Iowa Bill Would Show Driver’s License Photo for Missing Persons
Privacy matters, but anytime more information can be provided in the search for a missing person, you have to think it's beneficial.
KCCI reported in December that there could be up to 400 missing people listed on Iowa's missing person database. Only 71 of them have a photo.
Drivers license info is currently highly protected in Iowa
There could be far more missing persons identified if it wasn't for the Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act which "prohibits the disclosure of personal information about any individual from a motor vehicle record to the public without the written consent of the person to whom the information pertains." That means the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), which runs the state's missing person database, can only share with police the driver's license photos of those involved in a missing person case in limited circumstances.
A new bill is now working its way through the Iowa legislature that would allow a driver's license photo, if available, to be included with the names and descriptions on the state's database.
The Iowa Department Of Transportation does not have contact with the families
As you're probably aware, we often see pictures of missing persons on the news, and these photos are usually provided by the family, other loved ones, or law enforcement agencies. Those without photos are a bit more challenging to identify and locate, so, if passed, File 2123 would allow driver's license photos to be attached with the missing person information, and/or that of others allegedly responsible for the person being missing.
It's well on its way to passing
Do you think it's wise or helpful to share driver's license info in identifying missing persons or is it too much privacy being violated? File 2123 has passed 94-0 with six absentees in the Iowa House and now goes on to the Iowa Senate for debate.