Category Archives: SB 483

Call it Hypocrisy-Law Enforcement Agencies Join OPEA in Privacy Fight

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

Read More

Bob Evans, on April 6, 2010, makes some very good points in this article posted at InformationWeek;

Noting that

‘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

Evans continues;

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?
Read More

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


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.

Read More;

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;

The Battle In The States: Freedom Vs Protection

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


“Mr. Armes your have been voted into office to PROTECT our freedoms NOT INFRINGE upon them”HB 3209

The reason for the hulabaloo explained

Here is letter, sent to Rep Don Armes by a constituent regarding HB 3209;

Mr. Armes,

I would like to take (NOT ASK) a little bit of your time regarding HB 3209.  I as a citizen of these United States of America and my beloved state of Oklahoma hereby assert my view regarding HB 3209.  I, Mr. Armes have been hitting the snooze button regarding our Federal, State and Local Governments, but as of about 4 months ago I threw out my alarm clock. For now I am awake and informed!

With everything going on in American Politics, how can you explain authoring or even supporting HB 3209. This bill is completely unconstitutional, HB 3209 is an infringement on Amendment 1, Amendment 4 and Amendment 10 of the United States Bill of Rights. You , Sir are trying to slip this bill through without your own district knowledge, but don’t worry if this bill isn’t removed from the floor you will and your constituents will be able to see the bill in the Lawton Constitution for I will personally buy an ad for the Sunday paper and high-light key points of your bill.

Mr. Armes your have been voted into office to PROTECT our freedoms NOT INFRINGE upon them.

I hereby request a response to this email by the end of the business day Thursday 2-4-2010.  I am Demanding NOT requesting your response, for if your response is not received by 2-4-2010 you will be able to read my response in Sundays edition of the Lawton Constitution.

Mr. Armes I hate to be so forceful with my words, but quite frankly Sir HB 3209 pisses me off!

One more thing Mr. Armes, I would like you to know that I and many others in SW Oklahoma are praying for all of our legislators, to vote on your God given principles for the good of the people of Oklahoma!

Good Day

Colin Henderson

Read More at Oklahoma Capitol Investments

Oklahoma working on Facial Recognition with DMV Photos

Posted May 12, 2009
Despite assurances from OK County Sheriff, John Whetsel in response to concerns by citizens about the planned use of digitized DMV photos (see SB 483), that the DMV photos are NOT biometric and that the concerns about remote surveillance of citizens is baseless, here is one bit of info that indicates the contrary.  There is much more…
Enough for me to conclude that our armed lobbyists at the Capitol are either lying or completely deluded somehow.
Will be posting more on this.
May 30, 2007
Better Face Recognition Software

For scientists and engineers involved with face-recognition technology, the recently released results of the Face Recognition Grand Challenge—more fully, the Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) 2006 and the Iris Challenge Evaluation (ICE) 2006have been a quiet triumph. (maybe a “hidden” triumph would be more accurate) Sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the match up of face-recognition algorithms showed that machine recognition of human individuals has improved tenfold since 2002 and a hundredfold since 1995. Indeed, the best face-recognition algorithms now perform more accurately than most humans can manage. Overall, facial-recognition technology is advancing rapidly.

Jonathon Phillips, program manager for the NIST tests and lead author of the agency’s report, says that the intended goal of the Face Recognition Grand Challenge was always an order-of-magnitude improvement in recognition performance over the results from 2002. Phillips believes that the necessary decrease in error rate to achieve that goal was due in large measure to the development of high-resolution still-images (courtesy of your local Department of Motor Vehicles) and 3-D face-recognition algorithms.

“For the FRVT 2006 and the ICE 2006, sets of high-resolution face images, 3-D face scans, and iris images were collected of the same people,” Phillips says. “The FRVT 2006 for the first time measured the performance of six 3-D algorithms on a set of 3-D face scans. The ICE 2006 measured the performance of ten algorithms on a set of iris images. 3-D face recognition has come into its own in the last few years because 3-D sensors for face recognition have become available only recently. What 3-D face recognition contributes is that it directly captures information about the shapes of faces.”

Among other advantages, 3-D facial recognition identifies individuals by exploiting distinctive features of a human face’s surface—for instance, the curves of the eye sockets, nose, and chin, which are where tissue and bone are most apparent and which don’t change over time. Furthermore, Phillips says, “changes in illumination have adversely affected face-recognition performance from still images. But the shape of a face isn’t affected by changes in illumination.” Hence, 3-D face recognition might even be used in near-dark conditions.

According to Ralph Gross, a researcher at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, in Pittsburgh, 3-D facial recognition can also recognize subjects at different view angles up to 90 degrees—in other words, faces in profile. “Face recognition has been getting pretty good at full frontal faces and 20 degrees off, but as soon as you go towards profile, there’ve been problems.” Gross says that the explanation for face-recognition software’s difficulties with profiles may be no more complicated than the fact that no one was focusing on the problem. The main applications of face recognition have been in contexts like ID cards and face scanners, for which the aim has been recognition of the full frontal faces of cooperative subjects under controlled lighting.

