Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 18, 2008
Sen Bass explains how data from driver license is used to direct market tobacco
to young people
Sen. Bass says Bill Would Protect Privacy and Public Health
aggressive marketing ploy by tobacco companies is putting private
information and public health of Oklahoma young adults at risk. That’s
according to State Sen. Randy
Bass who has authored legislation
aimed at the use of driver license scanning.
tobacco companies have representatives that go to bars catering to college kids. They
offer the student a free sample, but ask to see their driver license first to
make sure they’re at least 18,” Bass explained. “But
the tobacco representative then scans the driver license with a hand-held reader
that captures every bit of data, including name, age, address and other information.”
the information is then used in an aggressive, direct-marketing campaign. Armed
with the individual’s personal information, the tobacco companies begin
sending coupons and promotional material, including money clips, cigarette holders
and shot glasses. The coupons, which can be redeemed for tobacco products,
then help the company continue to track their new customer.
of all, there is the very real concern about personal privacy and whether this
data could be used to commit identity theft,” said Bass, D-Lawton. “But
people need to know how aggressively the tobacco companies are working to hook
our young people on tobacco. They’re spending $245.8 million a year
in Oklahoma alone to get people addicted.”
1745 would make it a misdemeanor to scan driver licenses and to store or sell
the data collected. Bass said one concern is that people don’t even
realize their information is being scanned from their license until they begin
receiving enticing marketing packages from tobacco companies.
doubt about it, this is a very slick system, but as a parent it worries me,
and I think other Oklahoma parents, law enforcement and health care professionals
should be worried too,” Bass said.
is supported by the Oklahoma Alliance on Health or Tobacco (OAHT) which includes
pro-health groups such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association,
American Lung Association, Oklahoma State Medical Association, Oklahoma Hospital
Association, Oklahoma Institute for Child advocacy, Oklahoma Parent Teacher
Association, AARP and others.
spokesman for the American Heart Association praised Bass for his efforts to
address the issue of driver license scanning.
"Certainly, we are very concerned about the tobacco industry’s
increasingly aggressive efforts to hook Oklahoma’s young
adults on their deadly products. But equally scary are
the privacy implications,” Glinsmann
said. “These driver license scanners can capture
and store all of the personally identifiable information on the
driver licenses, without the individual’s knowledge or
consent. This issue should really
raise a lot of red flags for anyone who is concerned about privacy
and identity theft.”
Pat Marshall, Director of Governmental Relations for the American
Cancer Society also spoke in favor of the legislation.
“The tobacco companies must continually find new customers because their
old ones either quit smoking, or they die,” Marshall said. “That’s
why they’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars right here in Oklahoma. Scanning
young peoples’ driver licenses for marketing information is part of that
SB 1745 has already been approved by the Appropriations Subcommittee
on Public Safety and Judiciary. The measure must now be
considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee.
For more information contact:
Senator Bass' Office: (405) 521-5567