Biometrics and ID — The California DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) has proposed, through an expedited 30- day process, that it begin taking detailed facial scans of drivers and storing the scans in a state-wide database. This change, among other proposed DMV changes, represents a substantial policy shift for the state of California. The World Privacy Forum has urged that this process goes through normal legislative procedures so that there is adequate time for public input and for formal hearings.
On January 14, 2009, the DMV issued a Section 11 (2008 Budget Act) letter to the Legislature stating its intent to change the terms of its driver license and id card contract – including the use of biometric systems including facial recognition scans and biometric thumbprints on people seeking driver’s licenses and ID cards. Unless the Joint Legislative Budget Committee objects within 30 days, the contract with the vendor will take effect.