Law would protect driver's license data

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Your Hawaii drivers license is more than just your picture on plastic. The card contains a wealth of information about you.

"A drivers license contains significant personal information: your weight, your height, whether you wear contact lenses, whether you're an organ donor," said Laurie Temple, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.

The date is buried in the black and white bar code on the back. Currently, Hawaii has no regulations on which businesses can scan licenses for verification purposes, and how long they can hold onto the data they collect

Temple said there needs to be a state law to protect people's privacy.

"This information was never intended to be used for private businesses, for them to profit out of, using their marketing," she said.

Adult establishments like bars and nightclubs may be the best known for scanning drivers licenses. But an assortment of merchants do too, primarily so they can track down customers who write bad checks. But with no controls, the control of your private information is out of your hands.

"I'm not sure I like that. Isn't it some kind of invasion of privacy," Honolulu resident David Croxford said.

"If I don't know who they are, then I wouldn't want them to have it," said Gabriella Bright of Kunia.

Lawmakers are considering two bills that would regulate the scanning of drivers licenses.  But Honolulu's driver licensing administrator wants assurances retailers can protect the information they collect from hackers.

"That's my concern about retaining information," Dennis Kamimura said.

Hawaii would be only the fifth state with a drivers license scanning law.

"We definitely have to ensure that there's limits around the collection and storing of that information," Temple said.

The law would also cover the private information stored on Hawaii State identification cards.

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