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     Tuesday May 8 10:13 AM



This is a picture of the wife of actor Robert Blake; she was shot dead in a bizarre shooting on Friday.

That's not what's interesting here. What's interesting is that this image showed up on Yahoo! News, credited as having been taken by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and being an AP photo. The caption also says that the CA DMV says her name is listed as different on her driver's license; she was going by "Bonny Lee Bakley" but her driver's license says "Bonny Lee Lewis".

I'm assuming, then, that A) the CA DMV is storing photos of folks when they get their driver's licenses; and B) giving those photos out to the wire services, along with any other personal details they see fit, and C) checking the details of celebrated people and giving those out, too.

Maybe they only do this after you're pronouced dead, or something, but to me it seems like an incredible violation of privacy. I guess the bottom line is that you really should comb your hair before going in for that picture. You never know who might see it.



elSicomoro  Tuesday May 8 10:50 AM

From what I understand, some DMVs/Departments of Revenue DO sell your information for marketing purposes, as do some colleges and universities. The other thing that could have happened though is that Rob Blake showed her drivers license to the media. Sounds far-fetched, but possible.



  Thursday May 10 12:34 PM

One surprising thing about it

It's actually not all that unflattering a DMV photo.



  Thursday May 10 01:24 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Tony Shepps

I'm assuming, then, that A) the CA DMV is storing photos of folks when they get their driver's licenses; and B) giving those photos out to the wire services, along with any other personal details they see fit, and C) checking the details of celebrated people and giving those out, too.
I can verify (A) from personal experience. I just renewed my California license via mail and they printed my picture on it. The same picture that I had taken 4 years ago. Since these pictures are being taken digitally, I must assume that they are being stored in some vast database somewhere. FYI, they also digitize your thumbprint when they take your picture -- now THAT, to be, has always been scary.


  Thursday May 10 07:47 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by lisa
... I just renewed my California license via mail and they printed my picture on it. The same picture that I had taken 4 years ago. Since these pictures are being taken digitally, I must assume that they are being stored in some vast database somewhere.
The same has been done even in PA for many years now. Actually we have a big problem in this country. Anyone can pass for you because we don't have a national ID database. It makes it so easy for others to steal your identity, max out credit cards in your name, live off of your credit rating, even travel the world on a passport with your name on it. That is scary - that anyone can pass as you because we have no national ID network to protect your identity and reputation.



  Friday May 11 10:07 AM

Re: Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by tw
Actually we have a big problem in this country. Anyone can pass for you because we don't have a national ID database. It makes it so easy for others to steal your identity, max out credit cards in your name, live off of your credit rating, even travel the world on a passport with your name on it. That is scary - that anyone can pass as you because we have no national ID network to protect your identity and reputation.
[/b]
I dunno. The thought that the government has my photo and fingerprint on file kinda scares me more than their not having it. I just don't trust the government with that information, even if they supposedly have it to "protect" me.


  Friday May 11 10:19 AM

Agreed. The reason we do not have a national ID system is that Germany does not have a national ID system. The reason Germany does not have a national ID system is that Germany under Hitler did have one. The Nazis made *very* effective use of it.

The default rebuttal is "that could not happen here, we're the greatest country on earth." This ignores that at the start of WWI, Germany was the greatest country on earth.



  Sunday May 13 04:57 AM

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." —George W. Bush

'nuff said about govt privicy.



  Sunday May 13 04:10 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by Degrees
Agreed. The reason we do not have a national ID system is that Germany does not have a national ID system. The reason Germany does not have a national ID system is that Germany under Hitler did have one. The Nazis made *very* effective use of it.
And the reason that Europe did not use Chlorine in drinking water was that the gas poisoned so many in WWII. It we were to use that reasoning, then all science and technology would be illegal because of the atomic bomb on Japan.

The reason for not having a national ID system is based upon emotional reasonings and not upon the real world threat. The theft of personal ID is a far greater problem than the possibility of a dictator taking over the US government. A national ID system does not mean they can find you. If they wanted to do that, then they simply take all the tax records. A national ID system is a tool you use to prove who you are.

If your emotional reasoning was valid, then you would be in the street demanding an end to income tax - because the government could use that to destroy you.

BTW the Nazi example is flawed. They did not use a nationa ID system. They used the census - something we also have in this country. Here one would fear a national ID system that only has benefits for the individual and yet not fear the Census, the Federal Income Tax, Social Security, or even the phone book? That is totally illogical also known as conclusion based only upon emotional thinking. The reason we don't have a national ID system is because so many 'feel' rather than first study facts. Even Germany did not have a national ID system - they used the Census.



  Monday May 14 09:50 AM

You are correct, they used the census. However, I fail to see how that is fundamentally different from a national ID. The point of this photograph is that 'yes, the government (in California) is storing photos of its citizens.' You have no doubt heard about all the attendee's of this last Superbowl getting a facial scan by computer - and they caught (a few) people with warrants using this system. Currently, NCIC has 40 million sets of fingerprints on file, with their goal being a search time of under 9 seconds. So what I am trying to say is: if the current government goal had a slogan, it could be a paraphrase of the Microsoft slogan: How do you want to be indentified today?

The problem with this, is that the government cannot be trusted in all cases. And control of national ID system would provide so much power that its abuse is assured. "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." What would you do, when presented with the option: pay the bribe, or be marked as an employment 'loser'? Today, kids in school are being hooked into the federal job training programs - complete with aptitude tests. So the problem with a national ID is that you have zero recourse. Identity theft can at least be fought and repaired.



  Monday May 14 10:36 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Degrees
Agreed. The reason we do not have a national ID system is that Germany does not have a national ID system. The reason Germany does not have a national ID system is that Germany under Hitler did have one. The Nazis made *very* effective use of it.

