Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DMV To Use Facial Recognition Software In Oregon

kgw.com

By Associated Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- The new computers at the Oregon DMV never forget a face.

The state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division is installing the new computers to compare a new driver's license photo with an old license image to see if they match.

kgw.com file photo

The idea is to make it harder for criminals to get fake IDs.

Oregon DMV spokesman David House said that is one of the reasons drivers always get a temporary paper license when they get a renewal.

He said Digimarc, the Beaverton company behind the new technology, also needs time to review all the license application photos.

Digimarc is considered a leader in preventing electronic identity theft, counterfeiting and piracy.

But House said that DMV workers will make the final decision after the computer makes its comparison.

The software runs through millions of other photos in the system. If there is a question, trained DMV workers sit down with the photo and all the potential matches and decide whether or not to question the application.

After the photo is confirmed, the laminated permanent driver's license with the new photo is sent by mail.

Oregon lawmakers authorized the facial recognition system in 2005.

The system accounts for $3 in the $4.50 increase in the driver's license fee that went into effect in July.

The new computers are scheduled to be installed throughout Oregon by the end of November.

DMV offices getting the new equipment will be closed for a few hours while it is installed and workers are trained how to use it.

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