Barcode Redux

From: Jeff Almeida <spud_at_spudzeppelin_dot_com>
Date: Fri Jun 04 2004 - 09:33:32 CDT

After wading through the sea of messages regarding barcodes in the last
week, I've found myself inclined to agree with the people who think
they're a bad idea, but for a slightly different reason: it's not that it
may or may not admit confidence in what IS encoded (which I think you can
reasonably dispell with disclaimers like the one proposed), it's about
deniability of what IS NOT encoded....

Put more bluntly, it is impossible for a warm, fuzzy biped to satisfy
himself that a ballot containing a printed barcode DOES NOT contain any
personally identifiable information on it; this could be a HUGE deal in,
say, jurisdictions where voter registration is being accomplished by smart
card. While some of us wear our politics on our sleeve (and shirt, and
pockets, and websites, and so on), and don't particularly concern
ourselves therefore with the privacy of our votes, there are a lot of
people who vote in the face of political and/or social pressures otherwise
for whom the thought of identifiability on a ballot could be a terrifying
(think, for example, of domestic violence as a form of voter coercion)

So, unless we can formulate some unresolvable use case that compels us to
use the barcodes, I'd say we should dump them altogether in a bow to voter
confidence -- which is, after all, the ultimate driving force for the

jeff :)

Jeff D. "Spud (Zeppelin)" Almeida
Corinth, TX
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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:06 2004

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