The default rebuttal is "that could not happen here, we're the greatest country on earth." This ignores that at the start of WWI, Germany was the greatest country on earth.
Before WWII, people always figured that, if there was going to be a mass outbreak of anti-Semitism in Europe, it would be in <b>France</b>, not Germany, which had always treated its Jews rather well.

A lesson to be learned?
Z


  Monday May 14 02:01 PM

You don't have to go far to see abuse of personal information in government records. Just go back to the top of the thread.

As far as personal identity theft being a worse problem than a dictatorial government, just go back to the IotD with the numbers of people killed in the last century, and ask all those statistics whether they'd rather be identity theft victims.

Protecting your identity is in the best interests of private companies, but it's expensive. If Visa wanted to, I'm sure they could develop a thumbprint or iris-scanning device to be used at all terminals.

What's more, identity theft is only as painful as the importance of the information behind that identity. If I "steal" Michael Jordan's "identity" for long enough to have stuff bought and sent to my house on his dime, that's tough for MJ but worse for the affected merchants. MJ doesn't see any serious loss for the "theft". If I "steal" his "identity" and he has every last bit of information connected with it, as is ONLY made possible by a nationalized system, then it's trouble.

The next question is (A) whether or not you trust the government to both own and operate such a system, and (B) to only use it for the best of intentions. Even if you answer yes to (B), You can't honestly answer yes to (A) and believe that W.'s intelligence gap has serious implications for the health of the country. After all, W. is only the top elected official. Could he manage to blow international relations, systematically create an economic downturn, etc. and somehow AVOID misusing a nationalized ID system? Come on, now.




  Monday May 14 11:45 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by Tony Shepps
...Protecting your identity is in the best interests of private companies, but it's expensive. If Visa wanted to, I'm sure they could develop a thumbprint or iris-scanning device to be used at all terminals.

What's more, identity theft is only as painful as the importance of the information behind that identity. If I "steal" Michael Jordan's "identity" for long enough to have stuff bought and sent to my house on his dime, that's tough for MJ but worse for the affected merchants. MJ doesn't see any serious loss for the "theft". If I "steal" his "identity" and he has every last bit of information connected with it, as is ONLY made possible by a nationalized system, then it's trouble. ...
If someone steals your identity, then it takes years before you can buy a house, take out a loan, get a credit card. The person stealing your or MJ's identity cost you and MJ more than the few lost products. Its the dirty little secret that most people fail to appreciate. The damage to your ID would take multiple years to repair. Furthermore you have no knowledge of the identity theft damage until it adversely affects your life. When do you discover the problem? Only when you close on your new house having already sold your old one. Suddenly you cannot buy the new house because of identity theft six years ago. That is how it works - and it becoming more common.

Confirming a picture does not harm anyone. IN a national ID system, the picture at the top of the page would no longer be available - only confirmantion of a face if the correct name was included. IDing a picture to a real world name is fundamental to ID protection. So far all arguements against a national ID system are based on a system where confirmations (not to be confused with information) is a threat to privacy. When did your face become hidden under a vail? When was your finger print a theft of personal property or a threat to your privacy?

The fear of a national ID system corresponds to the reason women spend so much on "age fighting creams" - we feel it must be - the facts be damned. We fear because a German census is emotionally hyped in to Nazis using a national ID system. I have contempt for those who would jump to such emotional conclusions. They even assume a national ID system means the above picture is available to everyone.

A person cannot hurt you through a national ID confirmation system. But identity theft has long term, quality of life, destructive consequences that we are only just beginning to realize.

Lets see. The government tracks license plates as cars pass through the Mexican and Canadian borders. Evil. Government cannot be trusted to track that information? And so it does nothing about stolen 2000 cars that pass out of the US every day through customs - all known to be stolen - because big government might abuse that information? Bull.

When you can cite why the picture at the top of the page has theatened anyone's life, then you can define why a national ID system is so dangerous. In the meantime while we encourage theives to steal our identities, the government still has everyones pictures ready for the same 'abuses'. Why government pictures not destroying citizen's lifes? When was the last time a picture of your face harmed your life and privacy?

If a national ID confirmation system could be abused, then your privacy is already been abused by DMVs. National ID confirmation is not a threat - just uses existing databases to protect your life and privacy. It is something we don't operate making the theft of American IDs one of the most prized possessions for all criminals worldwide. Most important - can someone please provide a logical rather than an emotional reason why a national ID system is so dangerous?

Nazism - phoooey. How about some logical reasons.



  Tuesday May 15 07:49 AM

So, I guess what you are saying is that I'll be safer because the government won't pick up any gentiles accidentally. I keep forgetting how benevolent governments get when nobody cares to check it.

"As an Individualist, I find the political State a consequent rather than an antecedent... The State is a variable quantity- expanding just in proportion as previous surrenders of individual sovereignty give it material. The initial cause is, however, the surrendering individual, the State being possible only after surrender. Hence the individual is the proper point of reform. As he is reformed. the State disappears of itself." Henry Appleton



  Tuesday May 15 12:59 PM

Tom, sometimes we're so in sync while at other times...

Making the world safe for someone to get a credit card (!) or even a house is not really my concern here. Let's ask the question this way: if you could put into place a system that would guarantee (ha! ha!) accurate credit history but have a 0.1% chance of being used to select you unfairly for the full arm of possible government tyranny, would you do it?

Every day, because I have too much free time, too good an internet connection, and too much interest in such things, I come across horror stories like the following:

----

A California woman lost her job, was forced into drug treatment, and lost custody of her children for three months after her newborn baby tested positive for the prescription drug Seconal, even though a doctor had provided the woman with the drug when she was in labor.

