Monday, April 21, 2008

What would REAL ID really do?


The Washington Times has an important editorial on Monday April 21, 2008, “Real facts on REAL ID,” on p A16, here.

The Times takes the position that REAL ID would have prevented the acts of Timothy McVeigh and most of the 9/11 hijackers. It recognizes that some people view the proposed act as a threat to privacy and civil liberties.

The Times points out that the law would not take over production of driver’s licenses or DPS ID’s from states. It does prepare for sharing of specific fields of information among the states and with the federal government. On its face, it would not give information to private companies.

It seems productive to imagine a program where consumers could opt in to its use to identify them for loans and mortgages. In some situations, if used that way, it could lead to much more ready apprehension of anyone who purported to be that person, and provide a deterrent to ID theft. It might even prevent other scenarios where someone could be framed for a crime.

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