Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Will REAL ID be replaced by Enhanced Drivers Licenses?

It's clear that Sec. Napolitano would like to trade EDLs for Real ID.

Nice idea.  EDLs have been voluntarily adopted by several states.  Can we get the states to adopt high standards for license security by offering the honey of easier border crossing instead of the vinegar of harder flight boarding? 

In a word, no.  I don't see how EDLs can be a substitute for REAL ID.  If they aren't mandatory, lots of people will opt to get regular drivers' licenses that don't meet high security standards.  And as long as low-security licenses are available, those are the documents that terrorists and identity thieves will use, too. 

There's another problem.  EDLs have an RFID chip in them.  For a good reason:  the chips are used at the border to speed travel.  But they aren't needed elsewhere, certainly not in all drivers licenses.  Why raise the anxieties of anti-RFID campaigners if you don't need to?  Trying to make EDLs a substitute for Real ID will feed the fears of those who suspect that EDLs are the thin edge of the wedge, and that the real goal is to "chip" everyone.  Since that's not true, why feed the fantasy?


1 comment:

the-pathogen said...

Implanting a chip in people isn't the goal of this administration. You can't tell me that won't happen in the future. It's all about setting precedents.