Biometric ID at issue in California Uber fight

Uber driver background checks ‘not good enough’ (BBC)

At a press conference, George Gascon, district attorney in San Francisco, said problems with the data that Uber relied on to check drivers meant it could miss some former criminals. For instance, he said, 30,000 registered sex offenders were not in the database Uber used.

An alternative screening system used by other cab firms called Livescan did catch people who were on the sex offenders list, said Mr Gascon.

US: Los Angeles County acquiring multimodal biometric ID system

LA County Sheriff’s Department to Start Collecting Face and Eye Scans (The Epoch Times)

Thai argues the new data collection will actually protect people from identity theft and will avoid wrongful arrests.

“Sometimes we arrest people, and they don’t use their real name, so by having a better way to identify that person, it will protect the public [from] those that will get their name used by somebody else,” he said.

The technology will be used by all of the approximately 46 law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County. It will take about 15-18 months to be installed and fully operational.

LA County may be one of the more complex law enforcement environments in the developed world.

Who should pay for public sector biometrics?

CALIFORNIA: Bill could boost vehicle fees for fingerprint ID programs (Manteca Bulletin)

Counties will be allowed to increase vehicle registration fees to pay for fingerprint identification programs under a bill that advanced to the governor’s desk Monday.

A law passed in 1997 created the Cal-ID program, allowing counties to charge $1 surcharges on vehicle registration fees to fund programs to identify people under arrest and human remains with fingerprints. Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, says his bill will help the programs keep up with advancements in technology.

This article caught my eye, because these kinds of biometric systems can really help save a lot of law enforcement resources especially in a state as large as California. These systems however, do cost money.

Schools, technology, and privacy

Scrutiny in California for Software in Schools (NY Times)

A leading California lawmaker plans to introduce state legislation on Thursday that would shore up privacy and security protections for the personal information of students in elementary through high school, a move that could alter business practices across the nearly $8 billion education technology software industry.

The bill would prohibit education-related websites, online services and mobile apps for kindergartners through 12th graders from compiling, using or sharing the personal information of those students in California for any reason other than what the school intended or for product maintenance.

This strikes me as a much better approach to technology in schools than what Florida state Senate is contemplating.

As we’ve mentioned before, the issue of privacy in schools is very much bigger than biometrics. Schools also keep academic records, behavioral records, medical records, socio-economic assessments for administering school lunch programs, home address information, counseling notes and a ton of other information that is much more sensitive than a fingerprint template consisting of a string text characters that cannot be used to learn anything about a student. If schools are unable to keep data secure, biometric template information is the last thing that should concern parents.

Too often, news accounts use biometrics as the ultimate example of private information and the hook on which to hang all sorts of fears the reader is supposed to imagine — i.e. part of the problem — when they are actually part of the solution. Because biometrics are far superior to usernames and passwords for securing personal information, why isn’t all electronic access to student information should be controlled biometrically?

Disney biometrics: Going back to Cali? I don’t think so.

Disney [Kinda] Puts Its Foot Down on Ticket Renting (COASTER-net)

Disney began cracking down when they realized that the businesses were offering these multi-day discounts for less than $100 a day when the going rate for both parks is $125 for a single-day ticket.

Walt Disney parks in Florida and other parks such as SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks use a biometric finger scanning system for their multi-day pass system. However, according to Disney in California a similar system will not be used at the Disneyland Resort theme parks.

OK, I’ll save you the Google search. Here it is…

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