When Noel Lujan arrived at a local hospital last October to give birth to her son Daniel, a doctor prescribed the barbiturate Seconal to relax her. But he didn't tell that to hospital staff who tested the unmarried mother's baby for drugs -- and they didn't ask. After Daniel was born, Lujan was told of the test results and was not allowed to take him home. Orange County child welfare authorities assigned temporary custody of the baby and Lujan's other three young children to Lujan's parents. According to Lujan, she was allowed to stay at the house with them, but she was not permitted to feed Daniel without supervision.

Meanwhile, Lujan was forced to enter a drug treatment program, which caused her to miss so many days of work that she lost her job. She was also subjected to repeated hair and urine drug tests. "It was horrible," she told the Associated Press this week. "The whole three months they were telling me I was a drug addict, that I was in denial."

According to court records, child welfare workers did not learn that the Seconal had been prescribed until mid-January. The doctor who prescribed it claims he was notified before Lujan's children were taken away.

Lujan's children have since been returned to her custody, but she and the children's father will remain under children's services supervision until July. Michael Riley, director of Orange County's Children and Family Services agency, told the AP this week, "If this is an honest error, then we are sincerely sorry."

----

The face of pure evil, painted with good intentions and signed with the hand of bureaucracy.

You ask this woman which she would prefer to have: an accurate credit history, or her dignity, her job, her lost time, and her family.

In a free country, we don't do this to people. We don't take over their information for their own good. We don't take away their newborns and their entire family on the basis of unauthorized search. We don't take away the innocent for "re-education". Right?

You put a national ID system into place and how long will it be before it's politically expedient for bureaucracies, like the Orange County Children and Family Services Agency, to use the information therein? About five minutes?

Well, it won't be me. You put that system into place, and I will be outta here and renouncing my citizenship... in FOUR minutes.



  Tuesday May 15 05:13 PM

I don't know if I can give you a logical reason a national ID system is dangerous; but I can point to historical fact. And the fact is: when the going got tough, people got weird. So weirded out by what was going on, they even listened to crazed leaders who declared that the solution to everybody's ills was to persecute the scapegoat of the day. That the Germany demanded that all guns be registered is a historical fact (1929 Berlin). That those guns be (voluntarily) relinquished to the government is a historical fact (1934). That a per house search (based on the public records of registered gun owners) confiscating all guns was executed by the German military is a fact (1939).

And in 1942, said the soldier to the Jew: "What are you going to do? bleed on me?"

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Should I start to elaborate on the trends in persecution here in the USA? Tobacco? Motorcyclists? Internet forum hate-mongers? ;-)

"Nazism - phoooey." Sounds like an emotional argument to me (the emotion of 'pride').

What I want to know is what has changed that will save us from repeating history?



  Tuesday May 15 06:55 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by Tony Shepps
Tom, sometimes we're so in sync while at other times...

...I come across horror stories like the following:
----
A California woman lost her job, was forced into drug treatment, and lost custody of her children for three months after her newborn baby tested positive for the prescription drug Seconal, even though a doctor had provided the woman with the drug when she was in labor.
Which only proves we must be rid of all laws and government attempt to protect newborn.

The example demonstrates what happens when doctors fail to perform their jobs (Did the doctor suffer equal punishment? Doctors are rarely punished or lose their license)

Cited is one example of a doctor who caused good laws to be misapplied. Therefore we should get rid of all US Customs and passports because they too can be applied wrongly? The fear of a national ID confirmation system is equivalent to saying that all driver licenses must be eliminated because they to would be used improperly.

The reason you don't fear a driver's license - it already exists. Your fear of a national ID confirmation system - it does not exist. The facts are not the reason - it is a fear of the unknown that you fear.

Unfortunately that is common. Hundreds of people had to be murdered in the Johnstown Flood before we finally stopped fearing dam inspections.

Such blanket fears are the same reason so many also use ineffective, overpriced, overhyped, money wasting surge protectors. We assumed something is better than nothing rather than examine the details. We make blanket assumptions rather than examine the details.

DMV already have everyones picture. Government already has all information necessary to subvert the system. But the same information is not available to assist a reader to protect his own identity.

Identify theft is widespread and quite destructive. The Orange county woman's problem is rare, was easily corrected, and did not punish her years afterwards. IOW perspective is also important. The Orange County women's example only proves that all government is evil - not that we individually need protection. Furthermore fear of a national ID confirmation system is totally flawed since the government already has all that information.


[Edited by tw on 05-15-2001 at 07:03 PM]


  Tuesday May 15 07:07 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by Degrees
... That the Germany demanded that all guns be registered is a historical fact (1929 Berlin). That those guns be (voluntarily) relinquished to the government is a historical fact (1934). That a per house search (based on the public records of registered gun owners) confiscating all guns was executed by the German military is a fact (1939).
Which is irrelevant since if everyone in Germany had guns, it still would make no difference. The people wanted Hilter and the people wanted all not Aryian races eliminated. Zero guns, 10 guns, or all guns in the hands of the public would have made 0 difference. IOW the fact hype an emotion - don't make a logical point.

But to summarize you general conclusion - we should elinimate all goverment laws because government laws and organizations can be subverted?


  Tuesday May 15 11:16 PM

The whole point of the story was what can be done with your information, behind your back.

The example is as common as the error rate of all bureaucrats combined.

The severity of those errors are a measure of how much power government holds over our lives.

The guarantee that such systems will be abused is because it is human nature to do so. The evidence that pols can't be trusted is your own history of postings about W.

My information is mine. If the paper publishes my picture that it got/bought from the DMV, when I had an expectation and a trust that it wouldn't, I have been wronged. And I can't opt out of the DMV system without giving up my right to drive on the public roads.

In WWII, US Census records were used to simplify the effort of rounding up Japanese Americans to be held in camps. Now you want the Gov to have the ability not only to identify us by race -- enough of a losing idea to crush it -- but to have universal access to a literal ton of information about us.




