SECTION 1. The General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 90I the following chapter:-
Chapter 90J Automatic License Plate Reader Systems
Section 1. Definitions
As used throughout this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
"ALPR data" means any data captured, created or originated by an ALPR system, including, without limitation, GPS coordinates, dates, times, images and license plate numbers, existing in an any form or medium, whether electronic, paper or otherwise, and any copies thereof;
"Automated license plate reader system" or "ALPR system" means an automated system of one or more mobile or fixed high-speed cameras combined with computer algorithms to convert images of license plates into computer-readable data;
“Department” means department of transportation;
“Executive office” means executive office of public safety and security;
“Governmental entity” means any official, officer, agency, office, instrumentality, department, division, committee, board, advisory board, commission or other body or authority of the commonwealth, or of any county or municipality, or any employee thereof, or any agent or other person acting on behalf thereof while acting within the scope of such agency or representation;
“Law enforcement agency” means any state or municipal law enforcement agency;
“Law enforcement officer" means a state or municipal police officer or traffic or parking enforcement officer;
"Legitimate law enforcement purpose" means: detection or investigation of a crime, traffic violation or parking violation; operation of AMBER alerts; or searches for missing or endangered persons;
“Non-governmental entity” means any person other than a governmental entity;
“Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, society, entity or governmental entity;
“Preservation request” means written notice delivered by a federal, state or municipal law enforcement agency or a defendant in a criminal case to the executive office or a non-governmental entity requesting that certain ALPR data be preserved and retained for a specified period of time not to exceed 30 days from the date such request is received; provided, that such preservation request shall be accompanied by an affidavit stating: (i) the parameters identifying which ALPR data must be preserved, including, without limitation, the license plate numbers, if any, and the dates, times, and locations; and (ii) that such specified period of time is necessary to obtain a search warrant or production order compelling the production of such ALPR data; provided further, that the agency or defendant may serve subsequent preservation requests pending resolution of any motion filed in connection with such search warrant or production order, or any appeal related thereto;
“Production order” means an order or summons obtained by a defendant in a criminal case charged with a felony requiring a non-governmental entity or the executive office to produce ALPR data; provided, that such order or summons shall be issued in compliance with Massachusetts Rule of Criminal Procedure 17(a)(2); provided further, that any ALPR data produced in response to such order or summons shall be deemed privileged for the purposes of complying therewith;
“Search warrant” means: (i) a federal search warrant issued upon a determination of probable cause by a court or justice authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases that meets the requirements of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; or (ii) a state search warrant issued pursuant to the requirements of sections 2 through 3A, inclusive, of chapter 276 by a court or justice authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases.
Section 2. State or municipal government; permitted uses
Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for any governmental entity to use an ALPR system; provided, however, that an ALPR system may be used by:
(a) law enforcement agencies for legitimate law enforcement purposes; and
(b) the department or an agent acting on behalf thereof for the purpose of assessing or collecting tolls or parking fees.
Section 3. General obligations
(a) Any database or other information against which license plate numbers are cross-referenced by an ALPR system operated by any person shall be updated every 24 hours, or at such other intervals as updated information become available if greater than 24 hours.
(b) Prior to taking any action in response to an alert or prompt from an ALPR system operated by any person, the individual so alerted shall confirm that the license plate number and state of issuance of the targeted vehicle matches the license plate number and state of issuance that prompted the alert.
Section 4. ALPR data; retention by law enforcement
Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, not later than 48 hours following the time ALPR data is captured, created or originated by an ALPR system operated by a law enforcement agency, the law enforcement agency:
(a) may, at the option of the law enforcement agency, transfer such data to the executive office; and
(b) in any event shall permanently erase or destroy any such data in its possession, custody or control.
Section 5. ALPR data; retention by the executive office
(a) The executive office shall retain and store ALPR data transferred to it pursuant to section 4 for a period of 120 days. At the end of such 120-day period, the executive office shall permanently erase or destroy all such data in its possession, custody, or control.
(b) ALPR data may be retained beyond the 120-day period established under subsection (a) as necessary to comply with a search warrant, production order, or preservation request.
Section 6. ALPR data; retention by non-governmental entities
A governmental entity shall not enter into a business agreement with, or access ALPR data from, a non-governmental entity that retains ALPR data derived from vehicles registered or operated within the Commonwealth for periods longer than those established for the executive office under section 5.
