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Florida: Driver's License Efforts Clash

 
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 09:13 am
"Florida legislators are working to pass a new law to protect personal information on driver's licenses, while another arm of state government is quietly moving to expand sales of information such as drivers' names and addresses."

Quote:
Driver's license efforts clash
By Bob Mahlburg
Tallahassee Bureau
Posted April 17 2004

TALLAHASSEE ยท Florida legislators are working to pass a new law to protect personal information on driver's licenses, while another arm of state government is quietly moving to expand sales of information such as drivers' names and addresses.

The state has been selling state driver's license information for years. But under a new plan the State Technology Office has drafted, selling personal information from driver's license records would be aggressively expanded to try to make millions of additional dollars. Almost half of the new money brought in would go to a private contractor, with the rest going to state coffers.



At the same time, legislators are working on a new privacy law on driver's license records. Despite repeated legal threats, Florida has refused for years to follow the 1999 federal requirement to tighten privacy on driver's license records.

Free-speech advocates called the dueling efforts hypocritical.

The state has drafted a detailed plan to market such records through a Web site, which they hope to eventually use for new and expanded online services, from renewing licenses to filing taxes and managing child support payments.

"It's designed to make money to expand services," said State Technology Office spokeswoman Carla Gaskin. "

Information from driver's licenses would be sold under a joint financial arrangement between a private contractor, Accenture, and two state agencies -- the Technology Office and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Setting up the new technology would require "a significant investment," the plan states, estimating "this cost alone could exceed $1 million" in the first year.

The price charged for driver's license data would be more than doubled from $2.10 for each record to $4.95. Accenture would get nearly half the money, or $2.30. Motor Vehicles would get $2.10, and the Technology Office would get 55 cents.

The arrangement also would double the amount brought in by selling driver's license records to $55 million per year, the plan says. Peter Soh, a communications manager for Accenture, said the company would not comment.

The State Technology Office declined to answer questions about whether the plan contradicts efforts to make personal information private, referring questions to the Motor Vehicles agency. A Motor Vehicles spokesman said the agency has "no position" on whether the arrangement is hypocritical.

Alia Faraj, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush, said the governor's office had no comment.

Corporate firms already pay the state about $27 million per year to buy state driver's license information. Then they resell it to businesses, such as insurance companies, direct mail firms, rental car companies and credit agencies.

Even under the new tighter privacy laws being drafted by state legislators to comply with federal law, that practice would continue. Personal information could no longer be made public unless a driver agrees to release it.

But state and federal laws both make exceptions to privacy restrictions that allow even the most private information, such as addresses and birthdates of drivers, to be sold to more than a dozen categories of businesses and government agencies, from law enforcement to auto-towing firms and insurance companies.

Employers use the data for background checks in hiring new workers.

The American Civil Liberties Union and others have threatened lawsuits to get Florida to make license information private.

SOURCE
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,226 • Replies: 16
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Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2004 07:25 pm
In recent years, we got new drivers licenses in KY. I'm glad my old one isn't expired yet, for all the good that does me. There is this magnetic strip, like on a credit card on the back. I have always wondered what information is in that. Like I'm really going to get an honest answer to that one!

I am not opposed to this magnetic strip giving my name and addresss or even quick access to whether or not I have a warrent for my arrest only for identification purposes. I think there is a bit more on there than what most citizens would like. Not because we are criminals in hiding, but because we value our privacy.

I would have to guess this is linked to anything our SS# is associated with. Think of them all, our checking account, credit cards, mortgage payment, car loans, place of employment, income, IRS...Those were just a few I could think of off the top of my head.

If this is the case, which it probably is linked to our SS#, I do feel this is an invasion of personal privacy. It should only be used for personal ID and police purpose of those who have warrents for arrest, that's it. Anything beyond that is an invasion of personal privacy.

I wonder what really is contained in that magnetic strip???
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doglover
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2004 07:41 pm
Since I work in marketing and sales, anything that expands my database is okay with me! Cool

Since I don't participate in any illegal activities, or do anything that would otherwise be considered criminal by local or federal authorities, I'm not worried about who has access to the information on my drivers license (so long as the person gaining that access is not a criminal).

