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THE NATION

Georgia Says Database Is Too Invasive

October 22, 2003|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — Amid cost and privacy concerns, state officials backed away from an antiterrorism database that officials initially considered joining -- making Georgia the sixth state to abandon the Matrix project.

The move casts doubt on the future of a database that tracks personal details of all citizens, not just those accused of a crime.

"I have held serious concerns about the privacy issues involved with this project all along, and have decided it is in the best interest of the people of Georgia that our state have no further participation," Gov. Sonny Perdue said Tuesday.

Perdue's decision not to join the database came a day after the state attorney general said it would be illegal for Georgia to release its driver's license records to the private company putting the database together.

Matrix, controlled by Seisint Inc., was billed as a speedy way for law enforcement agencies to find records.

Other states that have pulled out are Kentucky, Oregon, Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina. That leaves the project with just seven members -- Florida, Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah.

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