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Perspective: Why Real ID is a flawed law
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 31 January 2008 12:44

Perspective: Why Real ID is a flawed law
By Sophia Cope
Published: January 31, 2008, 4:00 AM PST
C/Net News

The government claims that driver's license "reform" will help combat illegal immigration and generally protect national security, but it fails to acknowledge that the Real ID Act seriously threatens privacy and civil liberties on a national scale.
It's been nearly three years since Congress passed the act, and the Department of Homeland Security just published final regulations to implement the law that will change the way state driver's licenses are issued.

Of particular concern is the department's flirtation with a central ID database. The final regulations, released January 11, strongly support leveraging existing technology by expanding the central database for commercial drivers to include all drivers and state ID card holders--that is, virtually every American.

Following this path of least resistance fails to acknowledge that the security risks of a central ID database are enormous, as is the potential for abuse by government and business. Security experts agree that creating a "one-stop shop" of highly sensitive personal information on millions of Americans, not just a relatively small pool of commercial drivers, is a bad idea. It would be an irresistible treasure trove for identity thieves, terrorists, and other criminals.

The law's basic goal of making the driver's license a more reliable assertion of identity is a good one. Setting minimum federal standards to make the issuance process more secure so that it's tougher to get fake driver's licenses or hold multiple licenses from different states is not unreasonable. [More...]   [Comments...]

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