  Wednesday May 16 11:22 AM

This appears to be the dilema: identity theft vs. potential for being targeted for persecution by identity. The claim is that identity theft is real, whereas potential persecution is not. The choice boils down to deciding which matters more.

How to decide?

Which I choose (from previous posts) is obvious. It is best expressed by a paraphrase from a man wiser than me: "Those who trade an increase in their security for their freedom will reap neither."

Earlier, I pointed out that Hilter's government rounded up all the guns, which was possible because they had the data of who owned guns. The rebuttal is that the people wanted their government killing their neighbors, so they did not need guns to defend themselves. That is not an acurate perception of the whole picture. It is true that in the beginning, people were pro-persecution, pro-security, anti-freedom. But as time went on, and the impact of one out of four germans dead changed peoples' minds. But what to do? How do you fight, after you have given up your ability to fight? Those who protested, ended up in the same place as the persecuted.

I think the problem of identity theft can be solved without adopting a national ID system. Local ID's, if checked, could be sufficient. That's the real problem causing identity theft: lack of bothering to check ID.



  Wednesday May 16 07:07 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by Degrees
...I think the problem of identity theft can be solved without adopting a national ID system. Local ID's, if checked, could be sufficient. That's the real problem causing identity theft: lack of bothering to check ID.
The problem with current local ID systems - it's not working. In a bar in Avalon, they were reviewing the illegal licenses confiscated from the summer. One of the bouncers apparantly had memorized the manual for all 50 states. They easily had under 1000 IDs. As we looked, I could see nothing wrong with any of them. This is before ink jet printed IDs were possible. We know local IDs are so easily counterfeited that major license counterfeiting operation move from hotel to hotel without detection and do so much business.

Of course, even worse is the original point of this post. We depend on a system not intended to make it possible for you to prove who you are. The system is only intended for government to ID you. Because it is not intended for your own security, the above picture is easily available. We don't have a system necessary for you to protect your own privacy.

Once we examine the details, the concept of a national ID confirmation system takes on a completely different persective. A national ID confirmations system is not a threat by 'big brother' on your privacy since they already have all that information - regardless of the comparisons to Nazi Germany. What we don't have is national ID system that addresses our ability to protect our own privacy and indentity. We don't even have any system so that you can check that your privacy is secure. Will you send $50 every year to every credit rating agency to confirm you credit rating is intact? Currently that is what you must do. 20 years ago, the lady who ran US Passports for the Custom service noted the problem was serious and that US IDs were the world's hottest IDs. Today it is even worse - and expected to increase like spam as more systems must exist to ID you but no system exists to protect your ID.



  Thursday May 17 08:05 AM

Re: Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by tw


The problem with current local ID systems - it's not working. <snip>

Once we examine the details, the concept of a national ID confirmation system takes on a completely different persective. A national ID confirmations system is not a threat by 'big brother' on your privacy since they already have all that information - regardless of the comparisons to Nazi Germany. <snip>
Actually, I think the BEST way to get rid of identity theft is to realize that PEOPLE arent some dammed ID number given to us by some Government (Local or national). I'm ME - You can steal my SSN ID, only because the dammed ID exist.

Why not get rid of ALL government ID. Charge use fees, which are paid when you use something, band together with people who KNOW you to borrow things when you need it. Why do I need some ID to get on an airplane (I know - to prevent terrorism - yeah right). Why do you have to show ID to check into a hotel (Originally to capture Dillinger)

It's none of the governments dammed business, on the state, local OR national level


  Friday May 18 03:44 AM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

As we discuss this (and as some assume identify theft is not a serious problem), ironically the state of PA is passing a bill to redo all driver's licenses with smart chips, fingerprints, etc becasues identity theft has become epidemic.

IOW all these little organizations (DMV, county records, voting bureau, SS, colleges, etc) must eventually create their own ID confirmations system - a morass of different ID systems - becasuse we don't have any reliable way for you to prove who you are. Do you have too many credit cards now. Watch the pile grow with all the other ID cards required.

Cited as an example of identity theft - a man whose driver's license was attached to numerous violations and vehicle crashes - also creating including an insurance problem for the victim - because identity theft is so easy. Another was simply using his driver's license information on phony ID which were easy to obtain before mass counterfeiting machines (ink jet printers) existed.

Of course since we don't have a stanard national system, then your fingerprints, iris-pattern, etc all will be easy theft as the above DMV picture - because only one of hundreds of ID systems will need be compromised.

We desperately need a comprehensive national ID confirmation system. We will never get one because, as this thread demonstrates, too many emotionally fear such a system rather than have a logical appreciation of the problem.

Its much like the "funeral mentality". We don't do something until enough people have died.

The NTSB accuses the FAA of operating this way. So many agree with the NTSB, but then endorse "FAA type" foot dragging by thinking the same way regarding a national ID confirmation system. So how many will first have to die?



  Friday May 18 10:51 AM

Re: Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by tw
Of course since we don't have a stanard national system, then your fingerprints, iris-pattern, etc...
Hmmmm... now, an accessable iris-pattern database wouldn't bother me nearly as much because it'd be harder for that to be used against me. For example, no one leaves an iris-pattern behind at the scene of a crime, so it couldn't be used to "frame me."

Quote:

The NTSB accuses the FAA of operating this way. So many agree with the NTSB, but then endorse "FAA type" foot dragging by thinking the same way regarding a national ID confirmation system. So how many will first have to die?
Actually, as a pilot, I think the FAA does a decent job balancing safety and cost/inconvienence. There are a MILLION things that they could do to increase airline safety. But ticket prices would quadruple and delays woul increase similarly. Everything has tradeoffs and everything is a judgement call .

