Texas DPS’ Face and ALL Ten Prints Biometric Policy Makes Everone a Suspect


Kaye Beach
July 14, 2014

Like Oklahoma, Texas requires applicants for a state drivers license or ID card to submit to his or her facial and finger biometrics to being captured and stored. But Texas has recently upped the ante requiring those who wish to have a state issued driver’s license of ID card, to submit to the scanning and retention of all ten fingerprints.

Texas lawmakers have passed legislation that allows the Department of Public Safety to get all ten of your fingerprints the next time you renew your drivers license. And the DPS quietly began doing that this year.

‘To Cut Down On Fraud, DPS Wants Fingerprints To Renew Drivers License,’

If you are already offended by the notion of the notion of being fingerprinted like a common criminal just to get an driver’s license or ID card you will be horrified by what Ryan Barrett, a former DPS employee who resigned over the new fingerprinting policy, reveals about what is actually being done with the data.

His main objection, he tells The Watchdog, is that all fingerprints of Texans are now being run through the state’s criminal database. (my bold)

…Barrett says he is not against catching criminals. The problem, he says, is that if someone has no criminal record, a new record is created of the innocent individual and stored in the statewide database called AFIS.

…Barrett says he believes the reason DPS quietly launched the program this year without public announcement is because such a public notice would have touched off a debate about the program’s legality.

Read more, ‘The Watchdog: Whistleblower blasts DPS for taking fingerprints,’ July 12, 2014, DallasNews.com

Dave Lieber, Watchdog Reporter for the Dallas Morning News is doing a fine job of investigating and reporting on this story which he first reported  on back on June 7, 2014.

Watchdog: Driver’s license centers snatch your fingerprints

[. . .]Quietly, earlier this year, the Texas Department of Public Safety began requiring full sets of fingerprints from everyone who obtains a new driver’s license or photo identification card.

[. . .]Since 2010, Texas has used facial recognition software to match driver’s license photos with government databases looking for persons wanted by law enforcement for various reasons.

The state’s Image Verification System also matches known faces from driver’s licenses and photo ID cards with sketches of criminal suspects, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman explained in answer to The Watchdog’s questions.

[. . . ]In the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan, which Marina found, authorities cite identity theft and terrorism as two motivators for using fingerprints and facial recognition software.

Checking fingerprints, the plan says, will help officials locate people seeking a second, unauthorized identification card.

The plan states that fingerprints will be compared with the federal Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System to identify criminals and terrorists.  Read more

July 12, 2014 article, The Watchdog: Whistleblower blasts DPS for taking fingerprints

And here is Lieber’s article published today, July 14, 2014, that allows the whistleblower and a representative for the Texas Department of Public Safety,  to both give their perspective in their own words.

Judge for yourself if fingerprint taking is necessary for Texas driver’s licenses


I love the DPS whistleblower, Ryan Barrett’s,  final thoughts on the matter.

‘…you can use any means or methods to stop crime and then justify it with the DPS’s blanket ‘safety’ statement.  You can say the DPS is placing RFID chips in all driver’s license holders, and then justify it with the the same sentence Tom used: that it stops fraud, combats terrorism, and keeps people safe.  In fact, I’m sure it probably would stop a little fraud, or some crime, but that doesn’t mean it is morally right, in line with the concept of citizens’ privacy, or cost-effective.  You could search every single house in a city when a crime is committed and justify it with that statement, and yes, the police would probably find some crime or wrong-doing.  But again, that doesn’t mean it’s morally right…’

Read more, ‘The Watchdog: Whistleblower blasts DPS for taking fingerprints,’ July 12, 2014, DallasNews.com

6 responses to “Texas DPS’ Face and ALL Ten Prints Biometric Policy Makes Everone a Suspect

  1. Pingback: Texas DPS’ Face and ALL Ten Prints Biometric Policy Makes Everone a Suspect

  2. They are forever reassuring us that this is all for our safety, to protect us. But that presupposes there is no corruption/criminals in the police, the judiciary and the political establishment. Fingerprints are evidence of a crime and fingerprints can be planted. This resource gives the establishment the means to fit up anyone in the country they please for any reason or no reason.

