Denials without substance

The on-going saga involving the collection and use of our personal data by the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) in violation of state law continues unabated.  Governor Nixon is doing his best to sweep it under the rug but the rug’s not big enough!

Governor Nixon is being forced to answer questions about the issue even when he would rather be talking about other topics.  Today during a press conference that was supposed to be about Medicaid expansion, he was asked several questions about the DOR scandal.

This Missourinet report indicates the Governor’s position is that because DOR has said they are not violating the law, they aren’t  The Governor didn’t provide much substantiation for his reason to believe the DOR statements saying, “ I’ve not gotten into the details on this other than to say that no, we’re not moving forward on trying to implement Real I.D. I signed a measure directly on that and we’re following the law that I signed.”

Governor Nixon indicated during the press conference that he doesn’t take the concerns of Missouri citizens about this issue very seriously.  “Asked about the Homeland Security website stating that Missouri has filed a compliance package on Real I.D., Nixon said only, “I spend a lot of time doing a lot of things. Reading what federales say about us on websites is certainly not one of ‘em.””

Governor Nixon might just want to get more into the details after all. If he did, he would find that it’s not just “federales” on websites saying things.  He would discover such things as this letter from the US Department of Homeland Security which starts out saying “This letter is to advise you that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reviewed your December 12, 2012 correspondence regarding the State of Missouri’s progress in meeting the minimum security standards of the REAL ID Act (“Act”) and regulation.”

You know what they say, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

Yesterday, DOR responded to the subpoena issued by the Missouri Senate by delivering 16 boxes of materials with the notice that there were 34 more boxes where those came from!  They for documentation regarding the conflicting information they had provided.  We visited with Senator Kurt Schaefer shortly after the documents were delivered.

As we first reported in Nixon Administration Collecting Your Personal Data, DOR has provided conflicting information to questions from legislators.  It would seem that it would have been easy to present a clear and concise response to simple questions.  It wouldn’t seem to take 50 boxes to do it.

The law prohibiting the activity in which DOR appears to be engaging can be found in the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) 302.183.  Here’s what it says:

302.183. 1. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter that requires an applicant to provide reasonable proof of residence for issuance or renewal of a noncommercial driver’s license, noncommercial instruction permit, or a nondriver’s license, an applicant shall not have his or her privacy rights violated in order to obtain or renew a Missouri noncommercial driver’s license, noncommercial instruction permit, or a nondriver’s license.

2. Any data derived from a person’s application shall not be sold for commercial purposes to any other organization or any other state without the express permission of the applicant without a court order; except such information may be shared with a law enforcement agency, judge, prosecuting attorney, or officer of the court, or with another state for the limited purposes set out in section 302.600 or for conducting driver history checks in compliance with the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act, 49 U.S.C. 31309. The state of Missouri shall protect the privacy of its citizens when handling any written, digital, or electronic data, and shall not participate in any standardized identification system using driver’s and nondriver’s license records.

3. The department of revenue shall not amend procedures for applying for a driver’s license or identification card in order to comply with the goals or standards of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, any rules or regulations promulgated under the authority granted in such act, or any requirements adopted by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators for furtherance of the act.

4. Any biometric data previously collected, obtained, or retained in connection with motor vehicle registration or operation, the issuance or renewal of driver’s licenses, or the issuance or renewal of any identification cards by any department or agency of the state charged with those activities shall be retrieved and deleted from all databases. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any data collected, obtained, or retained for a purpose other than compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. For purposes of this section, “biometric data” includes, but is not limited to:

(1) Facial feature pattern characteristics;

 (2) Voice data used for comparing live speech with a previously created speech model of a person’s voice;

(3) Iris recognition data containing color or texture patterns or codes;

(4) Retinal scans, reading through the pupil to measure blood vessels lining the retina;

(5) Fingerprint, palm prints, hand geometry, measuring of any and all characteristics of biometric information, including shape and length of fingertips or recording ridge pattern or fingertip characteristics;

(6) Eye spacing;

(7) Characteristic gait or walk;

(8) DNA;

(9) Keystroke dynamics, measuring pressure applied to key pads or other digital receiving devices.

5. No citizen of this state shall have his or her privacy compromised by the state or agents of the state. The state shall within reason protect the sovereignty of the citizens the state is entrusted to protect.

Many unanswered questions remain.  If you think the Governor should be stepping up and taking action to protect the personal information of private citizens instead of bureaucrats you can take action by CLICKING HERE and letting him know it’s time he did!

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