Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Real ID Roundup

The fair and balanced Real ID Sucks blog (“A clearinghouse of stories about how the states will be required to spend $250 million to create standardized, machine-readable driver’s licenses, to make it easier for hackers, thieves and credit bureaus to track your every move.”) points to a San Jose Mercury News editorial, “Real ID Act mostly helps identity thieves:

The people who will benefit most from this law are snoops and identity thieves. The requirement that all personal information be encoded in a machine-readable form will be a gift to them. Already bars, athletic clubs and other commercial establishments swipe driver’s licenses. With a national format, every retailer will swipe the IDs to collect valuable information that will be sold to data aggregators, such as ChoicePoint. They, in turn, will resell the information to marketers and other customers.

The irony is that the Real ID Act was wholly unnecessary. Just five months ago, Congress approved a bill that required the federal government and states to work together on sensible national standards for driver’s licenses. That work, which has already begun, now will be scrapped.

Congress reversed itself once. It has to do so again.

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