans to law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Writer: Todd C. Frankel

Publication: Washington Post

Publication date: 2018-05-15