Google

Friday, May 06, 2005

License Calculator:
This is fascinating, and worth a look right away. WTSP Tampa's Teresa Moore passed this on to Al Tompkins, who posted it on his Morning Meeting site: Unique ID. This lets you put in a name and DoB and get a Florida driver license number. Or put in a number and get a name. Hmm.
I know it should work, because before driver licenses came online (when Florida put them on Compuserve) we worked with microfiche records, and you had to know the Soundex algorithm to figure out what someone's license number might be. It's a standard code that attaches numbers to letter sounds (so p and b have the same number since they sound alike), skips vowels, and then adds part of the DoB to the final license number. You could figure out anyone's license number, or name, without this program if you had the algorithm.
A few other states are available too, as well as a page that gives you the Soundex code.
Is this valuable? Nahhh. How often are you going to have someone's driver license number, or their complete name and date of birth, and need the number? But, it's fun....
However, if you did have someone's date of birth, made this work and got a valid number, you could go on to the Florida HSMV site, put in the number and at least find out if the license is current...

3 Comments:

  • That is one of the most unsettling things I've seen, second to the Google satellite image of my rooftop...eesh.

    By Blogger Perspective of Pete, at 1:50 PM  

  • This is another example of things that freak people out because it's easy to find things about yourself if you know enough to find it. You can find your driver license number, but other people might not be able to unless they know your date of birth. You know how to find your house. I've been looking at photos of my rooftop for years, from county Websites, Mapquest, and Terraserver. So Google's not a surprise to me.

    By Blogger liz, at 3:11 PM  

  • I wasn't freaked out, I thought it was unsettling. A friend of mine works for the auto credit arm of Chase and told me about how nearly everything about you is already available in one database or another. The implications are that more people should know what types of information about them is available, and companies should proactively secure it. For example, credit card companies still use mother's maiden name, which is easily available. Combined with other easily available information, the market is rife with theft.

    By Blogger Perspective of Pete, at 3:44 PM  

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