Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

License-Screening Measure Could Benefit Data Brokers

Filed under
Security

Congress is considering forcing states to use data brokers to help screen applicants for commercial drivers' licenses, a potentially lucrative development for an industry under scrutiny for how it handles personal information.

Under a provision of a major highway bill, state motor vehicles departments would have to establish an "information-based" authentication program before the nation's roughly 12 million commercial drivers' licenses could be issued or renewed.

The provision does not specify who should do the work. But only a handful of companies, such as ChoicePoint Inc., LexisNexis and Acxiom, have services that likely would satisfy the requirements.

The firms, which collect, buy and sell personal information on nearly all U.S. adults, package and analyze data on individuals for a variety of clients, from security and law-enforcement agencies needing background checks to companies trying to better target potential customers.

Several of those firms have recently suffered breaches of their databases, exposing millions of consumers to possible fraud or identity theft. A surge of such incidents at companies, banks, universities and other organizations this year sparked congressional hearings and a slew of pending bills to better protect personal information.

Specific rules for the identification program would be set by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The provision passed as part of the Senate version of the highway bill, which is now being reconciled with a House version that did not include similar language.

"It's important [for national security] because unless there's an established procedure to authenticate identification documents, we might not know who is getting commercial licenses," said a spokesman for Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who authored the provision.

But state motor vehicle officials say the program would be an onerous, unfunded and unnecessary expense.

The recently enacted Real ID Act imposes several new steps for approval of all drivers' licenses, they say, including verification of Social Security numbers, birth certificates and home addresses. Additional rules exist for certifying drivers who transport hazardous materials, the officials add.

Jason King, spokesman for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, said commercial data brokers are notorious for refusing to correct their databases if they contain erroneous information.

"We worry that it's garbage in, garbage out," King said. By contrast, he said, states verify Social Security numbers directly with the Social Security Administration and are developing a system to authenticate birth certificates.

In a statement, LexisNexis said it strongly supports the bill, though a spokesman declined to say if it lobbied for the provision.

"While state Departments of Motor Vehicle officials may check identifying documents such as birth certificates prior to issuing a driver's license, these documents can be fraudulently obtained or forged," the statement said.

James E. Lee, chief marketing officer for ChoicePoint, said his firm did not lobby for the bill. But he said ChoicePoint the company has a "national infrastructure" for comprehensive identity verification that states currently lack.

He added that the company corrects all inaccuracies that it can, but that if the data came from government agencies and was wrong to begin with, his firm cannot fix it. The bill includes an amendment by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) that mandates standards for accuracy and procedures for challenging incorrect data.
Still, privacy advocates are concerned.

Timothy D. Sparapani, legislative counsel on privacy issues for the American Civil Liberties Union, said he worries about the government expanding its use of background checks.

He added that "it's a rather perverse incentive for the government to reward these companies . . . while these companies have not yet demonstrated a capability to control even the data they have collected."

By Jonathan Krim
The Washington Post

More in Tux Machines

babyliss curl secret in the whitney museum area

Cybercriminals are quite interested in YouTube, but they don't want to share good content. On the ground, he learned the Chinook in front of him "had almost been blown out of the sky"; he showed a photo of it with a gash from a rocket propelled grenade.. In many respects, the 911 Turbo developed into the car the 928S would probably have become; a savagely powerful, hugely capable but ultimately rather refined sports/GT weapon.Launched in 2000 in 420bhp coupe form, the Turbo was an instant hit and made many more expensive rivals suddenly look rather silly. Fatshionista: SALES POST: bubble dress and tops, Torrid, Alfani SALES POST: bubble dress and tops, Torrid, Alfani, INC, Baby Phat, sizes 14 18 and 0X 1X. I live in a field. According to arrest reports, on several occasions McCray would have friends come into the store and select items for purchase. Tirana, Albania Get in quick before everyone else does "You'll see wedding dress shops everywhere. The patterns through olden dealing mulberry bags outletbring more retro styles to the classic design, which make the pieces more vogue and elegant. Several viewers from the Bay Area tell us they been getting calls about having won the lottery. In fact, hobo designer leather handbags happen to be top fashion today. Should magenta is normally utilized using the stormy glimpse, it again makes an ideal phenomena connected with fashion. The stripe story was cute longline tops, cardigans and one intriguing hooded singlet dress with babyliss pro perfect curl cutout panels as were the denim overalls.. Most of the time when a man wears a jockstrap he will be wearing a cup with it. Fresh produce accounts for about 30 percent of Wal Mart's sales in its wholesale outlets in India.Wal Mart must buy in small batches from small plot holders in a country where more than 80 percent of farms are under 2 hectares. Up to 4 players can participate in an online race and can race in 4 game modes including circuit, sprint, lap knockout and speed trap. Booties with gold chain tassel trim. If you consider you're brilliant adequate to carry on into it then you could be the first getting babyliss perfect curl it on the shops. And you know but at the very least even have Time Warner Cable to wanna turn the tables what this can try and show you who's. Simple night sky exploration: the moon looks pretty coolcloseupWith all that said, the Optic 1050 is hollister hoodies a pretty well built viewing device. Another significant group consists of those that travel abroad extensively, and need to babyliss miracurl be capable of switch to carriers based within the countries they go to. Dr chen who had been to the Dr Oz exhibit stated that the good fresh fruit not merely suppresses desire to have ingredients and function as a fat blocker but she likewise stated that the Garcinia Cambogia improves muscles and decreases fat.

Calligra 2.9 Brings Biggest Krita Release and New Kexi Partnership

We are happy to announce the release of final version 2.9 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. This version is the result of thousands of changes which provide new features, polishing of the user experience and bug fixes. More

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition Is Official, Will Be at MWC In March

No longer a rumour but fact: Meizu has confirmed the news on its social media accounts this morning, just as the latest flash sale for the Bq Ubuntu Phone was getting underway. Read more

Telegram Desktop for Linux Review

Telegram is an instant messaging service that is best known for its mobile implementation, but a desktop app is also available and it's even better than what users might expect. Read more