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Drivers License Swipes Raise Privacy Concerns 313

Posted by kdawson
from the step-away-from-the-card-reader dept.
Clubs in New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere are requiring patrons to give up their drivers licenses for a swipe through a card reader. Some bars do this too. The card reader displays their birth date and the establishments let it be assumed that the only purpose of the swipe is to check the customer's age. They rarely if ever disclose that the personal data stored on the license — the customer's name, address, license number, perhaps even height, weight, and eye color — go into a database and are retained, perhaps indefinitely. While a federal law forbids selling or sharing data from drivers licenses, there is no prohibition against collecting it. A few states have enacted such prohibitions — New Hampshire, Texas, and Nebraska. Privacy advocates warn that such personal data, once in a database, is bound to be misused. From the article: "'I don't see no problem,' said [a club-goer], 22. 'That happens every day on the Internet. Any hacker can get the information anyway.' [A Web media executive] said such reactions aren't surprising from a generation accustomed to sharing personal information on Web sites such as Facebook.com and Myspace.com. 'The kids don't care,' [he] said, 'because only old people like you and me suffer from the illusion of privacy these days.'"
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Drivers License Swipes Raise Privacy Concerns

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  • It's true (Score:5, Funny)

    by kamapuaa (555446) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:36AM (#16946218) Homepage
    Good quote, it's funny because it's true. My myspace pages (and I have like 7 or 8 of them) all list my name, address, license number, height, weight, and eye color. I don't understand old people not listing their license on their myspace pages. How are you supposed to know if it's really them?
    • by Kadin2048 (468275) <[slashdot.kadin] [at] [xoxy.net]> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:56AM (#16946344) Homepage Journal
      How are you supposed to know if it's really them?

      Why do you care?

      Really -- why does it matter? Unless you're planning on using MySpace as a dating service, which is a bad idea for any number of reasons, I don't see why it matters who the actual meatspace person that's behind a particular online avatar matters. It's like asking whether the clerk at the Dunkin Donuts counter is a transsexual, or dyes their hair: maybe they do, maybe they don't. Does it really matter? Is the knowledge really necessary in order to interact with them? Clearly not.

      I think there is a bit of an obsession with trying to link online identities to real people; we need to realize that the disconnect between avatars and natural people is both intentional and desired. Who cares whether the controlling entity is male or female, or some particularly well-engineered piece of software -- it doesn't matter.
      • by BootNinja (743040) <mack,mcneely&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:21AM (#16946472) Homepage
        You know that sound you're hearing? That's the sound of sarcasm doing a flyby on your head.
      • by kamapuaa (555446) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:24AM (#16946496) Homepage
        How are you supposed to know if it's really them?


        Why do you care?

        No offense - we've never met, after all, and I haven't even seen your myspace page - but that's really dense. I need to know their license numbers because when I'm away for the weekend I leave my keys in the car, I often let other myspace members it if they need to make a quick drive, to get groceries or whatever.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @07:50AM (#16948056)
        It does matter because you only have one real persona, but you can have an unlimited number of online avatars. Being identifiable sobers people. You're much more likely to think "ah fuck this" and waste an online avatar in a flame war, a hate tirade or a shady get-rich-quick scheme than to do the same with your one and only real identity. It doesn't matter exactly who you are, but it matters that, should you behave anti-socially, the shame is on you, not on some leftover database records. That's why systems which allow pseudonymous access pretty much universally have some sort of reputation system. The primary function of those systems is to make pseudonyms valuable so that the users hesitate to waste them.
    • The original url (Score:2, Informative)

      http://www.nj.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1 164091705151690.xml?starledger?ntop&coll=1 [nj.com]\ The other one automtaically prints from the browser which can be annoying for some users, especially those without a printer or a slow machine.

      cheers,

      ben
      http://www.webexperts.co.nz [webexperts.co.nz]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)
      Two Magic Words come to mind that will see you through all these delicate security issues in our modern paranoid world: "Always Lie"
          -The only course of action an honorable man can take in a dishonorable society..
  • It's settled then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nametaken (610866) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:37AM (#16946226)

    I guess if the 22 year old "club-goer" who can barely speak English isn't worried, I shouldn't be either.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by spirality (188417)
      Welcome to the government-sponsored corporate survailence society.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:38AM (#16946236)
    That I'm under 21 and use a fake id!
  • by frup (998325)
    I'm 20 and I care!
  • no problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scottp (129048) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:40AM (#16946250)
    "I don't see no problem,' said [a club-goer], 22. 'That happens every day on the Internet."

