Question 1

Do you have a US driver's license?

Because you have a drivers license

You’re probably aware that the following information is linked to your license and stored in state department of motor vehicles (DMV) databasesOpens in new tab

  • name
  • birthdate 
  • Social Security Number (or lack of one)
  • home address
  • fingerprints, and 
  • whether your license is valid

You might not know that state DMVs may sell or give away your home address and headshot to commercial data brokers and law enforcement entities, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE can use that photo to cross-check DHS databases by hand or using facial recognition tools.

Your driver’s license information is also taken and shared by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators’ (AAMVA) in their State Pointer Exchange Services (SPEXS) database. AAMVA is a private entity that works with law enforcement. SPEXS allows states to share Social Security and other information that can be misused in immigration enforcement. Some states have collected this information since the passage of the REAL ID Act in 2005.

Your data might also be stored in other databases, including: 

To see what databases would track you if your answer had been no, click the no button.

In some states, it is illegal to not identify yourself if asked by a cop. A cop may detain you longer for not having an government-issued ID on you, which could lead to an arrest. Also, federal immigration law requires lawful permanent residents to carry their official proof of status with them at all times.

If you have an ID issued by a non-US country, or a regional ID, like the IDNYC in New York City, police may assume that you are potentially deportable.

To see what databases would track you if your answer had been yes, click the yes button.

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Of the 13 monsters in this quiz, it looks like your data may be tracked by the following:

But there may be other smaller surveillance databases not covered in the quiz.

You may be asking yourself "What can we do?".

What now?

To learn more, check out the full From Data Criminalization to Prison Abolition Report.

Learn how you can Take Action

More about this quiz

There is no single database that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can consult to find a list of everyone they are able to deport.

As a workaround, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cross-checks many existing datasets. They use information from international visitors, visa holders, and arrest and conviction records. These datasets are not always reliable  at determining legal status. They are also deeply flawed, racist, and xenophobic.

More and more, DHS buys data from corporations to supplement their own databases. They can buy archives of location history, face and voice recognition files, and iris scans. Artificial intelligence tools use this data to predict behavior and infer relationships between people, places, and objects (like vehicles).

We spent months researching databases and data-sharing. But contractors and technologies change all the time, and many government data systems are shrouded in secrecy. We do not claim that the databases listed here make up a complete list, nor is it possible to make that list. Rather, we hope that this tool hints at the tangled and complex web of data extraction and criminalization.

The fight against migrant exploitation, racist border securitization, and deportation is a fight against data criminalization. It is a fight for collective self-determination and data liberation. Read more in our full report.