Automation: 1410 Is Watching

Today's Americans are a submissive lot. A generation ago, when someone suggested collecting everyone's fingerprints and filing them with the FBI, the civil libertarians shrieked with rage. But these days, hardly any U.S. auto driver knows—or seems to care—about a big grey machine in Washington that clicks and whirs month in, month out, at the task of monitoring a motorist's habits on the highway.

The machine is the IBM 1410 computer of the U.S. Commerce Department's National Driver Register Service, a little-known Government body set up by an Act of Congress 2½ years ago. It is a step toward a...

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