I recently renewed my driver's license. There were a few changes from the last time I did it, and they aren't really for the better.

First, they now require removal of glasses, hats, and human expression from your picture, to aid the facial recognition software used. While I offered a mild objection to removing my glasses and having a blank expression, it regrettably did not occur to me to state my objection to the usage of facial recognition software at all until after I was done.

Wish I had, though. For several reason: first, because I do object to the government using facial recognition software on my pictures, or really storing any biometric data on me at all; and second because I want to know if there's a process to handle such objections. Obviously the DMV is not the place to effect change, but knowing if there are procedures in place for objections would at least give me a place to start.

Well, I had always planned on moving out of state eventually, anyway. I guess I'll add "DMV uses facial recognition software" to the list of reasons to leave, and the list of things to check for any place I might otherwise be inclined to move to.

Second, they no longer provide your actual license. Instead, they provide a temporary paper license and mail the real one. So now, instead of potentially being lifted by someone showing their face who would have to look similar enough to fool the person giving it to you, your license can be lifted anonymously by someone within the postal system, or anyone with access to your mailbox. This is apparently so they can take time to more carefully verify your identity to prevent identity theft, so the fact it makes licenses easier to steal is hilarious.

Third, unless you specifically object, signing up for a license now automatically enrolls you into the selective service database if you're eligible. While I object to the very existence of that database, auto-enrollment makes vastly more sense than the manual enrollment that was supposedly mandated when I was within the eligible age range.

It gets harder and harder to keep a low data profile. Le sigh.

May 2017

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