Woman battles against biometrics required for Oklahoma driver’s licenses


By Patrick B. McGuigan | Oklahoma Watchdog

OKLAHOMA CITY — A national organization with a history of battling for civic liberties has joined Oklahoman Kaye Beach in litigation against the state Department of Public Safety’s requirements for mandatory biometrics to secure driver’s licenses.

FREEDOM FIGHTER: Kaye Beach of Norman, Oklahoma has multiple reasons she is opposed to government collecting and relating “biometric” information before issuing drivers’ licenses. This week, the Rutherford Institute took her side in district court litigation.

Beach doesn’t like the requirement that residents must get their picture and fingerprints taken for a license to drive. The Charlottesville, Va.-based Rutherford Institute announced Wednesday it was taking up the case.

“I filed a lawsuit against this policy in the first place because I believe it is a violation of my right to freedom of religion, as well as my right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, both of which are protected under Oklahoma law,” Beach told Oklahoma Watchdog.

Beach said her concerns began a decade ago, when her daughter was required to provide fingerprints to get a license.

She said she studied “more about technology and policies being implemented. I was bothered by the fingerprints, and then came the facial recognition.”

The latter is a reference to new photo technology applied to state licenses in recent years.

“I am opposed to this on a number of levels,” Beach said. “I believe it is contrary to my right of privacy, with the government’s growing ability to track us. I contend it violates the First and Fourth Amendments, and possibly the Tenth Amendment.”

Rutherford President John W. Whitehead said in a press release that Oklahoma’s practice represents “the long arm of Big Brother” and “ultimate control by the government.”

“As Kaye Beach’s case makes clear, failing to have a biometric card can render you a non-person for all intents and purposes, with your ability to work, travel, buy, sell, access health care, and so on jeopardized,” Rutherford said.

Beach fears such information stored by the government can be stolen.

“Bottom line, there is no such thing as a secure database. If the information exists, it will be hacked and it will be used and misused,” she said.

Beach’s passion in the matter is personal, not rhetorical — she still does not have a driver’s license.

You can view the case in Cleveland County District Court here.

You may contact Pat at pmcguigan@watchdog.org .