I think people who are concerned about privacy issues might be doing things that are illegal or just paranoid.

Florida is run by one of Bab's litter, so that in itself is enough to make one weary. :wink:
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2004 10:59 pm
doglover wrote:

I think people who are concerned about privacy issues might be doing things that are illegal or just paranoid.

Florida is run by one of Bab's litter, so that in itself is enough to make one weary. :wink:


Well, we have a constitutional right of privacy here. And there are "data protection watchdogs" on every level - from federal down to smallest communities.
We are a bit conserned here.
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Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 12:59 am
doglover wrote:
I think people who are concerned about privacy issues might be doing things that are illegal or just paranoid.


I respectfully disagree with that statement. I'm not breaking any laws. I'm not some paranoid psychotic either. I do want my privacy respected. Any person employed with the ability to scan my drivers license has no need to know how much my annual reported income is. People love to gossip. Where I work, how much money I make, what property I own, what loans I have out, how much I owe on a credit card is no concern to anyone, even the police. Just because I abide by the law does not mean I am willing to tell all and let my personal finances be an open book for people to read.
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doglover
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 May, 2004 04:50 pm
Wildflower63 wrote:
doglover wrote:
I think people who are concerned about privacy issues might be doing things that are illegal or just paranoid.


I respectfully disagree with that statement. I'm not breaking any laws. I'm not some paranoid psychotic either. I do want my privacy respected. Any person employed with the ability to scan my drivers license has no need to know how much my annual reported income is. People love to gossip. Where I work, how much money I make, what property I own, what loans I have out, how much I owe on a credit card is no concern to anyone, even the police. Just because I abide by the law does not mean I am willing to tell all and let my personal finances be an open book for people to read.


Wildflower the people who will have the ability to scan your drivers liscense don't KNOW you personally, so what's there to gossip about? You will be among hundreds of other people whose liscense they are scanning for whatever reason on any given day. For pete's sake, a gynecholigist (sp) sees the most intimate parts of your body. What's more intrusive than that? Shocked
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 May, 2004 11:48 pm
doglover wrote:
For pete's sake, a gynecholigist (sp) sees the most intimate parts of your body. What's more intrusive than that? Shocked [/color]


You mean, this is done without your consent? Don't you ask for that or don't you go there voluntaryly? Shocked
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satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2004 12:13 am
doglover wrote:

I think people who are concerned about privacy issues might be doing things that are illegal or just paranoid.

That is on the contrary. With my address and phone numbers revealed, I would increase the probability of becoming a target of telemarketing scams.
It will be better for your privacy to be hidden from the public as far as possible.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2004 12:17 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
doglover wrote:

I think people who are concerned about privacy issues might be doing things that are illegal or just paranoid.

Florida is run by one of Bab's litter, so that in itself is enough to make one weary. :wink:


Well, we have a constitutional right of privacy here. And there are "data protection watchdogs" on every level - from federal down to smallest communities.
We are a bit conserned here.



Just thinking that I am posting here with my full name Laughing
0 Replies
 
doglover
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2004 07:54 am
satt_focusable wrote:
doglover wrote:

I think people who are concerned about privacy issues might be doing things that are illegal or just paranoid.

That is on the contrary. With my address and phone numbers revealed, I would increase the probability of becoming a target of telemarketing scams.
It will be better for your privacy to be hidden from the public as far as possible.


I get it now. All this hysteria about privacy is really about not wanting to receive annoying calls from telemarketers. Mr. Green

Walter... :wink:
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Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2004 04:21 pm
I don't mean to be blowing anything out of proportion here. As a law abiding citizen of a supposedly free country, I demand my privacy be respected.

We all know that most things about us are a matter of public record. All employers who want to hire anyone with any responsibility demand a police record check. Potential employers can and do get this information without your permission. They have a valid reason to seek this information.

