WA Senate passes facial recognition bill for IDs

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The Washington state Senate has passed a bill to implement a facial recognition system to verify the identity of those applying for a driver's license or other state ID.

The system would measure the distances between the applicant's eyes, nose, mouth and other facial features and then compare those against a state photo database.

Supporters said Monday that the bill would make it more difficult to hold multiple IDs and easier for law enforcement to crack down on identity theft.

Opponents sought unsuccessfully to require those applying for state IDs to provide a valid Social Security number or proof of legal residence.

Facial recognition programs are in place in 31 states.

SB 6150 passed by a 29-19 vote and goes next to the House.