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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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  • The original url (Score:2, Informative)

    by hotcakes.co.nz (874015) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @04:13AM (#16946432) Homepage
    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]
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @04:48AM (#16946622) Journal
    I think the blurring of license plat numbers has more to do with financial and monetary rewards. You will sometimes see people's faces blurred in the same ways.

    When a movie or show is made, they get a consent form filed by everyone in the scene. This happens before they can air the segment. Sometimes people refuse or they cannot be found. In this case, masking their identity is usually sufficient enough to stop that person from attempting to come back on the production. With cars, there might be hundreds of thousands of car similar but only the plate numbers tell them apart. Also some counties or jurisdictions have a process were you pay the county a set fee and they waive anyone who resides in that area's objections.

    The consent basically says you agreed to let them use your image or something identifiable to you and won't come back on them later. Some people in the past have attempted to claim the success of a show was directly related to them walking or driving thru the background or interacting with someone in a particular manor therefore they are entitled to some compensation. I'm not sure if anyone has been successful at these suites or not but the consent or blocking the images seems to alleviate most of them.

    But it isn't to stop from identifying the person as much as it is identifying them with the show/movie/program/whatever in order to head off any claims against the show.
  • by Foo2rama (755806) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @05:25AM (#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]
  • Re:Easy fix (Score:3, Informative)

    by mr_matticus (928346) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @05:56AM (#16946930)
    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.
  • Long Island, NY (Score:2, Informative)

    by xero91 (999293) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @11:24AM (#16950406)
    I have been to a number of bars on Long Island since turning 21 a year ago. I started receiving flyers and coupons from these places and realized they used my info scanned from my drivers license. The next time I went to one of these places I could see the PC the scanner was hooked up to and could see the names, addresses, and birthdays of everyone that was being scanned. It just didn't seem right...
  • Re:It's true (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @11:35AM (#16950626)

    Funny?

    Mod me a troll and be done with it, but even if you are joking, you are an idiot...

    Why don't you just list your social security number, too, along with your bank account and pin numbers while you're at it.

    Ever bothered to check with a credit bureau to see if they have your credit information correct?
    Ever had your credit score affected because of incorrect information?
    Ever had someone else borrow your identity?

    Odds are no, because if you had, you wouldn't be asking why.

    Odds are the folks modding this funny haven't either. It's no laughing matter...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:15PM (#16952674)
    Capitalism often finds sub optimal solutions for everyone when left to individuals acting in their own best accord, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma [wikipedia.org]
    Our society is NOT supposed to work by having minority dictate what the majority can and cannot do.

    Everyone has their own opinions of what governments main roll should be. I thought it was obvious to all that a significant role of the government is to protect it's the citizens, not just the majority.
    Many things like repeal of slavery are not in the direct interest of the majority, but are a requirement if the majority wants to claim to have any morals at all.

  • Re:It's true (Score:3, Informative)

    by pilgrim23 (716938) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:58PM (#16953586)
    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..
  • Re:agreed (Score:3, Informative)

    by DaSyonic (238637) <DaSyonic&yahoo,com> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:38PM (#16954488) Homepage
    Title 18 USC, Section 701 is what prevents you from copying your military ID, not the patriot act. See the text [cornell.edu] of the law yourself...

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