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As if It Needed to, Virginia Bans Smiles at the DMV
Washpost ^ | 05/28/09 | Nick Miroff

Posted on 05/28/2009 11:14:38 AM PDT by freespirited

Few places in Virginia are as draining to the soul and as numbing to the buttocks as the branch offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles. And yet, until recently, smiling was still permitted there.

No more. As part of the DMV's effort to develop super-secure driver's licenses and foolproof identification cards, the agency has issued a smile ban, directing customers to adopt a "neutral expression" in their portraits, thereby extinguishing whatever happiness comes with finally hearing one's number called.

The driver's license photo, it seems, is destined to look like a mug shot.

DMV officials say the smile ban is for a good cause. The agency would like to develop a facial recognition system that could compare customers' photographs over time to prevent fraud and identity theft. "The technology works best when the images are similar," said DMV spokeswoman Pam Goheen. "To prepare for the possibility of future security enhancements, we're asking customers to maintain a neutral expression." ...

When asked how DMV employees are able to determine when customers might be smiling too much, Goheen explained that the process is automated. Naturally, the new software is programmed to reject attempts at exuberance or human warmth. "It will send an error message if it detects a non-neutral expression," she said.

The ban is in effect at more than half of the agency's 74 offices statewide, Goheen said, including most Northern Virginia branches. It is expected to be in place at the remaining branches by the end of next month.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: driverslicense; driverslicenses; kaine; lping; technology; timkaine; va2009; virginia

1 posted on 05/28/2009 11:14:39 AM PDT by freespirited
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To: freespirited

Great thinking here. Very clever. We, in Virginia, are so very lucky to have such stunningly brilliant state employees. Why, I feel safer already!


2 posted on 05/28/2009 11:17:01 AM PDT by RexBeach ("Do your duty in all things." Robert E. Lee)
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To: freespirited

It’s easy to not smile. Just pretend you’re in a long TSA line at the airport and your flight will close out in 5 minutes.


3 posted on 05/28/2009 11:18:38 AM PDT by tgusa (Gun control: deep breath, sight alignment, squeeze the trigger ....)
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To: bamahead
"The agency would like to develop a facial recognition system that could compare customers' photographs over time to prevent fraud and identity theft. "The technology works best when the images are similar," said DMV spokeswoman Pam Goheen. "To prepare for the possibility of future security enhancements, we're asking customers to maintain a neutral expression." ..."
4 posted on 05/28/2009 11:18:58 AM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: freespirited

I’d rather not have my face catalogued in a government database thankyouverymuch.


5 posted on 05/28/2009 11:19:18 AM PDT by FourPeas ("The government is like a very irresponsible teenager." -Ben Stein)
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To: freespirited

6 posted on 05/28/2009 11:19:49 AM PDT by Dumpster Baby (The chair is against the wall. John has a long mustache.)
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To: freespirited

I believe it’s a requirement that you need to be brain dead in order to work for the government. Never have I encountered people so incapable of actual thought as I have working for local/state/federal government.


7 posted on 05/28/2009 11:20:43 AM PDT by mgstarr ("Some of us drink because we're not poets." Arthur (1981))
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To: RexBeach

Unless there has been major staff turnover, these would be the same folks who handed out licenses to a lot of the 9/11 terrorists.


8 posted on 05/28/2009 11:23:06 AM PDT by freespirited (Is this a nation of laws or a nation of Democrats? -- Charles Krauthammer)
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To: freespirited

Why don’t they just put a chip in our head?


9 posted on 05/28/2009 11:23:53 AM PDT by donna (Gasoline usage: Demand dropped 9.6% in 2008; total decline from 2005 thru 2008 was 28%)
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To: freespirited

Dudes - unless you change the law, I don’t have to show up in person until my 65th birthday, by which time I won’t have much to smile about anyway. :-)


10 posted on 05/28/2009 11:23:56 AM PDT by tgusa (Gun control: deep breath, sight alignment, squeeze the trigger ....)
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To: freespirited

Wearing a hijab is totally ok though. :’)


11 posted on 05/28/2009 11:24:31 AM PDT by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: freespirited
The agency would like to develop a facial recognition system...

Facial recognition systems are already out there, dipstick DMV robot.

(Here in AZ they ask you to smile. I told her that I was smiling.;-) )

12 posted on 05/28/2009 11:33:56 AM PDT by CPOSharky (Zero: I don't care about the country as long as I'm in charge. Forever.)
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To: freespirited

I think Virginia ought to worry more about registrations, especially for beltway snipers with the times and date of the WTC’s being struck written in, in the lower right hand corner.


13 posted on 05/28/2009 11:36:05 AM PDT by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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To: freespirited

Ugh.

The security software is designed to read the faces of individuals attempting to get licenses. And point out when a person using a particular SSN is not the face associated with it. If you smile it affects the face’s measurements and by extension, the readings that the software makes.

It is a good idea. And the dolts crying about illegal Mexicans getting fake IDs are prolly the same nitwits crying about this. </dealing with idiots is tedious>


14 posted on 05/28/2009 11:37:37 AM PDT by VaBthang4 ("He Who Watches Over Israel Will Neither Slumber Nor Sleep")
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To: freespirited

Yes, but smiles are un Islamic..


15 posted on 05/28/2009 11:38:06 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: RexBeach
Brilliant State employees at VDOT, you say? I'm sure the new rule has nothing to do with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCm_5NrfwRA

or this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEPViAuE8dw&feature=related

Hint: it's well worth taking the time to check out the links, especially if you live in VA.

