A California appeals court says police don't have to turn over records of license plates that are electronically scanned.

The unanimous ruling Wednesday by the 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected a request by advocacy groups for records from the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The appellate court agreed with a Los Angeles judge who said the records were exempt from disclosure because they relate to law enforcement investigations.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation sought the records under the California Public Records Act to assess the scope of government surveillance.

The groups say the records are collected indiscriminately and could be used to track anyone, such as political activists.

Police say they catalog the information to track vehicles involved in crimes.