Clear ID is an interactive installation that allows participants to explore and experiment with the personal data stored in the barcodes of US driver’s licenses.
Has a doorman or cashier ever asked to see your ID? Have they used a device to scan it? Far from merely checking to see if the ID is valid, these products harvest some of our most personal data. Clear ID allows you to look inside your ID’s barcode and to print a sticker with a new barcode containing information of your choosing.
Both the companies that sell ID scanning software and those who use it can access your digital identity, without you knowing what happens to it afterwards. A recent study of the largest ID scanning software company found that doormen at clubs in California were using the database of scanned IDs to blacklist customers from bars and clubs. In September 2019, a report by Motherboard revealed that DMVs have been selling personal data to all kinds of entities – from insurance companies to private investigators. What kinds of data should we be compelled to turn over by default?