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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/13/2001 12:36:43 PM EST
Colo. to 'map' faces of drivers By Julia C. Martinez Denver Post Capitol Bureau Wednesday, July 04, 2001 - First it was the photo-radar vans snapping pictures of Denver-area speeders. Now, some fear Big Brother's roving eye soon will be watching all of Colorado with the arrival of a new European import called "face recognition." The Department of Motor Vehicles, in an effort to prevent identity theft and driver's license fraud, is buying cameras that will map every driver's facial characteristics like a three-dimensional land chart. The danger, critics say, is that the technology could eventually be expanded to monitor the comings and goings of ordinary Coloradans. This week, Tampa, Fla., became the first city in the United States to install similar high-tech security cameras on public streets to scan crowds in the city's nightlife district. Images will be compared against a database of mug shots of people with active warrants. "There is a danger," said Rep. Matt Smith, a Grand Junction lawmaker and attorney who serves on a statewide task force studying the issue of privacy. "The intended purpose of facial recognition is to help the state prevent the theft of identity. Now the question is, "What will its future use be?' "There has to be a point where the government doesn't have its nose over every shoulder," he said. Mug shots compared Old driver's license photos will be scanned into a computer database using the new technology. Then, starting next July, new mugs will be compared with those on file to make sure people are who they say they are when they go to get, or renew, a Colorado driver's license. It doesn't matter if you gain 200 pounds and go bald between photographs. Short of plastic surgery, the camera will recognize you. "Facial recognition deals with spatial details, where a nose is compared with the eyes," said Dorothy Dalquist, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Revenue. "Baldness doesn't count, and weight doesn't either. It's the basic facial structure." The state legislature authorized the technology during the last session. State officials won't disclose the cost of the system until they meet later this month with officials from Polaroid, one of the companies involved in making the system. In the beginning, face recognition will be used to try to prevent criminals from obtaining multiple driver licenses under others' names, Dalquist said. "We know of cases where individuals steal personal information from other people, forge documents and go to six or seven driver license offices getting licenses with their pictures and other people's identities. In theory, they have a legitimate license, but in actuality, they're not who they say they are," Dalquist said. "Now, we will be able to say after the first one, "No, you can't have another one.'" Or the police could be called in. "My guess is if we saw something that is an egregious misuse of the system, we might alert law enforcement to that," she said. The cameras can't prevent the types of fraud that now occur when people make their own driver's licenses using home computers and the Internet. However, as part of the new program, invisible markers will be added to each new license so stores or banks can scan the card to see if it's genuine.
Link Posted: 7/13/2001 12:37:53 PM EST
(continued) Privacy concerns The technology has raised concerns about privacy, ethics and government intrusion. Privacy advocates are concerned that a database of photographs could itself spill into the Orwellian realm. "We all want to catch as many criminals as we possibly can, but we also have to be concerned about the privacy issues," said Sen. Ken Gordon, D-Denver, a member of a state task force set up to craft legislation aimed at protecting privacy. "Information obtained for one purpose is sometimes used for reasons that were not contemplated by people who set up the system to begin with." Gordon said Colorado already sells driver records to insurance companies for $5 million a year. "If we're going to create a database of photographs of every driver in Colorado, will it be used only to protect against criminals?" Gordon asked. "Or will it be used for commercial purposes or marketing or to produce books of people's photos. We have to be careful." Colorado's new system could pave the way for expanded use, say for instance tapping into a criminal database and finding out if someone getting a driver license is a fugitive. "I'm sure law enforcement would appreciate it sometime in the future," Dalquist said. "Right now, we're not hooking into their data process. We're trying to protect citizens against identity fraud, and businesses, too." But some say this latest technology could continue to grow into a Tampa-like monitoring system. Last month, Denver police used low-tech, hand-held video cameras to catch rowdy partygoers celebrating the Colorado Avalanche's Stanley Cup victory. "We haven't discussed it," said Denver police Sgt. Tony Lombard, "not at this point."
Link Posted: 7/13/2001 12:51:39 PM EST
"european technology" vs. U.S. Constitution It is nothing more than Government spying on the people. It must be stopped.
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