May 14 2009

California DMV plans crackdown on “look-alikes”

Has anyone ever looked at your face and mistaken you for someone else?

If so, and if you live in California, you could be a victim of a proposal by the California Department of Motor Vehicles which is now under consideration in the state legislature.

At a hearing yesterday (May 13, 2009) before the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Information Technology/Transportation, the Director and Chief Information Officer of the DMV pleaded for more money (in spite of the desperate state budget crisis) to hire a contractor to digitize and store the photographs taken for every California drivers license or state ID, and then use “biometric” facial recognition and matching software to compare each new photo of an applicant for a license or ID with every photo in the database. (The DMV proposal next goes before the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation on Wednesday, March 20th.)

If the computer thinks your picture looks like any other picture in the database, both you and the other person whose photo the robot thinks looks like yours would be placed under suspicion of fraud, identity theft, or worse. Read More

May 14 2009

“Warden’s skills a plus for TSA chief”

Has it ever seemed like the TSA treats passengers the way prison guards treat convicts?  Here’s what the TSA thinks it takes to run their operations at the world’s busiest airport:

Warden’s skills a plus for TSA chief

Newly appointed Byrd has a background in corrections.

By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Thursday, May 14, 2009)

Mary Leftridge Byrd sees some similarities between her career in corrections and her new job as head of the Transportation Security Administration at the Atlanta airport….

Byrd, 60, joined the TSA last month from a position as assistant and deputy secretary at the Washington State Department of Corrections, and she is a former prison warden and superintendent in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

… The TSA has about 900 security officers in Atlanta.