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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

News Review
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie Commends Department of Public Safety and U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Successful Use of Facial Recognition Technology
Posted Date: 7/17/2012

Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State

***News Release***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Patricia Turgeon
651-201-1332

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie Commends Department of Public Safety and
U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Successful Use of Facial Recognition Technology

ST. PAUL, Minn.—July 17, 2012—The Office of the Secretary of State today congratulated the Department of Public Safety and the United States Department of Homeland Security for their successful use of advanced facial recognition technology to investigate and prosecute identity fraud.  New digital tools, many that have become available only recently, now make it possible to review every driver’s license and state ID issued by the State of Minnesota to find individuals attempting to use false identification documents for illegal purposes.

“The successful use of new technology to identify individuals who have fraudulently obtained Minnesota State government issued identification, including driver’s licenses, permits and state ID cards, protects the integrity of the Department of Public Safety’s database that our agency, and many other public and private sector agencies and companies depend on, “ stated Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

One of the individuals indicted as a result of this digital review of the driver license database was Oluremi George, also known as Victoria Ayoola, a clerical employee of the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the Business Services division.  As a part of her employment she does not have access to non-public files or information.  Under former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, she was first employed on July 11, 2005 as a temporary Office Specialist and was promoted by Secretary Kiffmeyer to a permanent position as an Office and Administrative Specialist on June 22, 2006.

“As soon as the indictment was unsealed, the Office took immediate steps to ensure that all of our systems were protected,” explained Ritchie.  “Yesterday, this Office provided information to the Washington County attorney regarding Ms. George using her false government issued driver’s license to register to vote and vote in 2004 and 2008, which would be additional felony violations of state law.”

An investigation of this employee is ongoing.