The OPEA announces that they, along with Oklahoma’s finest are going to bat for privacy rights.
If that headline gave you a moment of hope that maybe we might get a bit of mercy from our state leaders in the privacy arena, I hate to break the news to you. It doesn’t.
All of you that are anxiously following such freedom busting legislation as;
HB 2331 that would use ALPR license plate scanning cameras to remotely check our tags against a new online insurance verification system and then confiscate the vehicles of those who are not verified in this database
Or HB 2751 which negates presumption of innocence by mandating the taking of DNA samples upon arrest
Or SB 483 which gives the Commissioner of Public Safety complete authority to share our biometric and other personally identifying information held in state DMV databases at will, without a warrant with the entities he chooses.
I hate to bust your bubble but the outrage emanating from the OPEA and law enforcement leaders over the publishing of state employees’ data does not apply when it comes to the ordinary Oklahoma residents.
They seem completely oblivious to how ridiculous it sound to wail about birthdates with all off the egregious, intrusive policy making they have been inflicting on this state.
Commissioner of Public Safety Kevin Ward, left, and Representative Randy Terrill speak in favor of SB 1753, keeping birth dates (of some) confidential.
Saying they face potentially life-threatening consequences, every major law enforcement entity today joined the OPEA in opposing the release of state employees’ birth dates.
Question: What is more personal that a birth date?
More unique to you that a social security number?
What personal information not only identifies you but does so with a number that ties you identity directly to your body?
Hint: Rep. Terrill has been actively championing for DPS Commissioner Kevin Ward to have open access and ultimate authority to share the personal information on over a million Oklahoma residents that is housed in the Department of Public Safety’s databases.
This unique identifier that I am referring to can also be gathered and accessed without your permission or knowledge which is actually one it’s most compelling selling points to our government. No griping, no whining from us about the Fourth Amendment or any other of our silly ideas about wanting to be free of government control. All they need is your picture, some software and a database to be able to keep track of you, your whereabouts and whatfors.
I am talking about our faces and the biometric data extracted from those faces by the gadgets our state has spent plenty on in recent years.
Since the US uses international standards for this technology, our state photos compatible with global biometric facial recognition standards. This means that there are no barriers such as language or incompatible technology that we can count on to keep this personally identifying data from being used to recognize us or to reference our other biographical information. It works no matter where in the world you are.
If your face is uncovered and there is a cctv camera that has access a database with your biometric on file-smile! They know you and depending on what your mugs universal number is attached to, they may know quite a lot about you.
A fingerprint, you might know, is also a biometric, which simply means a measurement of or about our bodies.
Remember when only suspects and criminals were fingerprinted? Now we all are and this biometric is collected and stored in a database by Oklahoma state DMV’s right alongside your digital photograph and every other scrap of data that you are forced to share if you care to drive a car or get a state ID card.
While this group is having a conniption over the birthdates of public employees, a recently filed “Request for Information” by the OK. Dept. of Public Safety informs that DPS collects or will be collecting the following information which will be included on the card;
information to be included on the DDLs or ID Card issued, including, a distinguishing alpha numeric identification, date of issuance, date of expiration, applicant’s full name, computerized signature, date of birth, residents address, sex, color photograph or computerized imaged and security features, and county of residence, and permission for DPS to promulgated rules for the inclusion of height and other brief descriptions of licensee;
pg 5 and 6
Oklahoma has been set up with equipment from Viisage, now L-1 Identity Solutions, to capture, collect and store our biometric images since 2004. L-1 has a fine reputation in enabling repressive regimes with high tech tools for the purpose of controlling and keeping their populations orderly and productive.
The Chinese city of Shenzhen is serving as the testing grounds for Golden Shield.
With more than 200,000 surveillance cameras already installed — and that number expected to rise to two million cameras in three years, Shenzhen’s citizens will likely be the most “watched” people in the world. Every camera in the city will be networked to one central location that will be armed with the latest facial recognition software from the American company L-1 Identity Solutions.
The system will be able to scan a face and match it to a picture from the central database in a matter of seconds. To supplement the cameras, Chinese citizens will be required to carry electronic national ID cards that are also linked to the central database, giving China an unprecedented ability to track its citizens
Bob Evans, on April 6, 2010, makes some very good points in this article posted at InformationWeek;
‘The state of Oklahoma has raised more than $65 million by selling its citizens’ personal information including names, birth dates, driver’s-license numbers, and more [. . .] the state’s now trying to shield public-sector workers from those same privacy-trampling practices to which private-sector citizens are subject.
Mr. Evans explains that while the law permits our information to be routinely sold and shared, he wonders if that is the right thing to do. . .
‘Particularly when state employees try to persuade their bureaucrat buddies to tailor the policies so that public-sector employees are exempt from having their own information exposed to this data mining and personal-information marketplace.’