I believe that what it comes down to is that you trust the government with all that information on yourself and Tony and I do not... We'd rather take other steps protecting "identity theft" and take our chances with the risk that remains. (Correct me if I am wrong, Tony)


  Friday May 18 10:58 AM

We don't do anything until enough people have died? What an odd way of putting it.

Nobody can die from identity theft, but 100 million people died in the last century from over-reaching governments. The graphic here was under the title "killing in the 20th century". Most of the killing was not in wars, but in purges, "cultural revolutions", etc.

The so-called "problem" should be addressed, but not with government sponsoring the protection problems of the credit bureaus. If someone can't get a house because a credit bureau is falsely alleging that someone has a bad credit history when in fact they don't, that's slander; harm has been done, and I should think civil action is called for.

As a cookie on the old Cellar used to say, paraphrased, "The biggest question in government is how to prevent the government from going nuts and slaughtering its own citizens." If we are to err, given government's track record, we MUST err on the side of caution. When it become politically expedient for government officials to kill, they will do so.

You know that to be true; look at W.'s official take on the death penalty. "All of the people that have been executed were guilty," he says consistently. Yes, that's true; they were found guilty in a court of law. They might not have committed the crime, but they WERE found guilty; and thus, whether they did the crime or not, in a punishment-oriented society it is very politically expedient to kill them.




  Friday May 18 11:47 AM

<i>We'd rather take other steps protecting "identity theft" and take our chances with the risk that remains. (Correct me if I am wrong, Tony)</i>

No, that's exactly right.

I don't think anything else can be done. Government doesn't have a very good track record of solving problems by throwing infrastructure at them.

Most of the time, government doesn't SOLVE problems, it just MANAGES them, which half the time is worse. Look at every other major Problem and see what the government response is. Housing? Drugs? Education? Poverty? Energy? All major Problems, for which visionary "solutions" were developed, multi-billion-dollar bureaucracies set up to work the "solutions", which then either worked only part way or failed outright.

Human activity is very complex indeed. Try to rigidly control it and most of the time you either just move the problem elsewhere or actually make the problem worse. The cheapest way to address the Identity problem is probably with fingerprints. I'm not an expert but already I see trouble. With finger molds I could recreate enough of anyone's finger to get past a scanning system. Now, instead of a system that doesn't work well, we have a highly *trusted* system that doesn't work perfectly. This raises a whole new set of issues.

Look at the OJ trial. We have DNA matching that proves identity to beyond the shadow of a doubt. We have blood at the scene containing that DNA. Here is an identity system that works 100% perfectly... right? So why is OJ playing golf?



  Friday May 18 11:36 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by Tony Shepps
Look at the OJ trial. We have DNA matching that proves identity to beyond the shadow of a doubt. We have blood at the scene containing that DNA. Here is an identity system that works 100% perfectly... right? So why is OJ playing golf?
OJ trial is an example of an identity system that had no credibility (at least in the eyes of the jurors). It was not the DNA they doubted - it was the source of the DNA - the LA Police - that was disputed.

Which is what we have today - no trustworthy ID confirmation system.



  Friday May 18 11:48 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by lisa
I believe that what it comes down to is that you trust the government with all that information on yourself and Tony and I do not... We'd rather take other steps protecting "identity theft" and take our chances with the risk that remains.
Which keeps bringing us right back to it - government already has all that information. A national ID confirmation system does not provide government any more information than they already have. It only gives you a tool to confirm who "you" are and protect your property - which you do not have. You don't have that protection which is why identity theft is so easy.

If you fear government having that information, then solve the problem by the only method left to you - shoot yourself. They already have all that information. They currently have all the benefits of that information. But YOU have neither the benefits NOR any access to confirm the information they are using is accurate NOR any accurate means to confirm you are YOU. Why do you fear giving government information that they already have ... in spades? That fear is completely illogical.

Government is not your greatest threat. It is those who steal from you - especially the most that have not yet learned how easy it is to steal from you.

Emotion says government is evil. Logic says you have far more to fear from white collar crime - except if you are a criminal type.



  Saturday May 19 12:03 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by tw
Its much like the "funeral mentality". We don't do something until enough people have died.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tony Shepps
What an odd way of putting it.
That is the point. Few people will die from identity theft. Therefore we will not establish a national confirmation system to the benefit of the people. Instead that information will be spread everywhere to be easier for anyone to steal from multiple sources. An ID confirmation system is inevitable. But since people will not die, it will exist in the hoodge-poodge system that already exists - with less benefits and with no privacy protection.

Those who fear for their ID should be banging down the doors demanding national ID confirmation. Instead, and especially because people will not be killed, we will have less privacy and more threats. The picture at the top is exactly what happens when the same data is deciminated everywhere instead of protected in a secure, universally known system intended only for personal ID confirmation.

Again, if you fear government having that information - then shoot yourself. They already have all that information ... in spades. Logic. They have the information but you don't have any benefits from that information.

Therefore we fear the government? Where is the logic in that? I can appreciate the emotional fear. Its just that I don't see a logical arguement - unless we forget that government already has all that information.

Is it an emotional fear of government - or just a myopic perspective of the facts? I could appreciate a good arguement against a National ID confirmation system - except the only arguement that comes close must repeatedly forget that the government already has all that information - and substancially more!



elSicomoro  Saturday May 19 12:30 AM

I would imagine that many of you know about a current piece of legislation here in PA that would make us the first state to offer some sort of identity-theft protection (or something along those lines). It's based upon the gentleman from here in Philadelphia that had his identity stolen, causing him a ton of problems in getting another trucking job, insurance probs, etc.

Let's face it: The social security number IS our national ID, although it is not supposed to be used for that purpose. The first three digits of it tell either where you are from, or where you got your card. For example, I get strange looks when I give my SS# here in Philadelphia because mine starts with a 4 and not with a 1 like many folks here. Mine starts with a 4 because cards with numbers ranging from 486-500 mean that those cards have been issued to people in the state of Missouri. At one point, my SS# served as my drivers license number, my college ID number, and as a link to my credit report.