  3. Pingback: Texas DPS’ Face and ALL Ten Prints Biometric Policy Makes Everone a Suspect

  4. The more corrupt the state, the more laws.
    – Tacitus

  5. @prayerwarriorpsychicnot … any fingerprint system provides a high level of comfort in terms of the privacy requirements. During the enrollment phase, the data is immediately converted into a template containing a unique binary code (normally encrypted) which represents the characteristics or measurements of the fingerprint feature.

    These systems include those which do not physically record and process the actual image of your finger.

  6. Da' HOOD Niggaz

    The fingerprints can be reverse-engineered from a template of sufficient detail. The template itself, even a low detail one, can also be used to track and identify innocent people without their consent. Police around the U.S. are being equipped with devices such as Motorola’s BIS, MorphoTrak’s MorphoIDENT, and MORIS, which can be used to read faces, irises, and fingerprints in both template and raw format.

    Companies such as Identix are working on goggles that provide a facial recognition HUD for the person wearing them. If someone wants to identify a crowd of random, innocent people, they need only be enrolled in a large database, regardless of whether the data is in raw or template form, for the goggles to do the work.

    With devices like these, you can snap a picture of a random person or their finger or eyeball, and have a good tool to find out all of their personal information that is archived. This personal information can include not just the normal data listed on the drivers’ license, but anything a fusion center and/or data broker may have collected as well, including credit reports, medical records, rental history, leins and judgements, emails, phone numbers, criminal history, social media, and plenty of other very personal details about someone.

    The photos from the new camera equipment that nearly all U.S. states DMVs(or equivalent) started installing by 2012 are of sufficient resolution to extract irises and map out in detail the unique features of each person’s face, in high-res photo format and/or in the generation of a usable template.

    Missouri State Senator from Columbia, Kurt Schaefer, once discussed a data breach that occurred in the states of Texas and Virginia in 2009, where the captured data of roughly 8 million people was compromised. Dumped onto the internet.

    A similar data breach has also occurred in Isreal. Dumped onto the internet.

    In Florida, during the RNC in Tampa, police were using facial recognition to identify protestors, based on data provided by not just police databases(which include innocent people that were arrested as suspects), but also by the DMVs. Any Florida ID or DL holder’s information was available for scrutiny in this manner. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that anonymous free speech is a right guaranteed by the 1st amendment. Anonymous free speech is rendered impossible merely by the collection of this data of large numbers of people, given current technology.

    A man in Massachusetts is suing his state for losses incurred because the facial recognition system didn’t identify him as himself from a previous photo, causing him to be ineligible for renewal. These systems are not 100% accurate, and innocent people could very easily be mistaken as criminals.

    There’s also the topic of police harassment and abuse, and access of this data by police leaves it very open to abuse. Storage of this data by companies such as Safran, 3M Cogent, NEC, and Gemalto, also leaves it open for abuse in different ways.

    There is no easy or economical means to alter your biometrics should they become compromised in either template or raw form. That data will stay compromised, for the rest of your life. No remedy, no way not to be randomly tracked/identified when you don’t want to be(regardless of whether you’ve done anything “wrong” or not), unless you can get new fingerprints, new irises, or a new face.

    What if I don’t want complete strangers managing or keeping this data? What if I want it kept private, so that random police can’t just pull up that data by observing me in the field? The refusal to issue a license or ID card to me which doesn’t require biometrics severely and needlessly limits my ability to participate in society, all in concerted effort to get me enrolled into this database. Yet somehow, it’s considered “voluntary” to be enrolled, according to the legal system, as having these drivers licenses or ID cards is considered a “privilege.”

    In my case, not getting a Texas ID will cost me my career, as the job requires me to drive. Getting a new job is difficult, as virtually all places of employment want a “valid” ID, which I cannot obtain without enrolling my biometrics. I not only have student loans to finish paying, but could be rendered destitute on top of that, in time, for refusing to enroll.

    My ability to feed, shelter, and care for myself is being reduced to a “privilege”, contingent upon enrollment of my biometrics, that is somehow legally considered “voluntary.”

    Where’s my right not to be in this database? Did we overturn the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 10th amendments to the bill of rights, or something?

    I’m not comfortable providing any of this data, not just considering that the data generated has no bearing on my competence or safety during the operation of an automobile, but also considering the abuses that can be and have been conducted with the use of this data on other people can happen to me, too.

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