Why do people cover their license plates?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by sofauxboho, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. cmattina

    cmattina Long timer

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    The fact of the matter is it is an irrational precaution to take. It is more than likely 99% of people do it because they've seen it done in other ads and are just blindly following suit - "the other guy must know something I don't about license plates, so I am going to cover mine as well", but, the person they are following is also blindly following someone else, and on and on. It is pretty much definition public hysteria.
  2. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    What's not open about ADVrider forums? Other than the Women's section, I can see posts and photos without logging in, just with more ads.

    I won't say if it's irrational or not, but the issue with any information shared online is that once it's out, the person has lost control of it. What may be insignificant at present could become a problem years later.

    We're all being data mined constantly, with or without permission. If someone wants to maintain a shred of control over their information (any information) by not actively sharing it themselves, I respect their decision.
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  3. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    If you are already familiar with photo editing software, it is trivially easy to black out the plate. So why not? No down side other than the extra 10 seconds to do it.
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  4. HuntWhenever

    HuntWhenever Motorcicle Commuter

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    I don't understand how it is irrational? I could probably make my User Name my actual name and my sub-title my physical address with no ill consequence. But literally no one does that. Internet privacy is just a big slider bar with "Everything on the internet" on one side and "Nothing on the internet" on the other side. Where someone places their slider is person preference. I'd say blocking your license plate number lies somewhere in the middle of that slider...maybe slightly biased to one side. That doesn't seem too irrational. :dunno
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  5. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    By and large, I agree.

    But, it’s not an inherently bad idea. There is no downside to it. Superfluous and probably pointless, but not harmful in any way.
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  6. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    While I accept that covering license plates is probably just people doing it because other people do it, there is another reason: When the license plate is not displayed, you can use the photo all over the country to try and scam people into buying your too-cheap-to-be-true bike. I have noticed that those ads never show the plate as it's a bit of a give away if you have a NY or CA plate on a bike being advertised "locally" in Louisiana for example. Often there are other give-aways like the style of houses or plants or landscape in the background but there's never a visible license plate; the scammers are at least that smart.

    If I see an ad that has very few photos, blurry photos, etc. it makes me a bit suspicious on several levels; having no visible license plate just adds to that.
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  7. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    People that decline to display their tag are actually helping potential buyers by passively identifying scams that feature bogus photos. Make sense. : )
  8. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    The downside is that non-scammers who decline to display their tag may make me (and presumably some other people) suspicious that their ad may not be genuine. Generally not, so long as the rest of the ad doesn't hit any of the other triggers, but it might. Now if you're just showing a photo of your bike in some scenic riding spot or at a campsite, favorite BBQ joint, etc., it doesn't matter - but these are the photos where people usually don't think to hide their plates.
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  9. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    I don't really see that as a downside, but sure. It'd be silly to avoid a purchase solely based on the lack of a tag in a photo, but as you said, it could be added to other indicators that something was amiss.

    Buyers and sellers should be suspicious during transactions with strangers, and if there's no tag displayed, the photos are lacking in quality or consistency (different bikes), odd financial requests are made (send half the money to Uncle Lou by PayPal F&F), location information doesn't add up, etc., then it might be better to keep looking.
  10. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    It is so easy to post a lot of pix of sale items that advertisements with a minimal amount of photos is suspicious.
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  11. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Chuckle,

    If someone sees nefarious purposes in my vehicle having no tag, or a rag tossed over it, and is therefore paranoid about buying it, I’m probably quite happy not to hear from them.
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  12. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    They'd probably demand that I disable the tracking devices, and that's not going to happen. I need my hobbies.
  13. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

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    It's pretty easy to use a EXIF editor tool and view GPS data of the image file on where, when the picture was taken, that with a plate number would push some people who don't know specifics over the edge. They said cellphones were going to make our lives easier, better, I don't know, maybe, maybe not, I don't care. Mention silent black helicopters at night and some people go berserk. Sadly good for guns/ammo sales, not much else.
  14. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    I wrap my license plate around my phone to prevent the GPS signals from getting to my pictures; a Faraday plate, if you will. That's how they get you.
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  15. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    See if you can find any EXIF data in photos uploaded to FB or CL. I'll wait.
  16. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

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    Hope you're OK waiting..and you don't read you just quote. People are idiots they don't know the specifics. Not that it's data they will ever see but believe that it's there. Maybe they opened an image file off their camera and saw something. Kinda like what happened in the basement of a DC pizza joint, you know.
  17. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    Some sites automatically strip EXIF from images; not ADVrider, though.
    That's how I learned @SlowlyGettingThere 's phone model: https://advrider.com/f/threads/why-do-people-cover-their-license-plates.1516730/page-3#post-42889521

    Nothing more than installing a browser add-on that displays EXIF data on mouseover, complete with a Google Maps link if location data is included.

    I'm not in the habit of doxing anyone, but some people enjoy it. Don't put information out there (like a license plate), and there's no reason to be concerned about any of the hypothetical uses and abuses that could be associated with it. Once it's released, anyone that has access can do whatever they want with it. It may mean little now, but surprising new ways are constantly being found to make use of it, like finding secret military installations from anonymous heart rate data.

    upload_2021-9-24_14-20-10.png
    https://www.wired.com/story/strava-heat-map-military-bases-fitness-trackers-privacy/

    Or more.
    https://www.bellingcat.com/resource.../strava-polar-revealing-homes-soldiers-spies/
  18. Motogasoline

    Motogasoline Been here awhile

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    It's a good idea to me if the seller leave the plate visible. For one thing it gives a. Buyer assurance the bike is plated in the state its suppose to be in. Also, in the event a buyer knows someone who can run a plate to check out the owner to verify they aren't a criminal, that would help as well.
  19. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    If I was interested in a bike that lacked a public photo of its tag, I'd contact the owner privately and ask for that information, and discuss the bike in detail. People still do that, don't they?

    Yes, I could be a Bad Man with a Long List of Nefarious Things I could do with the information, but that's a lot of trouble to go through when I could easily seek out a better target for said Nefarious Things that doesn't involve more than a right-click.
  20. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    Uh oh, I think I just doxed myself.

    ***///INITIATE CASE ORANGE PROTOCOL\\\***
    ***///MILK CRATE!!! I SAY AGAIN, MILK CRATE!!!\\\***
    ***///THE FAT MAN WALKS QUICKLY. BEWARE THE JACKAL.\\\***
    TRANSMISSION ENDS
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