So, if we DID go to a "standard" national ID system, how would it work? Would I be number 200,123,418? What happens when people die, or move across state lines? How exactly would we ID people? By gender, race, or state of origin?



  Saturday May 19 09:52 AM

Heh, I love it. "If you fear the government having that information, shoot yourself, because they already have it." Now there is a statement that sure convinces me! I suppose I just as easily could say "if you want that information centralized, shoot yourself, because it isn't!"

Going back to sensible conversation for a moment, the threat of identity theft still affects VERY few people (percentagewise, not numeracally). If (and, I agree, it's a BIG if) the government were to start using this information incorrectly, be it intentionally or through carelessness, ALL the information of ALL citizens would be at risk.

As it is now, there is no ONE place where anyone can steal ALL my information and, in fact, the easiest place to get that information from *is* the government...

For example, I have several acquaintances that I have not seen in over 10 years yet I can find out in MINUTES where they live (their exact address, in fact). They are all pilots and the FAA sells a database of all licenced pilots and all their information... and, as a nice little side benefit, the pilot certificate # is, by default, the pilot's social security #.... Gee, name, address, and social security number all convienently located in one place! Everything you need to steal someone's identity. All courtsey of your federal government.

Oh, and as a little side comment, the FAA insists on having your street address. If you want to use a PO box or anything, you must write a dissertation on why you do NOT want your street address to be your "offical FAA" address. Every time I renew my license, I write a page or two (I have since saved it on my PC and no longer have to write it) explaining that I do not wish my street address published and I would therefore prefer that they us my PO box as my offical address. I do not want someone, who ONLY knows my name and the fact that I am a pilot, to be able to show up at my bedroom window some night at 3 AM. They accept, but they still require my street address to be on file.

I have no problem with the concept of a VOLUNTARY national database with two restrictions (1) it is, and REMAINS, truly voluntary in that no one may be required to belong to it to do ANYTHING -- no business or government agency can REQUIRE you to have an ID from them to do anything and (2) the information is NEVER desseminated without the individual's concent -- EVEN with a court order.

But, even with those restrictions, I am still uneasy. If I recall correctly, Social Security was supposed to NEVER be required and be very secure, but a number of states and federal agencies now require a social # unless you want to go through a LOT of red tape to get an alternative ID number generated. This compromises its security and makes it practically a requirement... *sigh*



  Saturday May 19 07:31 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by lisa
As it is now, there is no ONE place where anyone can steal ALL my information and, in fact, the easiest place to get that information from *is* the government...

For example, I have several acquaintances that I have not seen in over 10 years yet I can find out in MINUTES where they live (their exact address, in fact). They are all pilots and the FAA sells a database of all licenced pilots and all their information...
So you say it is not a problem but then you provide more proof to make my point? The government has all that information, AND more. The same information links directly over to find more in other databases. It is all there.

Currently how does one steal your ID? They go to the government for help in getting their ID confirmed. In reality that 'request for confirmation' is how they steal your ID - from the government - because there is no system to safely confirm your ID - no national ID confirmation system. No national ID system is just another reason why identity theft is so easy.

A National ID system is not a server of information on anyone to anyone. It is a confirmation system. In a national ID system, grossly less than 5% of current government information is installed in a database - that is not openly read, but requires the correct information to only confirm your identity. Why would anyone using logic fear this? Currently everyone can claim they need proof that they are you - and get all that information from the appropriate government agency. Therefore they get all the information on you they need - because there is no system established for you to prove who you are. No confirmation system means anyone can learn all about you from the government databases.

Notice that because every FAA licensed pilot is an open database, then you have assumed a national ID system is the same open database. This is the emotional fear previously cited - a fear created by broad assumptions rather than first looking at the problem. A national ID confirmation system does not provide the government any new information. They already have it all and attaches to much more in master databases. Ever been through a secret clearance? It is performed so quickly because the government already has all that information. If you fear government possessing all that information - your only logical alternative is to shoot yourself - or hide in the woods like Kazinsky. Government already has it all ... in spades.

A national ID system does not make your critical ID information open to all. Again that is already available throughout the government, phone companies, even your college, etc. A national ID system is setup not to let others learn about you. It is different from every other database. It is only about your confirming to others who you are - not telling the world about you.

But we still fear a national ID system because other systems designed to find you and not designed to help you prove yourself already exist? They already threaten your identity, in part, because they are also used to ID you. Why? Again, because they are doing the job, with minimal security, that a secure national ID system should be performing.

Identity theft is quite widespread, growing quickly, and little reported because it does not happen quickly like a Bridgeport fire, or the murder of a wife, or money paid to a nude dancer. Identity theft is a common crime, growing in size, often never detected, and typically takes years to even learn about, as well as a threat to your bank accounts, and to national security. But since no one has died, we worry instead about a mythical government conspiracy to enslave us all? Are we are as mentally challenged as a Michigan Miltia recruit?

Yes, we so fear this mythical government that we cannot act unless enough people are killed - which is why a national ID confirmation system will not happen.



  Saturday May 19 07:48 PM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by sycamore
So, if we DID go to a "standard" national ID system, how would it work? Would I be number 200,123,418? What happens when people die, or move across state lines? How exactly would we ID people? By gender, race, or state of origin?
Once you have one's social security number, you have the first key to open everything in a persons life. How to find it? It is often used as the library card number in the back of old college library books it is that easy to find a SS#. Simply provide an IRS agent with some money and the SS#. He can ID your entire financial picture, criminal records, and numerous other facts. What he cannot provide, he can provide enough information for you to go elsewhere for the rest.