    Were you drunk at the time? What kind of places do you visit on the net to give this information out every day?

    The amount of private info required is WAAY out of control. And the people asking for it are WAAY out of line. I heard that reality shows were very bad, so I looked up a sign up sheet Deal or No Deal (think that was it). It was unbelieveable how much info they wanted to just choose stupid suitcases.
    • Re:no problem (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Heir Of The Mess (939658) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:17AM (#16946454) Homepage

      I get e-mails from my bank every day that have a link to a web site that requests all of this information. Maybe she was talking about that?

      Seriously though, the internet/world is so full of whack jobs that I wonder about the wisdom of linking to my blog site from slashdot. I'm fully expecting to get punched in the face outside my home one day for posting flamebait about Linux on slashdot (I get bored sometimes).

      Magazine articles can be a hazard, I heard of a guy that was working on a government project that got an article about his work published in a Magazine, including a picture of him with his name. Weeks later he got a snail mail at work. In it was a picture of his family walking out the front door of his home with gun sights drawn around their heads, and on the back was a note telling him to stop working on the project.

      The other day I was reading about this guy who loves facebook. Apparently when he sees an attractive woman talking he listens in to find out her first name, and then looks for her on facebook. He then tracks her life as much as he can, and if she goes through a break up or something he will try to get in a situation to meet her. I wonder if that will give others here ideas?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by slarrg (931336)
      The amount of private info required is WAAY out of control.

      Exactly! First the state requires me to have an ID to drive a car then they print my Social Security Number and birthdate on the ID. With these two numbers anyone can mail off a fake a credit card application and get a card in my name. Then to top it all off, I'm expected to show this information to everyone from employers, any police officer, any security person, shop clerks who need to verify I'm really me, and even the bouncers at the local pu

      • by mpe (36238)
        Exactly! First the state requires me to have an ID to drive a car then they print my Social Security Number and birthdate on the ID. With these two numbers anyone can mail off a fake a credit card application and get a card in my name.

        The interesting thing is that the first number should be utterly irrelevent to both driving on public roads or applying for a credit card. With the second number only being relevent to the extent of showing you are over some specific age.

        Then to top it all off, I'm expecte
    • by Havokmon (89874) <rick@@@havokmon...com> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @10:14AM (#16950266) Homepage Journal

      The amount of private info required is WAAY out of control. And the people asking for it are WAAY out of line.

      There are two sides to every story. Bars want to swipe your card so they don't get fined for serving to underage kids. By having that data, they have a leg to stand on if/when the kid gets busted.

      Of course, legislation is totally not the answer. If you don't want to swipe your license at a bar, go to another one.

      IMHO, this is exactly the same as the smoking ban. If you don't want to be around smokers in a bar, go to another one.

  • by walshy007 (906710) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:40AM (#16946258)
    in gilhoolies strathpine (brisbane, australia) a couple nights they've required all who enter to surrender their licenses to be put through a machine and to be photographed, the overwhelming majority don't care because if they don't do it they won't be let in.

    when it comes down to it theres a choice of, hey, awesome night out at a pub, or go home because of a violation of privacy. I don't see many young people choosing the latter.

    I just assumed most pubs were all going down this route, and that it was nothing new.
    • They have done it in Pennsylvania a while too, like for at least 5 years. Slashdot is just a tad slow. Like half a decade slow....
    • by dfghjk (711126)
      "..the overwhelming majority don't care because if they don't do it they won't be let in."