When I decide to put my house up for sale, it is up to public record how much I paid for it. Potential buyers want this information to insure they bargain a fair price for a 30 year debt they are about to be liable for. I have done this myself for a few friends telling them to go to the courthouse and telling them exactly how to find out information of the sale price of the property they want to buy and recent prices of comparable prices neighbors paid so you don't get ripped off. This is also public record, but you have to go to some time and effort to get this information.

If I apply for a credit card or loan of any type, any lending institution has just reason to know my assets and debts before allowing me risk of investor cash. This is called a credit report.

Medical information is protected under law. As an RN, I cannot answer anything but condition, not diagnosis or treatment to a family member without POA. There is never any reason for medical or psychiatric information to be available to anyone, under law. I don't trust the fact that legally protected information will now show up with this easily scanned line on our drivers liscense. Do you?

I am not denying that people cannot look into our personal finances, property owned, credit and debt, criminal record or anything else that is public record. I do dispute that this information should be in a magnetic strip on our drivers license. This is a lot more effort than the average person is willing to put forth without valid reasoning, unless neurotic or psychotic with some strange need to know about their neighbor. It should and does come with cost of time and/or money for this information and should not be so easily available to any individual.

I do argue that this information should never be readily available with simple scanning of our drivers license. I see a few problems with this idea, for those with nothing to hide. Say, you wish to change jobs for a pay rase. This is not unreasonable. If any potential employer is able to get your financial status, they can easily estimate some low figure for your work based on an easy credit report by simply having your drivers license scanned. Does this have anything at all to do with your experience, education, or quality of work? No, but will be exploited over your drivers license.

You will never be able to negotiate a fair wage, if you owe debt because they know you exactly how much money you are in desperate need for. Employers should only interested in criminal convictions to know what kind of person they may hire. Whatever you ran up in debt is your concern, not to be available to any potential employer with such ease. This is information overload that can and will be used against any individual with wage negotiation. Don't be stupid, unless you are among the perfect, which most of us are not.

What if I happen to apply for a bank loan to buy a house. Say that I got popped ten years ago or more for shoplifting and/or a record of some possession charge of many years past, which I was convicted of. I can also hold a job. With maturity and time, people do change. Records of conviction go from the age of 18. Is this of any relevance when I have adequate employment and down payment wishing for a home loan with employment and adequate down payment to be seen as som criminal at risk to be turned down with no just cause? No, it is not. I will be seen as high risk and never be able to do anything but rent an apartment with full financial ability to fulfill my obligation without selling drugs or stealing, just employment as an honestly earned wage to pay debt is all.

If our lives are an open book, it can and will influence people of your character of mistakes you can never live down. It is more serious than it seems. Most of us aren't so perfect. Most of us have either gotten convicted of having a little weed or had too much money spent with a credit card. We shouldn't be expected perfection, just live up to what we willingly make a fair and reasonable deal to, with employers or creditors.

Police need positive identification of an individual. Don't be stupid and trust them. The 50's is long gone. Today's culture is very much dog eat dog. People of today are very judgemental. Local police only require a high school education, but can cause you very serious legal problems. Police should have adequate record of criminal record and any warrants for your arrest to protect themselves against someone with a know violent and disrespect for law, in order to know how to protect their own lives.

Go right ahead and be stupid. Any of us could have their job with the right social in, not qualification, which local police are not interested in, just your high school diploma. I wish that is all I had to live up to to gain such trust and respect, but not true for anyone but a ignorant cop that gave an in for a friend at the gym, making them qualified. Whatever!Give your average high school educated ego puff a gun and badge, with little standards, as all local police are, we are all begging for trouble. The second they see you sunk yourself with credit card debt, they will think you disregard money as you do the law. You will be treated unjustly over a simple speeding ticket.

There is information that is reasonable and on record for people with need for this knowledge to have access to. Only a very neurotic person would ever seek knowledge such as police record and credit report. Police can and will abuse this information. They will not look at the crime of speeding you did commit, but hit you hard thinking unprofessionally with bias if anything but information to them, a lending institution, or employer ever gets their paws on information they have no need to know at all.

Don't make the stupid mistake thinking you will not be exploited. You allow invasion of your personal privacy stupidly thinking you have nothing to lose, you just don't get the larger picture at all. Don't be stupid!
0 Replies
 
doglover
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2004 04:43 pm
I hate to say it Wildflower, but your post reeks of paranoia.

