Neighborhood Watch Has a New Tool: License-Plate Readers

Residents fear the gadgets will enable snooping — and much worse

Pamela Thessen, a homeowner in Cotswold HOA in Birmingham, Alabama, says her concerns about the neighborhood’s new license-plate reader were met with dismissiveness . Photography: Peyton Fulford

About a year ago, Brian Davidson spotted a crew installing a 14-foot pole in the middle of his neighbor’s well-manicured lawn. When he walked next door to ask what was happening, he learned that his homeowner association’s board of directors near Dallas, Texas…