      Just because they submit doesn't mean they don't care. Just because I pay my taxes doesn't mean I don't care that they're too high.
  • Gives it that well-thought-out fell. Like a movie that ends with a question mark.
  • Easy fix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:41AM (#16946262)
    Don't take your license out with you, or if you are driving, don't show it when asked for ID.

    Show your passport or another form of ID (military, etc.) which is recognized elsewhere (e.g., a liquor store).

    Establishments which do have license mag-stripe readers will likely not have the equipment for machine-readable passports, but the passport will still provide age verification.
    • by hey (83763)
      Er, I don't want to take my passport when I go to a pub and I have nothing to do with the military.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mr_matticus (928346)
        Then use your driver's license and have your SSN omitted from the card. Any form of ID is a violation of privacy, but that, quite simply, is the point of ID. For clubs and bars, they need only determine your age, but to have a number of different levels of information on IDs is impractical.

        It's a matter of convenience. Either have multiple IDs for different purposes, or have one ID that basically works with anything, at the slight risk of providing a bit of extra information about yourself.
        • by rfunches (800928)

          It's a matter of convenience. Either have multiple IDs for different purposes, or have one ID that basically works with anything, at the slight risk of providing a bit of extra information about yourself.

          At least in Virginia, if you aren't eligible for any other government-issued ID (e.g. military) that prints your birthdate and you already have your drivers license, you cannot, by law, request a DMV-issued photo ID card. Of course, Virginia passed a law a few years ago prohibiting the use of SSNs as a "cu

        • by mpe (36238)
          Either have multiple IDs for different purposes, or have one ID that basically works with anything, at the slight risk of providing a bit of extra information about yourself.

          Problem is that there are various entities, including quite a few governments, who very much like the idea of "one ID for everything". As well as lesser problems such "overloading" and using documents intended for one thing for a different purpose. Most commonly treating a "machine operator's permit" as an identity document.
      • by ray-auch (454705)
        If you're from somewhere (like the UK) where driving licences don't have (or didn't used to have - ok, so they do now) photos, then it gets a bit tricky.

        Passport was the only photo ID I had when I last went to the US.

        Americans seem to view passports as more precious than we do on this side of the pond - probably because they can go thousands of miles without needing one - so they don't expect people to be carrying them.

        This seemed to work with most door staff
        - explain you are english (not having a US accent
    • Just never patronise an establishment that even requires you present ID in the first place. Stop buying controlled substances if you feel they aren't worth the cost to your dignity every time someone asks; "Your papers please". Stop subjecting yourself to searches and inspections by private security forces if you feel it isn't worth being treated like a criminal just to get into that place. Stop patronising places that ask for everything including your mother's second name for every petty transaction.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by terrahertz (911030)

      Don't take your license out with you, or if you are driving, don't show it when asked for ID.

      Cops generally frown upon an inability to produce proof that you are legally able to operate a motor vehicle when they ask you for ID during a traffic stop.

      I'm wondering if there's an easy way one could retroactively erase or significantly corrupt the magnetically-stored information on one's ID, so that it is no longer machine-readable. Even if that might be against the law, how would anyone prove that you yourself

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by darkstar949 (697933)
      A military ID isn't always accepted by the store - case and point, when I was living in San Antonio (major military city) I tried to show my military ID when I wrote a check and the declined it because it was "not an official ID issued by the government".
  • by kcbrown (7426) <slashdot@sysexperts.com> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:42AM (#16946272)
    "'I don't see no problem,' said [a club-goer], 22. 'That happens every day on the Internet. Any hacker can get the information anyway.' [A Web media executive] said such reactions aren't surprising from a generation accustomed to sharing personal information on Web sites such as Facebook.com and Myspace.com. 'The kids don't care,' [he] said, 'because only old people like you and me suffer from the illusion of privacy these days.'"

    Yeah. Well, they won't care until that information is used against them, either via identity theft or something worse.

    Of course, most people won't experience that, but the easier it is to "steal" or otherwise misuse someone's identity, the more often it'll happen, and that means more people will be affected by it. Not that most people will ever figure out the connection. Thanks to the sorry state of education in the U.S., precious few know how to think anymore.