16 posted on 05/28/2009 11:39:22 AM PDT by PUGACHEV
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To: Cailleach

dare I ping you?


17 posted on 05/28/2009 11:43:08 AM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: VaBthang4
Hmm--banned or suspended, I see.

Probably due to your very unwise statement "And the dolts crying about illegal Mexicans getting fake IDs are prolly the same nitwits crying about this."

Guess you forgot FR is a conservative site for conservatives. Many of us, a clear majority of us, are very much opposed to "illegal Mexicans getting fake IDs".

Perhaps a less conservative site than FR would be more to your liking. By all means feel free to find one.

18 posted on 05/28/2009 11:48:18 AM PDT by Czar ((Still Fed Up to the Teeth with Washington))
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To: freespirited

Perhaps it’s not the worst thing in the world.

Let’s face it, this is going on at the Department of Motor Vehicles. First, there is nothing that goes on there for the average person to genuinely smile about anyway.

All the smiles on the licenses are fake smiles anyway, they don’t use all the muscles that a genuine smile uses around the eyes, and such. Maybe they’re having identity problems because when you match the fake smile on the license with the real person who might be smiling a genuine smile, they don’t match up perfectly.

Thanks DMV, for worrying about identity recognition problems we might face. /sarc

When you’re smiling, yes when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you....


19 posted on 05/28/2009 11:57:19 AM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: freespirited

They should emulate the process that is used by the Michigan Secretary of State. By the time you spend 2 hrs. in line, waiting for the Union worker at the desk to scowl at you and make flippant, sarcastic remarks, while 3 of his co-workers can be very clearly seen through a doorway on break, eating lunch and drinking coffee....when you finally get to the camera you are never smiling anyway.


20 posted on 05/28/2009 11:57:42 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: freespirited
Naturally, the new software is programmed to reject attempts at exuberance or human warmth.

Sounds like the software they load into the DMV employees.

21 posted on 05/28/2009 12:04:31 PM PDT by Crolis (Kill your television!)
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To: Czar

Yeah, that’s what it was. Oi....


22 posted on 05/28/2009 12:05:36 PM PDT by VaBthang4 ("He Who Watches Over Israel Will Neither Slumber Nor Sleep")
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To: BerryDingle

Virginia should worry more about all those illegal and undocumented workers who do lawn care and carpentry and numerous other jobs for their rich white masters living in those McMansions in the suburbs of MD and D.C. , too


23 posted on 05/28/2009 12:05:48 PM PDT by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Mac Conchradha - "Skeagh mac en chroe"- Skaghvicencrowe)
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To: Dumpster Baby

I would’ve sworn you couldn’t put lipstick on a cat, but you’ve proven me wrong!


24 posted on 05/28/2009 12:06:56 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Proud Veteran - Sworn to Defend The Constitution! - Caution: That makes me a Right-Wing Extremist.)
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To: freespirited

I always smile when I have my government photos Passport, drivers license)taken. These workers want everybody to look as miserable as they probably are as human beings.


25 posted on 05/28/2009 12:27:38 PM PDT by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)
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To: Czar

Not banned about page. Note the flag and the other links on top.
http://www.freerepublic.com/~vabthang4/

Banned account page here.
http://www.freerepublic.com/~adlucem/


26 posted on 05/28/2009 12:55:07 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It took almost 250 years to make the USA great and 30 days for "The Failure" BO to tear it down.)
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To: Arrowhead1952
Thanks for the clarification. I'll pay more attention next time.

However, that dummy page may be prophetic; we'll see.

27 posted on 05/28/2009 1:28:29 PM PDT by Czar ((Still Fed Up to the Teeth with Washington))
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To: KoRn; Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; akatel; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; Alexander Rubin; ...
"The agency would like to develop a facial recognition system that could compare customers' photographs over time to prevent fraud and identity theft."

Riiggght. I'm sure that's all it will be used for.



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
(View past Libertarian pings here)
28 posted on 05/28/2009 1:41:00 PM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: bamahead; Disco Dave
"As part of the DMV's effort to develop super-secure driver's licenses and foolproof identification cards, the agency has issued a smile ban, directing customers to adopt a 'neutral expression'in their portraits, thereby extinguishing whatever happiness comes with finally hearing one's number called."

~huh.

Oh well.
Virginians can gloat over the money saved when the photos can double as mug shots.

29 posted on 05/28/2009 1:47:13 PM PDT by Landru (Arghh, Liberals are trapped in my colon like spackle or paste.)
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To: freespirited

I have bangs and I just got my DL renewed. When I got there, the lady said I had to pull my bangs away from my face, which wasn’t written anywhere on my renewal letter or else I would have. They wouldn’t stay because they were too short and she started getting snotty with me. I said, “What do you want me to do, lady? I don’t have a pin or a bret. You want me to hold them there?!” Finally she just took the damn picture with my head tilted back so they would stay. Now it looks like I have a football player’s neck. It doesn’t look anything like me, really.


30 posted on 05/28/2009 1:48:47 PM PDT by JenB987
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To: RexBeach

LoL!


31 posted on 05/28/2009 3:32:13 PM PDT by relee ('Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away)
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To: bamahead

Yeah... and the ‘Click it or Ticket’ program is all about seatbelts~


32 posted on 05/28/2009 4:16:39 PM PDT by sweet_diane (embracing Him.)
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To: freespirited
They are creating a database of digital faces with identities so that surveillance cameras monitoring every move we make in public can identify anyone who walks by. BIG BROTHER is here.
33 posted on 05/28/2009 4:34:41 PM PDT by A. Patriot (CZ 52's ROCK)
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