Though police have concerns about provisions in the Creem-Hecht bill — particularly the proposed 48-hour limit on saving license scans — some law enforcement officials say they can see a role for the state in setting standards on the technology.
“Some departments are keeping the data forever, others seem to be dumping it every 20 minutes,” said Peabody Police Chief Robert Champagne, who said his department has yet to set a limit on retaining its license scans.
Hecht, who represents parts of Cambridge and Watertown, said the important thing is to get people talking about the potential pitfalls of the new technology — and avoid them.
“Technology is rapidly moving ahead in terms of our ability to gather information about people,” said Hecht. “We need to have a conversation about how to balance legitimate uses . . . with protecting people’s legitimate expectation of privacy.”
This investigation was done for the Globe in collaboration with MuckRock, a Boston-based company that specializes in obtaining government documents through records requests. It was supported by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Shawn Musgrave can be reached at email@example.com.