Something Positive about real ID:

A security expert, Phil Windley, said something positive about Real ID (in an interview Podcast) that, I'm afraid, makes good sense. He says that in the long run, if left to themselves, states will develop something like real ID. For example, the states are working hard now to standardize their criminal and offense data because sharing it is critical in catching criminals. Similarly, they will find advantages in tightening and standardizing driver's licenses over time. So - you might think - perhaps we should grin and bear Real ID.

But there are two important differences between the current real ID legislation, and what states might eventually do, that militate heavily, I believe, against Real ID:

  1. Real ID is officially on a tight time table. Given less than two years, there's only time to do it wrong, producing an insecure, hackable, error-prone, horribly expensive and time-wasting system.

  2. Left to themselves, states may standardize liceses for drivers, but Real Id is for almost everyone, including toddlers who want to fly or enter a federal building. Real ID forces the states to enroll far more people than they would likely reach on their own, and we'll all have to sacrifice our time (standing in line) and pay more state fees and taxes, to cover them.


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