SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

2D Bar Code & Privacy

By John Suter


November 11, 2015
Wednesday PM

Dear Editor

In regards to the 2D bar code on the back of the Alaska State driver’s license, the State of Alaska adding this 2D bar code is opening the door for Alaska State residents to be victimized. Many people have iPhones and you can go to the Apple Store to down load an App to scan the 2D bar code. Once someone uses this App to scan the 2D bar code, everything from birthdate, weight, hair color, address etc. is now stored into this person's iPhone.

When I was at Target and I bought something the cashier asked me for my driver’s license. I asked the cashier, “What for?” The cashier said that she needed to verify my birthdate. So I handed my driver’s license and the cashier didn’t just look at my ID, the cashier scanned the 2D bar code, without my permission. Now all of my information is stored into Target’s computer system. Target has been breached in the past. So now instead of just having your debit or credit card victimized, now thieves can have my address, what I look like and my birthdate. Also, Target scans the 2D bar code for returning items. We’re not just talking about police officers scanning the 2D bar code, we’re talking about liquor stores, tobacco stores and returning items to stores scanning the 2D bar code. I believe the State of Alaska has opened a door for abuse and businesses are taking advantage of this 2D bar code and gaining access to more than just your birthdate. Not to mention the identity thieves and their iPhones.

Actress Rebecca Schaefer fell victimized due to personal information being stolen by her driver’s license and this ended as a horrible tragedy for her. Because of Actress Rebecca Schafer’s death the Federal Government passed the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994, 18 U.S. code 2721. Since the State of Alaska has added this 2D bar code to the back of the Alaska State driver’s license, l am questioning if the State of Alaska is breaking federal law by allowing places like Target to store the 2D bar code information into their computer system and by allowing people with iPhones; such as, identity thieves having the opportunity to scan people’s driver’s license to commit crime. The 2D bar code issue needs to be addressed before it gets out of control and people become victimized because of the change in our Alaska State driver’s license.

John Suter
Chugiak, Alaska



Received November 06, 2015 - Published November 11, 2015



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