Iowa City to ban red-light cameras, drones, and license plate readers too

Red-light camera hatred in Hawkeye State morphed into three-in-one privacy bill.
Ars Technica
Jun. 05, 2013

On Tuesday evening, Iowa City is scheduled to hold the first reading (PDF) of what is likely the first municipal bill anywhere in the country to simultaneously ban the local use of drones, license plate readers, and red-light cameras--three tools increasingly used by law enforcement and often fraught with privacy-related controversy.

The ordinance is the result of a local petition brought forward by a citizen group that originally began as a referendum on red light cameras. Iowa City is the only municipality in the state that allows for local petitions to turn into ordinances that will be brought before the city council. Some states have similar lawmaking procedures at the state-level, but Iowa does not.

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