In most places, that SS can also be enough to own another man's birth certificate. Again, since we have no national ID system, then that can be enough to obtain one of the world's most prized documents - a US passport.

Everyone has unique features. Two more typical features are iris and fingerprints. In all database systems - every one - currently in use, this information is provided to the requestor because he is trying to find or confirm you. It is provided for the benefit of everyone else but you. In a national ID system, your unique features are submitted to the database that only says all that information is correct - you are who you say you are. A national ID confirmation system does not provide third parties with any useful information.

Big difference. Emotional enemies who see the boogy man behind every federal building and courthouse fear this - because government might learn about us - ignoring that they already have this information. Your biggest fear is that other third parties obtain that information. Currently they do so under the guises of trying to confirm who you are. IOW because we have no national ID system, then other systems make it easy for the criminal to obtain your ID.

Logical people would never have this fear of government information. The problem is that information is currently available to everyone who is willing to be deceiptful - because we have no national ID confirmation system - we have so many who emotionally fear anything new in government.



  Monday May 21 12:23 AM

more on national id

Hello all,

I specialize in driver's license privacy issues, and I just wanted to add my two cents really quickly.

First, one could easily defend that the national id infrastructure is already setup, and some states have adopted it, for more information, see http://www.aamva.org/aamvanet/standa...ndrd000630.pdf

I wrote this article a few weeks ago, perhaps it is an interesting way of discussing things. It was in the context of responding to someone who had said there was no point to fighting for privacy issues related to ID's.

____________________
"Personally, I don't think this [centralized governmental databases of
citizens' identifying information] is a truly worthy cause to fight for. The
way you have worded everything on your website is propaganda and you make it
sound like innocent people are going to be punished unfairly if they are
identified. I think these kinds of modern identification are very dependable
and useful in many areas, especially as criminals are becoming smarter. I
believe it is a waste of time to try and get people riled up over an issue
that is not of true danger to them, and that will probably benefit innocent
citizens because guilty parties cannot fake their identities if their DNA is
on file. People have nothing to fear...unless they are hiding something."

"Anonymous"

---------
May I take a few seconds to respond to Anonymous? Should it be "quote worthy" I encourage that it be posted to your list.

Perhaps you're right, after all, there is no mathematical proof that government will automatically take information on its citizens and use it for unsavory purposes. While we do have historical evidence that it almost always happens, we shall assume that modern democratic governments are much more serious about civil rights than their predecessors.

So lets discuss the meat of your response: controlling crime. You mention that criminals are getting smarter. I think that that is a defendable concept. But why should that be the case....? Is it the raising of the intelligence curve, or is the new opportunities available to them?

Identity theft is a crime that requires a lot of intelligence and cunning. Consider the fact that it's a crime that is relatively new. Have you ever read articles about people's identities being stolen fifty years ago? How about 25 years ago? Neither have I. In fact, it seems that identity theft is a new, and mostly American, phenomenon.

Let me give you an anecdote. Several months ago a person walked into an Ohio Savings Bank right here in Columbus. In their hand they had a fraudulent death certificate, a fraudulent will claiming that they were the executor the deceased's estate. Within minutes they cashed a life insurance policy and walked out with $60,000 in cash. I believe that the person has not been caught yet.

Most financial institutions these days tend to be pretty vigilant about checking and double checking identity. I'm sure he was asked to show a photographic ID. And of course, they double checked the Social Security Number on the death certificate to make sure it corresponded with the SSN on the life insurance policy.

And that's all they did. The name on the death certificate was wrong, the birthdate of the individual was wrong, the names of the parents of the individual were wrong, in fact, the only thing that was correct was the Social Security Number.

You can't blame the bank teller...their attitude was if the SSN was correct, then it all must be good, since it's so hard for a criminal to get the SSN in the first place.

Welcome to the world of cause and effect relationships--a world seemingly little understood by modern law enforcement. Perhaps another example will help you.

In 1992 the California DMV introduced their new driver's license...at that time probably the world's most sophisticated identity card. It had holograms, it had color changing materials, it was printed on PVC plastic that reacted specially to different solvents. It was protected by a database full of Social Security Numbers, digitized pictures and fingerprints.

So the DMV went out of its way to advertise the security of its new document. Several months later, perfect copies of new California driver's licenses started to appear, much to the suprise and chagrin of the DMV. How could this happen?

Turns out that the licenses were made by DMV employees who were bribed, in some instances thousands of dollars per fraudulent document.

The cause was this...the advertising campaign. By convincing people the new license was significantly more secure than the previous one, people would be more likely to assume that the new license was genuine, therefore they probably would be less likely to do other types of identity checks which they may have done with the seemingly less secure previous license. The effect was that criminals then had more justification to put time and resources into getting the harder to counterfit document, thereby beating all its silly anti-counterfitting mechanisms.

As they say, security is only as good as its weakest link. When people think of the weakest link associated with driver's licensing, they may think of how easy it may be to reproduce the document, or the original documents submitted to get the license in the first place (birth certificates, et cetera) or perhaps the amount of information collected on the person (SSN's, photographs, fingerprints, et cetera.) The fact is, California's problem was caused by neither of these, in fact, it occurred in spite of securing all of them.

Actually, I say the weakest link security wise with driver's licenses is the sheer number of participants. If the technology used for the California license was used to issue ID badges for a building in which only 500 people worked, and there was only one or two entrances to said building, then you would have a fairly reliable security structure. But the California license is held by some 25 million people, issued by hundreds of DMV offices with thousands of employees (all of whom have access to the ID making equipment), and it is verified not just at one or two places, verification can occur at millions of places all around the state, banks, airline ticket counters, liquor stores, et cetera. I don't care if California did collect DNA and encode the magnetic stripe with the individuals sequence; it is entirely absurd to believe that you can create anything that can be secure under such unwieldly circumstances.

