This is collecting data nonintrusively, so at what point would it become illegal?
As long as private companies or individuals are just taking pictures, it should remain legal. I don't believe the government, on the other hand, should be allowed to use public funds to broadly surveil ts citizens itself or by buying this kind of data. I realize, of course, this goes on all the time, but that doesn't make it right. These are my personal thoughts, so maybe I'm just crazy.
There aren't a million people who look and dress exactly the same every single second of every day. There is one person who look like you. There are about millions of gold Toyota Camrys.
Actually, there are identical twins who do pretty much look the same. Most cars, even though they might be the same color and make, do have identifying characteristics. They have different wheels, modifications (bumper stickers, window tint, etc.), scratches, dents, etc. Let the companies collecting this data develop their technology to be able to recognize these differences. Furthermore, people are free and able to hide many of their identifying features by wearing hats, sunglasses, ski masks, or whatever.
Or, you could just invest in a car cover and put it on your car and over the license plate when you park.
You could certainly do this. However, I don't think many people will want to go to the effort. What's wrong with making it a little easier for people? Also, I wouldn't want to routinely use a cover on a car that hasn't been recently washed. Scratches from abrasive dirt on the paint are a certainty.
You mean like being able to obscure one's license plate when the vehicle isn't moving by, say, putting on a car cover? Oddly enough, that is perfectly legal in every state.
This is precisely what I'm saying, although I'm a bit skeptical this is currently legal in every jurisdiction in the U.S. I'm just suggesting a more elegant way of doing it. An electronic display could be completely automatic. When you shut the ignition switch off, the plate goes blank.