by Taylor Beck
Despite the claim that the practice of scanning and retaining personal documents made it possible for Boston authorities to find bombing suspects’ faces in Massachusetts’ driver license database, a Missouri House committee passed legislation Monday, April 29, that would ban the Missouri Department of Revenue from using the same technology.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Will Kraus, R-Jackson County, would ban the department from keeping copies of personal documents needed to obtain Missouri driver’s licenses and would require the department to dispose of its current database.
Kraus said he considers it a privacy issue and said he is worried hackers could compromise the current database.
Richard McIntosh, a lobbyist registered with the third-party company MorphoTrust USA, which helps produce Missouri licenses, said the scanning of documents with facial recognition is, in part, what helped Massachusetts authorities identify and find the Boston bombing suspects.
Rep. Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, however, said this legislation is a matter of privacy intrusion and said he thinks the Boston suspects could have been caught regardless.
Before passing the bill through, the committee decided to take out a provision that would move the responsibility of issuing and printing concealed carry permits from the Revenue Department solely to county sheriff’s offices.