**See Rep. Randy Terrill in Trouble
posted March 29, 2010
While the state earns money selling records that include birth dates, lawmakers and some labor groups are working to shut off access to birth dates of public employees to the public
[. . .]Senate Bill 1753, by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, would exempt government worker birth dates from the state’s Open Records Act. Leftwich, Terrill and supporters of the bill claim releasing birth dates could endanger the safety of employees and lead to identity theft.
[. . ]What I want to know is this: if this personal-data selloff is such a wonderful idea and is so good for the state, then why in the world would state employees be trying to keep their own names and info off-limits?
That is a very good question!
The OSBI was also represented, with Director DeWade Langley saying: “Over 100 of our employees have voiced concern because once you have a person’s full name and date of birth, you’re two-thirds of the way there if you want to steal someone’s identity.
I got a better one than that;
Military and Civilian forces, Public and Private Institutions, State Federal and International Governments
September 15, 2009
WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that it was giving state and local fusion centers access to the classified military intelligence in Department of Defense (DOD) databases. The federal government has facilitated the growth of a network of fusion centers since 9/11 to expand information collection and sharing practices among law enforcement agencies, the private sector and the intelligence community.
International Police Organization Proposes Worldwide Facial Recognition System.
Oct. 20, 2008
An Interpol face-recognition database would permit Interpol member nations to search records containing travelers’ personal biometric information, and could be used in conjunction with travel watch lists.
“We need to get our data to the border entry points. There will be such a large role in the future for fingerprints and facial recognition,”
— Mark Branchflower, head of Interpol’s fingerprint unit
This entire hullabaloo is very curious when you consider the responses of these same people to concerns about the collection and sharing of the highly intimate data belonging to the general public.
Many of these high ranking members of law enforcement and public safety have repeatedly downplayed the risk of the personal data they have been compiling and sharing on us. These very same public servants deny and ridicule the idea that their promiscuous information sharing plans will compromise our safety or privacy in any worrisome manner. Very curious indeed!
They fear, that their personal information could be used to identify and locate them. I understand how they feel. This is the very same concern I have about my information Mr. Ward, Director Langley, Randy Terrill!
Does this group of indignant public servants think that there should be two different sets of rules? Are some animals more equal than others as one reader of my blog so aptly questioned?
Rep.Terrill -The Oklahoman Breaks Its Pledge
Less than one week after the paper’s editor promised The Oklahoman would not publicize state employees’ personal identifying information, the paper did just that today, making public more than 100 employees’ names and birthdates, Rep. Randy Terrill said.
“This is a matter of trust”
Rep. Terrill proclaims.
It appears that Rep. Terrill has become a “born-again” defender of some Oklahomans right to keep their identity private.
Birth dates help reporters watch over public money
(BY ED KELLEY)
Published: Apr 4, 2010
Rep. Randy Terrill, who is pushing the Legislature to exempt the birth dates from the law, obtained a list of registered voters himself for his campaign in 2004. And Terrill also finagled a list of home addresses of state employees for the OPEA’s use, even though home addresses are exempted by law.
This is being done even though the Attorney General gave his opinion that
birth dates should be considered available to the public unless there are overriding reasons to shut them off. So the OPEA went to court to prevent the state from making the birth dates available upon request.
I would assume that these same public employees are motorists and therefore have their information up for sale the same as the rest of us, unless they get a “special” protected database to house their personal information.
TULSA, Okla. (Legal Newsline)- Oklahoma is raking in millions of dollars by selling personal information about motorists, a report indicates.
From a 2009 article about SB 483;
Fusion Centers are funded primarily by the federal government. Some believe them to be an effective tool to fight terrorism with little that one could find objectionable. The problem is, Fusion Centers have overstepped their intended purpose. This is typical when dealing with the issue of technology and invasive databases. Mission creep is just too easy.
Oklahoma’s SB 483
A prime example of such dangerous legislation that could lead to an international surveillance state is Oklahoma’s SB 483, which will authorize the Commissioner of Public Safety (DPS) the authority to enter into “agreements” with other state agencies and allow these other agencies “direct electronic access” to the DPS database of computerized photos.
Moreover, the Federal Department of Homeland Security is targeting such state databanks and clearly has stated it wants full access to them. It then intends to share them with international databanks.
Biometric data and Social Security numbers
The final piece of the puzzle is the third tier of legislation making rounds in several state legislatures that would prohibit state governments from collecting biometric samples/data and social security numbers of citizens who apply for driver’s licenses. In direct opposition to bills such as SB 483, Oklahoma is considering such legislation which calls for the removal of existing biometric information and social security numbers from the state motor vehicle database. Such legislation is intended to protect our personal privacy.
[. . .]Again, in Oklahoma, some lawmakers have figured out the only way to stop the federal government and international organizations from getting their hands on citizens personal information is to stop collecting the information and putting it in state databases.
Guys, you can’t be closing off access to open records while at the same time cracking the shower curtain open on all of us. This is the recipe for creating a terrible imbalance of power.
I think All the animals should be considered equal.
Court order halts Oklahoma birth date request
Injunction temporarily bars state from giving data
Read Orwell’s Animal Farm