Thursday, August 18, 2005

I'm infamous, I think

Today's Palm Beach Post features an editorial ("Take eyes off Floridians in national ID debate") which opens:
"We clearly are past the point of no return when Dave Kearns, a Silicon Valley consultant, wonders online in Network World which identity management conference he should attend."

It goes on to quote more of my "So many identity conferences, so little time" newsletter describing the various upcoming conferences and uses that to launch an attack on "the potential loss of privacy inherent in proposals such as the 'digital birth certificate'."

They go on to condemn, as many do, the US "Real ID Act" as establishing "…a national standard under which driver licenses will become virtual national ID cards linked to a state and federal database." Sounds draconian, doesn't it? Yet the Post editorial goes on to say "…how can 50 state IDs amount to something that will work nationally?" Now either it works as a national ID system, or it doesn't – it really can't do both. So I wish the Post and those others loosely described as "privacy advocates" would decide which it is. I have my doubts as to it's workability, especially when each state defines it's own database/directory for the data. But as to the "privacy issues"? My driver's license data is – right now – available to law enforcement officials in my city, my county, my state and my country. The Real ID Act doesn't change that. It does, though, add a bit of stick to encourage the states to ensure the accuracy of the data – something they should be doing anyway.

Thanks for the mention, Palm Beach Post, but I hope no one believes I'm in agreement with your conclusions.

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