    And not that it matters anyway, even if they did figure it out. This is the United States, where corporations and those who run them rule all. The troubles of the lowly consumer underclass matter not at all here.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Falladir (1026636)
      precious few know how to think anymore

      Was it ever that much better? There was no glorious golden age of intellectualism in America, when every boy and girl could generate Euclid's theorems and apply Newton's laws.
  • by Mard (614649)
    that make me hate my generation. I'm going to have to spend the rest of my life saving their asses from this kind of neglect and apathy, and I can only hope that enough of them wake up to help me.
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:50AM (#16946310) Homepage
    They rarely if ever disclose that the personal data stored on the license -- the customer's name, address, license number, perhaps even height, weight, and eye color -- go into a database and are retained, perhaps indefinitely.

    Seriously, there's no law against providing a replica license with garbage on the magnetic strip to clubs and bars if you're legal age, is there? After all, you're not misrepresenting your credentials, you're preventing identity theft.
  • It's just that simple, people.
  • Not just the bars (Score:5, Interesting)

    by karmatic (776420) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:54AM (#16946332)
    This isn't just the case at bars and clubs.

    About a week ago, I went to purchase Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Because I look under 40, they wouldn't let me buy the game without ID. Fair enough, I pull out my student ID, and offer it.

    I was informed that not only would it require offering government-issued photo ID, but it would be necessary to extract all of the information off of it, rather than just enter my age/dob. I refused, and escalated the issue to a manager, who refused to override, and informed the cashier she would be fired on the spot if she hit the "looks over 40" button.

    Of course, the manager was unable to provide me with all the information on _her_ license (it's private), but couldn't see why I wouldn't want to provide my name, address, social security number (I got my license before they switched to a numeric system), race, and (potential) disabilities to target, just to buy a video game.

    Walking over to Wal-Mart, I paid cash. The computer asked them to check (not swipe) ID. Cashier saw I was "old enough", hit OK, and I was on my merry way. I found this rather odd, given how "RFID Gung Ho" they seem. Perhaps it's about ruthless efficiency, rather than a need to track people. Or, maybe it's the fact that half the people seem to be illegal immigrants who shop at my local Wal-Mart.
    • by PCM2 (4486) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:03AM (#16946382) Homepage
      Walking over to Wal-Mart, I paid cash. The computer asked them to check (not swipe) ID. Cashier saw I was "old enough", hit OK, and I was on my merry way.

      And therein, folks, lies the beauty of the free market.

      • And therein, folks, lies the beauty of the free market.

        Indeed it does: the market offered a choice. Not, in all likelihood, because of the invisible hand of competition, but simply because Wal-Mart has not chosen to use monetize (nasty word) customer information like that.

        On the other hand, the profit motive is probably what encouraged the other shop to insist on the information in the first place. This story seems to have captured the ugliness of the market right along with its beauty.

    • Because I look under 40, they wouldn't let me buy the game without ID.

      Aren't you allowed to have sex or buy alcohol if you are under 40 where you live?

      • Re:Bummer (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:22AM (#16946478)
        Aren't you allowed to have sex or buy alcohol if you are under 40 where you live?


        No.

        He lives at his parents' house.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Lost Engineer (459920)
        I don't know if that was a joke... but I'll bite. Ever since certain states passed laws that say that you must card everyone who looks under 27, 30, 35, or whatever, stores have tried to one up them. It's easier to implement a consistent, if ridiculous, policy than to trust your underlings to correctly judge age.

        The reason he should be able to get away with it wrt video games is that there is no legal authority going around busting stores for selling games to underage games, unlike say alcohol or tobacco-
        • I don't know if that was a joke... but I'll bite.

          I honestly thought the GP hit 4 where he intended to hit 2. Just having a joke at his expense.

          Ever since certain states passed laws that say that you must card everyone who looks under 27, 30, 35, or whatever, stores have tried to one up them. It's easier to implement a consistent, if ridiculous, policy than to trust your underlings to correctly judge age.

