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      01-23-2020, 02:06 PM   #1
Tintking
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Why do people obscure their license plate when they post photos?

Why do people obscure their license plate when they post photos? I have never understood this and when I look it up online people give the reason of not wanting other people to find out information about them? But if you’re driving around thousands of people all around you are reading your license plate if they wanted to find out more about you they could follow you to work or follow you home or some other crazy thing. Does anybody have a legitimate reason or facts to support this practice? Or is it just a case of someone years ago did this and then people thought they should do it too?? I also read that only the police or the DMV can look you up by your plate number and get personal information.
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      01-23-2020, 02:21 PM   #2
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I've always wanted to know this as well! I never covered mine up in photos thinking everyone can see it anyway when your parked or driving? What's the difference?
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      01-23-2020, 02:28 PM   #3
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Plenty of reasons. Protection against self incrimination (which you shouldn't be posting dumb things online anyways), mods vs. dealer visits, or just keeping general anonymity online. The more information anyone with malicious intentions can use against you, they will use.
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      01-23-2020, 02:30 PM   #4
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some people are just paranoid and don't want any of their info posted online. For instance if you get involved in a bad accident and some enthusiast snaps a pic of your car on the side of the road, then someone tracks that car back to a forum or FB group you're in. Now they can track your car back to a for sale post or threads you made about street racing.
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      01-23-2020, 02:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntg44 View Post
Plenty of reasons. Protection against self incrimination (which you shouldn't be posting dumb things online anyways), mods vs. dealer visits, or just keeping general anonymity online. The more information anyone with malicious intentions can use against you, they will use.
Agreed.
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      01-23-2020, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntg44 View Post
Plenty of reasons. Protection against self incrimination (which you shouldn't be posting dumb things online anyways), mods vs. dealer visits, or just keeping general anonymity online. The more information anyone with malicious intentions can use against you, they will use.
Didn't think about mods vs dealer visits.
Dealers scan these forums? Kinda freaks me out
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      01-23-2020, 02:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AddyDaddy View Post
Didn't think about mods vs dealer visits.
Dealers scan these forums? Kinda freaks me out
i doubt it.
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      01-23-2020, 03:09 PM   #8
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It's my understanding that for a couple of bucks you can find out where someone lives based off of their license plates. Without sounding like a dbag - we drive nice cars and some people may be jealous, especially if we're taking pictures a lot and "showing off" in their eyes... Posting a picture online for the world to see is potentially an invitation for individuals with ill intent to track us down.

Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Yes. Do some people suck? Affirmative.
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      01-23-2020, 03:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorRoadRage View Post
It's my understanding that for a couple of bucks you can find out where someone lives based off of their license plates. Without sounding like a dbag - we drive nice cars and some people may be jealous, especially if we're taking pictures a lot and "showing off" in their eyes... Posting a picture online for the world to see is potentially an invitation for individuals with ill intent to track us down.

Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Yes. Do some people suck? Affirmative.
License plate lookup is governed by the Driver Privacy Protection Act. You can't legally obtain the info just because you want to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver...Protection_Act
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      01-23-2020, 03:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustySeatbelt View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorRoadRage View Post
It's my understanding that for a couple of bucks you can find out where someone lives based off of their license plates. Without sounding like a dbag - we drive nice cars and some people may be jealous, especially if we're taking pictures a lot and "showing off" in their eyes... Posting a picture online for the world to see is potentially an invitation for individuals with ill intent to track us down.

Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Yes. Do some people suck? Affirmative.
License plate lookup is governed by the Driver Privacy Protection Act. You can't legally obtain the info just because you want to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver...Protection_Act
Lots of exceptions to that, still easy to get plates.
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      01-23-2020, 03:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorRoadRage View Post
It's my understanding that for a couple of bucks you can find out where someone lives based off of their license plates. Without sounding like a dbag - we drive nice cars and some people may be jealous, especially if we're taking pictures a lot and "showing off" in their eyes... Posting a picture online for the world to see is potentially an invitation for individuals with ill intent to track us down.

Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Yes. Do some people suck? Affirmative.
wouldn't it just be easier to drive down a nice street and see the random nice cars in the driveways of people? no need to try to find m4 owners online.
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      01-23-2020, 03:38 PM   #12
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Search around the Internet.

Some stories of people posting about cars and watches and bad guys pulled the geotag info from the pics and robbed them.
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      01-23-2020, 03:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tintking View Post
But if you’re driving around thousands of people all around you are reading your license plate if they wanted to find out more about you they could follow you to work or follow you home or some other crazy thing. Does anybody have a legitimate reason or facts to support this practice?
Big difference between displaying your license plate on your car, which you are required by law to do, where only people in your immediate vicinity can see it, and displaying it online where anybody in the whole world can see it at any time, which you are not required by law to do.

Nothing wrong with taking a brief precaution and nothing wrong with avoiding giving out any more information than is necessary. It takes 10 seconds to do versus an unknown risk. Smart people minimize unknown risks when they are so easy to minimize.
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      01-23-2020, 03:41 PM   #14
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It's a way to be anonymous online. Your handle/username on here doesn't include your name, address, phone number, etc. A click on username shows posting history and you can potentially learn a bit about someone depending on what they decide to post and share. Obscuring the plate helps stay anonymous.
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      01-23-2020, 04:13 PM   #15
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It should come as no surprise that Google and Facebook has built a tool to parse numbers/letters of images containing license plates and indexing them to be searchable.

Fun times.

https://jalopnik.com/google-is-readi...tes-1839259494
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      01-23-2020, 04:37 PM   #16
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When on the track, hide your plate! I guess this is because of Insurance coverage and more specifically, not showing that you use your car for "off road" purposes.

I'll admit, I only started doing it after seeing others do it before they get on track. I'm talking about masking the rear plate via painters tape. My front plate is removable.
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      01-23-2020, 04:54 PM   #17
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Paranoia. Look up public records on your name. You will find tons of information.
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      01-23-2020, 05:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by behindthen0thing View Post
wouldn't it just be easier to drive down a nice street and see the random nice cars in the driveways of people? no need to try to find m4 owners online.
This was my thought too. If I was a dirt bag who wanted to get at somebody who has more than I do , I wouldn’t go on a BMW forum and look for somebody who posted their license plate and then try to bribe someone to get me into a database to find out where they live and go find them. I would just go to a nice neighborhood, look for a Mercedes in the driveway and do what I want to do LOL. I do see some reason not to post it if you’re talking about mods that you’ve done or doing other unlawful activities. And I agree that it’s definitely not a good idea to post revealing photos of yourself tracking your car for various reasons. Just to be clear, I have not modded my car and I never take it to the track!
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      01-23-2020, 06:49 PM   #19
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A couple of years ago, I used to pay a law office, with ethics akin to Better Call Saul, $25 to run a plate for me and get the registrant's information. It's not that difficult or costly.

When saying, there is only so much someone online can do with such limited information but it's one of those safe than sorry precautions.
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      01-23-2020, 07:01 PM   #20
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Sounds like taping over your laptop camera paranoia to me
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      01-23-2020, 07:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AddyDaddy View Post
Didn't think about mods vs dealer visits.
Dealers scan these forums? Kinda freaks me out
BMW tracks the forums themselves
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      01-23-2020, 07:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalen View Post
When on the track, hide your plate! I guess this is because of Insurance coverage and more specifically, not showing that you use your car for "off road" purposes.

I'll admit, I only started doing it after seeing others do it before they get on track. I'm talking about masking the rear plate via painters tape. My front plate is removable.
Whatever people do - don't make a false insurance claim if you damage your car on track and then tell your insurer the accident instead happened on a public road - people do get charged criminally for insurance fraud... (covering plates on track is fine - as long as that same person doesn't then go and make a fraudulent insurance claim).
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