The second weakest link is the association of convenience with photographic ID's. I'll let you in on a secret: security and convenience are mutually exclusive and there's an inverse tradeoff between them. In the long run, it is impossible to have something which is inherently more secure *and* convenient at the same time.

Here's an extreme example. I have to admit that instead of using a key to open my apartment, it probably would be more secure to have a device that reads my fingerprint to unlock the door. And I wouldn't have to have my keys on me, all I need is my thumb. I admit that that security may also be desired for my computer, both at home and at work. And it also would be neat to use it to access my bank accounts as well.

It is hard to fool a fingerprint reader...but the assumption that it isn't possible is folly. I bet it is possible if a lot of resources were put into it. Is it worth putting those resources to get into my apartment? Probably not...I barely like coming into my apartment as it is. How about my computer? Not really. My work computer...well some interesting things are there...but it still would be a lot of effort. And I don't need to go into details about my bank account. However, if you could access all of those things with just one fake fingerprint, then it may become worth the time and money invested.

I could just add the fingerprint reader in addition to the key on my apartment, the password of my work and home computers, the ATM card for my bank accounts...but that's more inconvenient than what I am doing now and is not worth my time. In the long run, I am sacrificing convenience for security, although it appears that security is somehow strengthened by using my fingerprint...for everything. Which would be my folly.

Consider the usefullness of the driver's license as any identifying document, and all the neat things it can do...other than being able to drive a car. No one is trying to counterfit licenses just to drive a car. They'll just drive. Perhaps they are doing it to have an ID stating an older age than they are, but they aren't going to spend thousands of dollars to do it. And please do not tell me that we are collecting Social Security Numbers, fingerprints and driver's images just so that we can make it that much harder for a 17 year old to get a good fake ID.

In my long winded way, I'm saying that people do in fact have a lot to fear--misguided attempts at protecting people and their identity are more likely to backfire than anything. Add to that the potential danger of governments misusing this information, then how can you not think this "is a truly worthy cause to fight for"?





  Monday May 21 02:52 AM

Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Presently the only ID method is anything you choose to use - driver's license, birth certificate, green card etc. All those ID methods are counterfeited by the dumbest of criminals because none is intended for the purpose we need - ID verification.

Teenage college kids aren't savvy. And yet, even in the days before ink jet printers, one bar collected under 1000 phoney IDs just in one summer. Identity fraud now require less intelligence - it is that easy to obtain what is considered the most reliable ID - a picture driver's license.

The problem is just starting to get bad - and it will only worsen as more learn ID theft becomes simpler. The only way to create any security with IDs is to confirm the ID via a master database. Even if the system is compromised temporarily by criminal employees (a crime that ends quickly when such employees are easily identified by database activity) - that is still reams better than the joke we have today for ID confirmation.

Of couse the Ohio bank employee will routinely not catch phoney ID. They must be trained in so many ID methods - all inferior- that, often, it is but joke to them. In that shore bar, one employee had a photogenic memory which he used only for one type of ID - the driver's license. As a result, look at how many phony ID he located - long before identity theft was even considered a problem.

Our current ID systems are so bad that if an employee does suspect fraud, it is more often just an ID system failure - which is just another problem with current ID systems that are not designed for the purposes they are being used. We don't have an ID system that is intended for you to confirm who you are. Nada - not one.

We have no valid ID verification, and we have a society that is putting ID theft equipment now into every home. Furthermore we are building a society where ID theft can do more personal damage every year - and leave the damage undetected for years or decades. Don't worry, be happy? It can't happen to me? That is the current attitude to ID theft mostly because not enough people are dying.



elSicomoro  Monday May 21 05:21 PM

Re: Re: Robert Blake's Wife/Calif DMV

Quote:
Originally posted by tw
Presently the only ID method is anything you choose to use - driver's license, birth certificate, green card etc. All those ID methods are counterfeited by the dumbest of criminals because none is intended for the purpose we need - ID verification.
Well sure. I mean, all I needed to get my drivers license in 1991 was a birth certificate and a SS card.

Quote:
Of couse the Ohio bank employee will routinely not catch phoney ID. They must be trained in so many ID methods - all inferior- that, often, it is but joke to them. In that shore bar, one employee had a photogenic memory which he used only for one type of ID - the driver's license. As a result, look at how many phony ID he located - long before identity theft was even considered a problem.
I don't necessarily agree with this. Almost all banks/businesses that handle cash should have (or damned well should order) the ID guide. It is a booklet reissued every year that shows every drivers license or state/province ID issued by every state, territory, and Canadian province. It shows you new issues as well as ones that have expired. Any bank employee that is not sure of an ID should grab that book and take a gander at it. Not to mention, in most cases, you can at least verify a signature with a signature card. In the end, if it's fake, what can you do, as long as you're covering your ass.

Quote:
Our current ID systems are so bad that if an employee does suspect fraud, it is more often just an ID system failure - which is just another problem with current ID systems that are not designed for the purposes they are being used. We don't have an ID system that is intended for you to confirm who you are. Nada - not one.
Actually, tw, you got me thinking with this one. In the end, the only TRUE identity--the only real way we can tell who we really are--is DNA. If not what your name is, at least it can tell us that we are the child of so-and-so and so-and-so.

Quote:
We have no valid ID verification, and we have a society that is putting ID theft equipment now into every home. Furthermore we are building a society where ID theft can do more personal damage every year - and leave the damage undetected for years or decades. Don't worry, be happy? It can't happen to me? That is the current attitude to ID theft mostly because not enough people are dying.
Yet, how can we truly protect ourselves, particularly in a society where you can go to the Ultimates and get a person's address and phone number like that? And with a little more poking and prodding, you can get a social.


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