The Department of Motor Vehicles recently proposed a $63 million contract with a company that uses facial-recognition software, which can detect whether a person photographed for a new driver’s license already has a license. The software allows the DMV to match a photograph with the entire DMV database of driver’s license pictures. This risk identified by the privacy group is of ‘mission creep’, that is this technology being used to identify persons in other situations, such as in a crowd.
This move has been blocked. Hence the DMV’s request to fast-track a new technology that the agency is seeking to deter identity theft, . The DMV sought permission from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign the contract as early as this week, without the scrutiny of public hearings. This is a victory for privacy-rights groups as this proposal will now have to undergo a public hearing.