          Thats mad. The other week I bought a new pair of shoes. The girl at the checkout had to fill in some d

          • The other week I bought a new pair of shoes. The girl at the checkout had to fill in some demographic data on the POS terminal. She typed my age as 38 which was two years too low. Maybe a boy selling software would be off a lot more but he is going to know the difference between 15 and 25.

            and therein lies the problem... wtf do they need it for.. and why the heck did you give it to them...

            any checkout clerk that asks for my demographic details gets rubbish given to them... I flat out refuse to give them my

            • and therein lies the problem... wtf do they need it for.. and why the heck did you give it to them...

              Just to be clear: They didn't ask. I just kept an eye on the POS screen from one side. Watching other peoples screens and keyboards is probably a bad habit from working in IT. My point is that most people can judge age without having to ask for proof, especially when its the difference between (18|21) and 40.

        • by ag0ny (59629)
          Excuse me, but I'm not sure I understand what you wrote. You need to show your ID when shopping at a grocery store? Why?
    • by Goaway (82658)
      I found this rather odd, given how "RFID Gung Ho" they seem.

      Because we know that the only reason anybody would want to use RFID is because they absolutely hate the fact that their customers have privacy, and will do anything they can to undermine it.
  • by ScooterComputer (10306) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:54AM (#16946336)
    I have already seen reports of using such data to "track" drinkers and their habits. People SHOULD care. MADD and their prohibitionist agenda has already advanced the violating of civil rights to a new high as it is, by wrapping drunk driving in the fabric of a social disease; anyone think they won't take it straight into the realm of "preventative therapy" using this information? The war on drugs/alcohol/alternative lifestyles needs to be outed for what it is: an evangelical war on sin. And its front continues to charge into the mainstream of American living, lead by religious bleeding hearts and hypocritical 60's-era hippy soccer moms.

    I genuinely feel bad for the coming generations of Americans and the pseudo-fascist oppression under which they will be burdened in the name of "for the children". No matter my age, I will fully support and understand their inevitable backlash.
    • Sorry, but I live the lifestyle, and even I think intoxicated driving is fucking stupid. It's not for the children, it's common sense. Even at ones most selfish, it's still retarded - if you get pigged, or worse, end up killing somebody, then that's going to put the kaibosh on living that lifestyle. Self preservation, people, self preservation - does a cab home really cost that much?
      • by Bent Mind (853241)
        While I agree that drunk driving is stupid, I question MADD's definition. Am I really too drunk to drive if I drink an 8-ounce beer at my local restaurant? Should my wife have to blow in a tube to start the car if I'm arrested for drinking that beer? MADD went off the deep end ages ago.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dfghjk (711126)
      I'm all for sin but I'm not for drunk driving. Yes, MADD is prohibitionist; they desire to actually prohibit drunk driving. I'd like to see these reports you talk about so I can understand MADD's more devious secret agenda.

      "...anyone think they won't take it straight into the realm of "preventative therapy" using this information?"

      Yes, I don't. I also don't believe "they" (MADD) have the authority to implement "preventative therapy" even if "they" wanted to.

      "...lead by religious bleeding hearts and hypoc
  • by Bamafan77 (565893) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:55AM (#16946340)
    Aaah, evolution makes life so simple at times. In my younger days (I'm a ripe old 29 now), if a blood sample would bump me to the front of the line at a hot club in LA, I'd have gladly given it up. Thank goodness, I've matured since then. . . . . hehe, just kidding. I'd still cough up the blood sample. :)
    • by PCM2 (4486) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:08AM (#16946402) Homepage
      In my younger days (I'm a ripe old 29 now), if a blood sample would bump me to the front of the line at a hot club in LA, I'd have gladly given it up.

