The Texas Department of Public Safety might as well be called the Texas Department of Public Invasiveness.
They’ve launched a plan to fingerprint every single person of driving age in the state, after which they will add the person’s prints to the criminal database.
Is it just me or is that a rather Dystopian plan?
Jon Cassidy of Watchdog.org writes:
The credit for breaking the news on those two items goes to consumer affairs columnist Dave Lieber of the Dallas Morning News, whose long-running “Watchdog” column often shows up in my Google Alerts, for obvious reasons.
As an old-school columnist, Lieber tends to keep his opinions subdued, and he doesn’t generally call people dishonest. But I have no problem with doing that, so I’d like to point out that the DPS spokesman he quotes at length is less than straightforward about his department’s legal authority.
Last month, Lieber broke the news that DPS had started collecting full sets of fingerprints on everyone who went in to renew their license.
Friday, he followed up with a story on DPS’ dubious legal authority to do so, and then posted lengthy quotations on the issue to his blog.
Lieber quotes an entire email from DPS spokesman Tom Vinger, who quotes Transportation Code Sec. 521.059 at length, including the key phrase, “The department shall establish an image verification system based on the following identifiers collected by the department: ….an applicant’s thumbprints or fingerprints.” (source)