Friday, May 29, 2009

Silliness at the DMV

This comes from a story about the DMV in the state of Virginia. See if this makes any sense to you at all.

People are being told to no longer smile when their picture is being taken. The reason:

DMV officials say the smile ban is for a good cause. The agency would like to develop a facial recognition system that could compare customers' photographs over time to prevent fraud and identity theft. "The technology works best when the images are similar," said DMV spokeswoman Pam Goheen. "To prepare for the possibility of future security enhancements, we're asking customers to maintain a neutral expression."

Let me see if I get this right. If you smile this will fool the face recognition software. Then how the hell is it any good?

And then this:

Instead, licenses and identification cards are now processed at a central facility in the southern Virginia city of Danville, then mailed to the customer's address a few days later. The new cards are loaded with security features, including tactile lettering, secondary photos and anti-tampering measures, and they will be phased in as state residents renew their licenses and ID cards, Goheen said.

The expressed purpose of all this is to avoid fraud and identity theft. So someone explain how mailing the license to someone is a good idea.

Do people really think these things through?

1 comment:

Arthur Schenck said...

You're not allowed to smile for passport photos, either.