      GAH! I've never understood this attitude. In San Francisco, we don't really have this "hot club" phenomenon. They're trying to pull it off in the North Beach neighborhood, but that pretty much draws exclusively bridge-and-tunnel clientèle. With so many things to do and so many places to go in this city, most locals can't imagine what could possibly make it worth waiting in line to get into a club. Any club! And then I hear these stories about being made to wait by some beefcake bouncer, only to be allowed entry half an hour later and ... find out the club is pretty much empty. What gives? Why do you people keep going back to these places? What could possibly be in there that makes it worth it? I know it's not the music. And don't say "pussy," because in my experience any major metropolitan area is pretty much choked with good-looking women, wherever you go.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        What gives? Why do you people keep going back to these places? What could possibly be in there that makes it worth it?
        Hey I think I know what club you're talking about - I see lines outside it all the time (I think there's a chain of them)! It is called a "toilet"? I've never seen what's so good about them, there are so many places to go in this city
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drooling-dog (189103)
        What gives? Why do you people keep going back to these places? What could possibly be in there that makes it worth it?

        Doesn't matter, really. People are going for the illusion of being special and to be around other people who share that illusion. Our need to distinguish ourselves from the masses results in all kinds of desperate (and ultimately pointless) consumer behavior, but it does prop up the economy nicely.

        And don't say "pussy," because in my experience any major metropolitan area is pretty much chok
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          True, but they do tend to clot more in some places than in others...
          I try to keep away from them when they're in that phase.
    • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:09AM (#16946410)
      In other words, you'd give up a blood sample now for a small chance at the opportunity to give up a semen sample later?
    • I'd say if your coughing up a blood sample that you give your doctor a call....
  • The kid's right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lewp (95638) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:03AM (#16946386) Journal
    'The kids don't care,' [he] said, 'because only old people like you and me suffer from the illusion of privacy these days.'

    Sadly, this is probably the best attitude to have. With our current models for establishing identity, and our current systems for storing and protecting personal data, the truth is if your information is stored anywhere it might as well be plastered on a billboard. Someone's going to get ahold of it somehow, and it's going to be copied, and copied, and copied until it's everywhere. There's no sign of this changing. Even dramatic advances in things like encryption only close one of the many doors to your data, and as long as a single human has access to that data somehow, it's going to get up and walk away someday, and it will live in the wild forever. Ultimately, if you want to keep this information out of anybody's hands, you need to keep it out of everybody's hands. This just isn't feasible if you don't want to go completely "off the grid" and move into a fallout shelter in Montana (or just find a 3rd world country and disappear). Think how many times you prove your identity to some service (both meatspace and online, they're pretty much the same as far as propagating your data is concerned) in a given day.

    If you want to live in a society that has access to the vast databases of knowledge and instant communication ours does, ultimately you need to come to grips with the fact that there's going to be a lot of data about you in those databases, and that this data is going to spread like wildfire. Maybe that means learning to live with no secrets, and people getting comfortable with knowing each others' intimate details rather than just their public facades. Kids seem to be going in this direction already, sharing anything and everything with "friends" they've never met, just because they added them to a list on a website and got a couple pictures in return.

    Or maybe we need to completely rethink the concept of identity from the ground up, both online and off, if people truly do value their privacy. We're probably going to have to do it sooner or later due to other technological advances anyway, as is illustrated in so many science fiction books and movies. If we don't kill each other first :)

    I suppose it's either one of these choices, or we just smash the grid and go back to banging rocks together :P

    • Re:The kid's right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sylver Dragon (445237) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @04:35AM (#16946830) Journal
      Stalin called, he wants his wet dream back.
      Seriously, the idea that you you can be tracked any place any time and all of your thoughts and beliefs are open and exposed for scrutiny is a horrible idea. All its going to take is a few nutcases to pick out a group and persecute the hell out of them. Think the religious-right folks are tough on gays now, wait until they know how to find every single one. Might as well line 'em up and tattoo them for easy identification and "treatment".
      I have a better idea, how about we make any company which collects personal information financially and criminally responsible for protecting that data. Say, if for every person's data you lose, misplace, have stolen or sell (no pre-canned allow it to be shared contracts, you can only get it for internal use), your company must pay 1% of the previous year's reported gross profits; and, all of the board members get a year in jail (no time off for good behavior). I'll bet you that after the first two or three occurrences every company will either put a huge amount of protection around that data, or just stop keeping it. A win either way.
      Privacy is an important component to the Right to Liberty. In order to be able to have unpopular ideas it is sometimes necessary to be able to hide those ideas from general scrutiny. Without privacy everyone will either accept the popular opinion (popular being defined by the people with the guns) or they will simply disappear.
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:14AM (#16946440) Homepage
    While a federal law forbids selling or sharing data from drivers licenses, there is no prohibition against collecting it.

