Oct. 26, 2015
The conversation surrounding the supposed impending enforcement of the federal REAL ID Act is so muddled that it is virtually impossible for anyone to develop an informed opinion on the matter. I am trying to help by providing documentation that will put to rest a few of the elementary aspects of REAL ID so that, hopefully, we can have a productive discussion about the matter.
To my mind, there is a few things about this federal law that we should understand before making a decision about whether or not our state should commit to it. For instance, we need to understand that REAL ID is a biometric ID and what the implications of moving the population en mass to this form of identification are. Many seem to be confused about the difference between biometric ID and RFID so I want to write a post about that. We should also be aware that REAL ID requires the linking of our state databases and the is also an open ended aspect of the Act that we need to consider. There is much more to the REAL ID ACT but these are the items that come to my mind most immediately.
In my last post I addressed only one issue – are our Oklahoma state drivers licenses and ID cards biometric ID‘s? The answer is YES and you can take a look at the some of the sources of that information here.
In this short post, I am only going to address one subject as well.
REAL ID is BIOMETRIC ID
The Federal REAL ID Act of 2005 REQUIRES that a digital facial image be captured from each driver’s license and ID card applicant.
These images must to be captured conformant to an international biometric format standard enabling the use of facial recognition technology and global information sharing.
The National Conference of State Legislatures is a trusted policy think tank that advises state legislators about a variety of policy matters. In 2014 the NCSL did a policy brief on REAL ID. Here is what they say:
A digital facial image is required by the REAL ID Act.
Buried in a pile of REAL ID rules is a notation that mentions a bit of technical information regarding the digital facial images that are required by the Act that reveals that the image is collected as biometric data (as opposed to just a simple photograph)
And more from the Department of Homeland Security on how this biometric data is intended to be used.
These are just a few sources that verify that REAL ID is indeed a biometric ID but in the spirit of trying to keep things simple, I am trying to provide just just enough information to put the question to rest.
REAL ID IS BIOMETRIC ID PDF
Here is a one page PDF of this info in case you would like a copy of these sources.
Now we know that our current ID cards and driver’s licenses are biometric ID’s and that the federal REAL ID is also a biometric ID.
My next posts will cover the difference between RFID and Biometric ID and some of the implications of biomtric identification and what the difference is between having a state level biomertric ID vs. a federal one.