Protecting identity credentials is costly:

Dan Farber and Larry Dignan, at ZDNET Blogs, have another perspective on Real ID. (I must say, we have covered this point before, but only briefly.) They say that "The more valuable having an identity credential is, the more likely it is to be counterfeited. Consequently, the more money you have to spend to protect it." They mention a case of a DHS official convicted of taking bribes to fake documents, and note that if a credential is valuable, people will pay a lot of money to fake it. They conclude:
Having multiple credentials is not only smart from a "not putting your eggs in a single basket" perspective, it's also more efficient. No sense protecting your Starbucks Coffee Card to the same level you protect a passport. Real security won't come from a single, all-powerful identity credential, but from a healthy ecosystem of useful, practical, and effective identifiers.

And let's be clear: Real ID is an "all eggs in one basket" solution. Its standardization means that EVERYBODY will have equipment to swipe it, and fake RealID cards will be worth tens of thousands. The states will have to hire SO MANY new employees to process Real ID cards; do you suppose they might hire a villain or two along the way?

Well actually, Real ID is not truly an "all eggs in one basket" process. When you consider Passports, you really have two nearly identical eggs for each person to keep in their basket. Please tell me, why do we need passports if we have Real ID? Or vice versa?


Anonymous Lorra said...

I think we need to have both passport and real ID because it is more comfortable to carry real Id on you instead of a passport (as it is much bigger) and we need passport to travel abroad (as in some countries the IDs are not exepted).

8/10/2007 3:30 AM  

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