    Perhaps that should read, "while a federal law forbids selling or sharing data from drivers licenses for the time being..."

  • 'The kids don't care,' [he] said, 'because only old people like you and me suffer from the illusion of privacy these days.'"

    If 12-year olds don't see a problem sharing their data on the intarweb, then why should we ? Don't forget, kids are really those who know what's best for them; we're just old-fashioned cold-war fossiles.

    I don't share personal data because I refuse to see 35 year old marketing d*cks make money off my back. It's as simple as that. And I don't need to make friends on crappy social netw

  • 'Ol people' know something the youngers may not..."the only way to live outside the law is to live within it."

    Passing this off as a generational default does justice to none. If anything, younger generations simply haven't had time yet to enjoy spending a night in jail because your brother used your DL the last time he was ticked for speeding. Or they haven't had the pleasure of the Police knocking down their door (when they should have been elsewhere) in the middle of the night, looking for a rape in pr
  • The primary reason (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clickclickdrone (964164) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @04:19AM (#16946754)
    Young people tend not to care much about what a government may have on them because they've never had to deal with the threat or actuality of an unfriendly government. When people start getting hauled off the streets and 'disappearing' c/o the state then suddenly that DNA and fingerprints you so willingly handed over, will seem rather more precious.
  • Privacy is dead. Has been for a while now, actually. Like it or not, you'll have to learn to live with it. And, try or not, I do not think this will ever change. Such is the price for living in the Information Age.
  • by Foo2rama (755806) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @04:25AM (#16946792) Homepage Journal
    These yellow boxes are old hat in California and have been around for at least 10 years. While they check the DL to make sure the mag strip matches the info, they are not storing any info. Why do they do this? They are there to prevent fake and expired ID's. If a DL can pass this yellow box then it is a real DL and not a fake, this is a way for the bars to make sure no underage patrons or patrons without valid ID (expired) are in the house. I have never heard of this data ever being pulled out of the little yellow boxes or even the ability to pull the data. I went to a junior college with a guy that started this company, and I have seen them very often in the past 10 years in Southern California.

    http://www.viage.com/ [viage.com] is the website for the company that makes these devices, as far as I can tell no data is actually being stored on these things at this time. Here is the link for the unit that is being addressed in the article. http://216.122.245.42/cav2000.htm [216.122.245.42]
  • It's bad enough when you go to Fry's Electronics and they want to swipe your DL for a CASH RETURN. I had to explicitly tell the cashiers "DO NOT SWIPE MY DRIVER'S LICENSE" before giving it to them for the return item. They STILL play dumb, and try to do it. Well, at least a few years ago they did.

    I remember listening to the radio in 2002/3 about this crap these clubs are doing. It started mostly by clubs on the east coast, and they were really getting noticed when they sold the information to 3rd parties or
  • by LowneWulf (210110) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @05:25AM (#16947008)
    A club in Ontario swiped my license for 'verification'.

    My next birthday, I got a cute little letter at my home inviting me to celerbate at their club. Needless to say, I don't let people swipe/scan my ID anymore.

    Thankfully, Canada's PIPEDA privacy law now makes it illegal for them to deny providing you a service because you didn't provide personal information unrelated to the essential requirements for the service.
    • by B5_geek (638928)
      If by chance was this in Windsor? I would love to make sure I never attend that establishment. (Although I am 33 and likely won't get carded).
    • by mpe (36238)
      Thankfully, Canada's PIPEDA privacy law now makes it illegal for them to deny providing you a service because you didn't provide personal information unrelated to the essential requirements for the service.