And, by the way, I'm not stupid.
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Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 May, 2004 04:18 pm
If I am that paranoid, then I must be among the psychotic delusional. Why hasn't someone locked me up and loaded me with drugs, if that were the case?

Reasoning is simple. I am very sane and know that people are out for themselves at anyone's expense, with exception of a handfull. It really is true. You don't have to believe it, but may regret your own words someday when you get the royal screw over being innocent and oh, so honest. Give me a break! If I were diabetic, this nonsense would have put me in a sugar coma by now! Grow up and get real. I had to, so why shouldn't you??

You really don't have to name call, telling someone who has knowledge of human psychology, that they are 'paranoid', which is definitely a psychotic state, in order to make your statement. If you cannot do it without insulting another, calling them insane, then shut up, which I would strongly suggest you do.

You many not be stupid, but ignorant, if you honestly believe that your life should be an open book for anyone to read. You are definitely stupid if you think a multitude of things will not be used to someone elses advantage, with a tell all about you.

Tell me why you think anyone making statements such as you have made should not be considered either ignorant or stupid? We don't live in Disney World in that big castle. Most of us live with reality. People will take full advantage of who they can, including you.

Put the straight jacket on me. Fill me with drugs so that I trust anyone who crosses my path. Make me drugged and stupid! My life might be a lot better.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 May, 2004 04:55 pm
I agree with wildflower here in content (he or she may be losing points for tone).

Privacy is a fundamental part of freedom. Without privacy, there is no freedom. Freedom means that within a well-defined legal system, I have the right to do what I choose without having to face discrimination or pressure from people may not approve.

Let's say I want to read a book that other people find offensive. This is not illegal-- in fact it is my protected right. I should be able to read this in the privacy of my own home.

If my prudish neighbors find out that I have this book, they may yell or ostracize or do any number of things to make my life miserable. There is no reason I should have to face this abuse for exercising my right. My privacy protects my right.

In the past people have done illegal things to other who have done perfectly legal things they happened to have not approved of. For example, people have been killed for having sex with a person of the wrong gender or race.

The government has in the past violated people rights. Privacy is an added level of protection for those who want to be different. My uncle was prosecuted during the McCarthy witch hunts. I like to think that I can protect myself against the government no matter what political views I may take.

The right to privacy means that you control your own information.

This is not just an issue for people who do something illegal.

You should not be concerned about privacy issues if...

You don't read anything that others find immoral or politically questionable. You don't sleep with anyone who others may frown upon. You don't hold any unpopular political views or have any legal but controversial medical procedures.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 May, 2004 05:03 pm
To address the specific issue (driver's licenses) again a violation of your privacy makes it possible for violations of other rights.

You have the right to not be discriminated against in employment or housing. This right can only be protected if you control who gets to see your information.

What if through a database a potential employer can determine that you are HIV positive. Is this not going to compromise your right to fair employment?

What if you were on trial (but not convicted) for a crime? Isn't this something that would (and shoudn't) affect your chances for employment or housing?

Now again, if you live a boring, normal life, you may say that this doesn't matter. But there may be a time when you need privacy to ensure your rights are protected. If the rest of us don't demand our privacy is respected (even though most of us probably don't need to) you will be in trouble.

I put all my personal letters in envelopes. I expect that they arrive unopened and unread. Most of the times these letters were pretty boring and undamaging. It wouldn't have mattered if anyone had read them-- but I would have still been very upset if they were opened.

There have been a couple of times when I have written letters with very personal information on them. If this information had gotten into the wrong hands, it would have caused problems and personal embarrassment.

In those times I was very glad that everyone uses sealed envelopes.
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doglover
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 May, 2004 09:26 pm
Suit yourself Wildflower...one thing is for sure. You have absolutely no class. Yours is what I call southern hospitality. :wink:
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Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2004 04:42 am
Sorry, I was having a REALLY bad day. Sometimes it's a little too easy to take it out on a computer forgetting you are really talking to people.
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