Section 7. ALPR data; government access and review
Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, a governmental entity may not access, search, review, disclose, or exchange ALPR data from any source; provided, however, that:
(a) a law enforcement agency or officer may access, search or review ALPR data as necessary to comply with section 3;
(b) a law enforcement agency, the executive office or the department, or an agent thereof, may access ALPR data as necessary to install, maintain or repair an ALPR system or a system storing ALPR data;
(d) a governmental entity may access, search, review or disclose ALPR data as necessary to respond to a reasonable belief that an individual is at imminent risk of serious physical injury, death or abduction; provided, that not later than 48 hours after accessing such ALPR data, the agency, executive office or department shall provide written notice to the office of the attorney general describing with particularity the grounds for such emergency access and the parameters of the ALPR data accessed, searched, reviewed or disclosed; provided further, that such ALPR data within the possession, custody or control of the law enforcement agency shall be permanently erased or destroyed not later than 48 hours after such imminent risk ceases to exist;
(e) a law enforcement agency or the executive office may access, search, review or disclose ALPR data as necessary to comply with: (i) sections 5 or 7; or (ii) a search warrant, production order or preservation request issued in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a felony;
(g) a law enforcement agency, a district attorney’s office or the office of the attorney general may access, search, review or disclose ALPR data obtained pursuant to a production order or search warrant in order to further the investigation or prosecution of a felony; provided, that notwithstanding sections 4 and 5, such data may be retained until and shall be permanently erased or destroyed promptly following the conclusion of the investigation or prosecution, including any appeals; or
(h) a governmental entity or an agent thereof may access, search, review or disclose ALPR data for the purpose of assessing, collecting or pursuing tolls, parking fees, or fines related to parking or traffic violations.
Section 8. Additional protections
Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, ALPR data derived from vehicles registered or operated within the commonwealth shall not be used in any way by any person:
(i) to determine a person’s numerical or other credit rating;
(ii) to determine whether to offer or enter into any secured or unsecured credit facility or loan;
(iii) to determine a person’s insurance rate or rating with respect to any form of insurance, including, without limitation, any policy of life insurance, health insurance, automobile insurance or liability insurance; provided however, that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent the verification of the accuracy of information submitted by an applicant to a motor vehicle insurance carrier or its agent in support of an application for or renewal of a motor vehicle insurance policy in order to make a determination as to whether to extend such insurance coverage;
(iv) to make any determination with respect to hiring, dismissal, discharge, suspension, compensation or any other employment decision; or
(v) to identify targets of or to engage in any form of promotion, marketing, advertising or solicitation.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a person from reporting unpaid tolls, violations or parking fees to any credit reporting agency.
Section 9. ALPR data; admissibility
(a) Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, ALPR data produced, obtained or maintained in knowing violation of this chapter shall not be admitted, offered or cited by any governmental entity for any purpose in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, ALPR data shall not be discoverable, admissible in evidence or offered or cited for any purpose in any civil or administrative proceeding by any party; provided, however, that subject to subsection (a), such data shall be admissible when offered in any civil or administrative proceeding (i) relating to the collection of tolls, parking fees, or traffic or parking violations, or (ii) arising out of claims of insurance fraud, motor vehicle theft, or motor vehicle repossession.
Section 10. Civil actions
(a) Any aggrieved person may institute a civil action in district or superior court for damages resulting from a violation of this chapter, or in superior court to restrain any such violation. If in any such action a willful violation is found to have occurred, the violator shall not be entitled to claim any privilege absolute or qualified, and he shall, in addition to any liability for such actual damages as may be shown, be liable for treble damages, or, in the alternative, exemplary damages of not less than one hundred and not more than one thousand dollars for each violation, together with costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
(b) A violation of section 8 of this chapter shall also be a violation of section 2 of chapter 93A.
Section 11. Further regulation by governmental entities
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a law enforcement agency, a municipality, the executive office or the department from adopting stricter limitations with respect to ALPR systems or ALPR data.
Section 12. Reporting
On or before March 1 annually, the executive office shall file a report with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives containing the following information based on data from the prior calendar year: (i) the total number of ALPR systems being operated within the commonwealth; (ii) the number of municipalities submitting ALPR data to the executive office pursuant to section 5; (iii) the number of license plate scans transferred to the executive office pursuant to section 5; and (iv) the number of search warrants and production requests seeking ALPR data served on the executive office.
Section 13. Executive office; rules and regulations
The executive office shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement sections 2 through 7, inclusive, and section 12, including, without limitation, rules and regulations establishing an auditing process to assess compliance with this chapter by governmental entities.
Section 14. Office of the attorney general; enforcement
The attorney general shall enforce sections 2 through 8, inclusive, and shall have the power to petition the court for injunctive relief, relief under chapter 93A, or other appropriate relief against any person that fails to comply therewith.
Section 15. Severability
If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.
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