      How long before a government passing a sensible (and apparently needed law) becomes newsworthy?
  • personal data stored on the license -- the customer's name, address, license number, perhaps even height, weight, and eye color

    Why is information like height, weight and eye colour even being stored on your licences? It has nothing to do with your ability to drive. Looks like the fight for privacy should be on two fronts in this instance.

    Personally I'd be suspicious of anybody that wanted to swipe my ID for the purposes of checking my age, when my DOB is printed on the card itself. Mind you, my lic

  • by DeadboltX (751907) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @05:57AM (#16947218)
    A man walks up to the barkeep, "I'm looking for a man, goes by the name of Wilson. "Seen him come around here, maybe you've heard of him?"
    The barkeep grumbles back, "Maybe, let me check my Drivers License Scanner Database". The barkeep then prints out a page of the aforementioned license information and gets proper compensation from the stranger.

    Not exactly how it usually goes down in the movies, but if this keeps up then maybe in the near future movies will look a little more like this.
    • by houghi (78078)
      Walk in the bar? They will be required to send th data to a server. hey, if yuu didn't do anything wrong, you have no need to worry. Link that to the database of your card to know what you drank and to the blackbox in you car to know when you left and they will be waiting for you at home to give you a ticket for DIU.

  • > Privacy advocates warn that such personal data, once in a database, is bound to be misused

    Of course it will be misused; you can make money out of it.

    Younger adults don't care because they have no knowledge or perception of the risks involved with the digitization of private data.

    Going from analog records to digital records is NOT "more of the same"; it is qualitively different, because of the orders of magnitude improvement in the ease of accessing and searching the data.
  • I don't see no problem,' said [a club-goer], 22. 'That happens every day on the Internet. Any hacker can get the information anyway.'

    This is the generation that grew up with locker and back pack searches, drug tests, and a near total disdain for the concept of privacy rights. Won't it be interesting to see what they think is okay for the cops to do if you're suspected of a crime.

  • by Bent Mind (853241) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @07:13AM (#16947770)
    the customer's name, address, license number, perhaps even height, weight, and eye color -- go into a database and are retained, perhaps indefinitely. While a federal law forbids selling or sharing data from drivers licenses, there is no prohibition against collecting it.

    On the surface, I don't really care if my local pub has my stats. At worst, I'll get an advertisement in the post for free pool on Thursday night. However, going deeper, who is looking at this data, and why? If I go to the topless pub twice a month, are the police going to use this data to profile me as a pervert. Can I expect this data to be used to obtain a warrant to confiscate my computers. Will the police attempt to blackmail me by threating to tell my wife how often I visit the pub? Will my kids be taken away when they find the pictures I took of my wife, despite the files being locked away from the kids?

    I can understand the need to keep minors out of the pub. However, they need to maintain and/or create a method that protects my privacy.
  • Look.

    Find a friend that works at a TV station who has a heavy De-Gausser.

    One swipe and RFID (OK might take a microwave pass) and all the fleas are gone!

    My $.02

  • I changed mine to an administrative key to all the rooms in the hotel back when I was a desk clerk at a cheap hotel. If they haven't changed the locks, it should still unlock any door in the place. Never used it, though.
  • by epine (68316) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @09:16AM (#16949106)
    [Clubs] are requiring patrons to give up their drivers licenses for a swipe through a card reader.

    This sentence immediately brought to mind this article, We're all big babies [telegraph.co.uk] which was listed at Aldaily not long ago, a second-class screed which is true enough nonetheless. We're such big babies that we can't postpone our gratification long enough to say no to any request no matter how intrusive. This sentiment has almost entered the food supply, as we see from the sentence above.

    Clubs are not requiring patrons to give up their drivers licenses. That would be illegal. Clubs are requiring patrons to give up their drivers licenses as a condition of entry which was left unstated as if perhaps impossible. Big difference. The prospective patron, one who is not afflicted with the prevailing spirit of cultural infantilism, can say "not in this lifetime", turn around, and leave.

    The same applies to DRM-afflicted media. Rights or gratification. Adult or baby. Choose.

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