High-resolution still images have been another factor in the improvement of face-recognition technology, in part because highly detailed skin-texture analysis has also become possible. With such analysis, any patch of skin–called a skin print–can be captured as an image, then broken up into smaller blocks that algorithms turn into mathematical, measurable spaces in which lines, pores, and the actual skin texture are recorded. “It can identify differences between identical twins, which isn’t yet possible using facial-recognition software alone,” Gross explains. “By combining facial recognition with surface-texture analysis, accurate identification can increase by 20 to 25 percent.”

What about the FRVT report’s claim that some face-recognition algorithms equal or exceed humans’ recognition capabilities? Phillips explains: “Humans are very good at recognizing faces of familiar people. However, they aren’t so good at recognizing unfamiliar people.” Since many proposed face-recognition systems would complement or replace humans, the FRVT’s comparative tests of the face-recognition capabilities of humans and software–the first such testing–were important for measuring the potential effectiveness of applications. Phillips says that at low false accept rates (a false accept rate is the measure of the likelihood that a biometric security system will incorrectly accept an access attempt by an unauthorized individual), six out of seven automatic face-recognition algorithms were comparable to or better than human recognition. These were algorithms from Neven Vision, Viisage, Cognitec, Identix, Samsung Advanced Institute for Technology, and Tsinghua University. Unfortunately, Phillips adds, “because the majority of FRVT 2006 participants haven’t disclosed the details of their methods, it’s not possible yet to assess what’s distinctive about these algorithms.”

How does the commercial payoff for face recognition look? Quite promising, (and here lies the bottom line-I think the real balance needs to be between profit and privacy NOT privacy and security) because dozens of companies aim to cash in on face recognition’s potential as a biometric for credentialing and verification purposes. For the FRVT, venerable corporations like Toshiba and Samsung competed alongside companies like Neven Vision—just acquired by Google—and Viisage and Identix (which have just merged into L1 Identity Solutions)(these are the guys that have no moral qualms with sharing their technology with the Chinese government to identify dissidents so that they can cork them good), as well as alongside researchers from universities as diverse as Beijing, Cambridge, and Carnegie Mellon. What applications does a company like Google foresee for the technology developed by its recent acquisition, Neven Vision? According to a Google PR person, “We believe it offers promising integration possibilities with Google’s services, such as Picasa and Picasa Web Albums, particularly in terms of helping users organize and search their own photos.”

At Carnegie Mellon, Ralph Gross says that among other efforts, he and his colleagues have been “involved with local DMVs in order to scan images for driver’s licenses. I’ve gotten reports from the state level to say that, using face-recognition technology, they caught quite a number of people who applied for licenses in either different states or in the same state under a different name because their previous license got suspended.” (really?  I sure would like to see those reports because we can’t seem to locate such eveidence.  In fact, OK reports that it has interecepted exactly ZERO such cases by using this technology)

It’s a growing trend. States using such technology include Massachusetts, Illinois, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, North and Southern Carolina, Oklahoma,(quick!  somebody let Sheriff Whetsel know!) North Dakota, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Nevertheless, Gross stresses, applying face-recognition technology to ID photos is a long way from having the capability that would let law enforcement search a city’s webcam networks for specific individuals.

“With driver’s license photos, you have a controlled background, an operator telling you exactly how to position your face; the images are collected under comparable conditions. It’s much more restricted than the random-face-in-the-crowd problem, where you’re sticking a camera on a building,” Gross says.

Still, Gross says, “you can already see the path building.” (No Kidding!  I thought you had to be a “tinfoil” type to recognize the obvious here)Until recently, the video-surveillance industry still mostly relied on analog cameras, requiring cable to be set up for long distances to connect those cameras to monitoring equipment. Now, “the industry is switching to IP-based cameras, with which you can pretty easily tap into already existing Ethernet networks,” Gross says. “So you have wireless cameras and cameras using POE [Power over Ethernet technology allows IP telephones, wireless LAN Access Points, and other appliances to receive power as well as data over existing LAN cabling] where you don’t need a separate power plug. You can buy commercial solutions that are essentially a TiVo for these cameras, with motion sensors built in so they only record when there’s motion happening. With digital storage, you can keep the data indefinitely and enhance it in ways that you can’t with analog images. So all these things are coming together.” (you should talk to our law enforcement officials because they seem to know nothing about this amazing technology)

In principle, therefore, as face-recognition software continues its rapid advance, it will likely be possible to search for specific faces across a network of webcams. Accordingly, Gross’s recent work at Carnegie Mellon, in conjunction with colleagues at the Data Privacy Lab there, has been the development of algorithms to protect individuals’ privacy while under video surveillance. (whew! what a relief.  I feel much better now)The usual methods that thwart human recognition of an individual’s features on video–for example, those pixelated fields sometimes covering faces and body parts on reality-TV shows—already won’t fool much face-recognition software. Completely blacking out each face in a video clip would do the job, but this would be of limited use if law-enforcement agencies wanted to follow up evidence of suspicious behavior once they had a court warrant. The function of the privacy-preserving algorithms that Gross is helping to create, he explains, is to automatically take the average values of individuals’ faces and, from those, synthesize new facial images, then superimpose those new images over the originals. “It may seem like the opposite technology,” Gross says, “but actually, it’s just the other side of face recognition