Privacy and enhanced drivers licenses

Here is an interesting opinion piece about the proposed enhanced drivers licenses in Ontario. Christopher Parsons discusses the privacy issues associated with such licenses and the risks of misuse and function creep.

Driving Your Liberties Away: Biometrics and ‘Enhanced’ Drivers Licenses

Privacy advocates across Canada have been struggling to prevent the Ontario provincial government from passing legislation that will see radio identifiers and biometric data inserted into future Ontarian drivers licenses.

Ontario, and the rest of Canada, is being forced into including radio and biometric features in future drivers licenses by the United States government. As a consequence of the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all Canadians and Americans who cross into the U.S. at a land border with just a driver license will be required to present an Enhanced Drivers License (EDL) as of June 1, 2009. While the radio ‘feature’ is disturbing in its own right, insofar as it emits a unique identifier whenever brought into range of a reader, I want to focus on the biometric features of these cards, why they raise human rights and civil liberties concerns, and the risk of function creep associated with the biometric facets of EDLs.

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