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Statement of Governor Perdue Regarding the MATRIX Database

Tuesday, October 21, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue issued the following statement today regarding the MATRIX project:

"The State of Georgia will not transfer any additional information to the company responsible for the MATRIX project. 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 in the MATRIX pilot project.

"I agreed to allow participation in the pilot project after being assured that information to be transferred was already commercially available and the benefit to law enforcement was needed to protect citizens from unknown threats. The state was assured that no additional legislation or funding would be required. The question of funding remains unresolved, but the Attorney General's position is that legislation would be needed to transfer driver records. While the Attorney General left open the possibility that vehicle tag and title databases could be transferred, I feel those records should not be transferred even if permissible.

"The criminal, prison, and sexual predator information previously submitted will remain part of the database. This information is relevant to the crime fighting purpose of the pilot project, but personal information of law-abiding citizens is not. I feel today's decision reflects a proper balance between fighting crime and respecting the right to privacy."