audit, database, drivers license, facial recognition, ID management, New Jersey

Biometrics reveal improperly issued drivers licenses in New Jersey

Yesterday we concluded the “perfect is the enemy of good” post, with the observation that the merit of biometric ID systems is established when biometrics are used to audit what we termed “Industrial Age” systems.

Right on cue, The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) reports that:

A new, high tech software has helped authorities identify two city men who fraudulently obtained New Jersey Drivers Licenses, according to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (AOG).

Raymond Feeney, 51, and Kirk Bland, 50, have been indicted on charges of using personal information of another to obtain a driver’s license, tampering with public records and forgery. Feeney’s license was suspended on four driving while intoxicated convictions, Bland’s licenses were suspended on two unrelated DUIs.

Any guesses as to what kind of high tech software was used to audit the New Jersey drivers license database, or the scope of the fraud detected (error rate, if you will)?

Many critics of the adoption of biometric identity management technology try to argue that unless biometric techniques are infallible and perfect, then they shouldn’t be used. This line of reasoning ignores the fact that the systems they themselves depend upon for the identity documents that enable their full participation in the modern world are demonstrably fallible.

Is it any wonder, then, that developing countries that don’t already have universal access to DMV’s, birth certificates, social security cards, etc., are not only adopting biometric ID management techniques but that they are deploying them at the front end of their ID infrastructure rather than as a remedial measure?

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