January 31, 2004

MATRIX IN the News [8:43 pm]

Looks like the MATRIX got a set of participants that didn’t know about it — the residents of Utah: Dossier program alarms Utahns.

It sounds like a sci-fi thriller: a super computer program that gathers dossiers on every single man, woman and child — everything from birth and marriage and divorce history to hunting licenses and car license plates. Even every address you have lived at down to the color of your hair.

It sounds surreal, but former Gov. Mike Leavitt signed Utah’s 2.4 million residents up for a pilot program — ironically called MATRIX — that does just that. And he never bothered to reveal details of the program to Utah citizens or to state lawmakers who, upon learning of the program on Capitol Hill this week, are now worried the state could be involved in a program that jeopardizes basic civil liberties.

[...] “Do I want the government compiling all these records on me through a super database to come up with a dossier?” queried one legislative staffer who should have known about MATRIX but didn’t. “Not only no, but hell no.”

The Matrix site lists the following states: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah. Did you know about this?

Slashdot discussion: MATRIX - A Dossier for Every Person in Utah

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