July 18, 2011

DRIVER’S LICENSE REVOKED because facial-recognition system thought he looked like someone else.

Here’s a question: Why have driver’s licenses at all? No, really. Why not just make it about financial responsibility? If someone’s willing to insure you, or if you can self-insure, why shouldn’t you just be able to drive? Does the licensing process really do much to weed out bad or irresponsible drivers? Enough to justify the expense and irritation of the DMV? After all, if you drive badly or drunk, the DMV doesn’t have to pay out any damages for licensing you. Somebody who was at risk, and not mostly just a place to park overpaid state workers, would probably do a better — and less intrusive — job.

Meanwhile, police are rolling out portable face-recognition devices. I don’t think they work well enough yet, but that’s not stopping them. Why should it? They’re not liable for damages the way a private company would be. . . .

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