FC: National ID? Driver's licenses to become biometric smartcards

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 18:34:47 PST

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    Barry Steinhardt from the ACLU sends along these relevant links:
    The Progressive Policy Institute (linked with the Democratic
    Leadership Council) wants licenses to become microchip-implanted
    smartcards holding not just retinal scans or fingerprints --- but also
    "food stamps, voter registration, library cards, hunting and fishing
    licenses" and a wealth of corporate data like E-Z-Pass, gas station
    automatic billing, and banking information.
    The PPI dismisses privacy concerns thusly: "A small but vocal fringe
    of special interest civil liberty and privacy groups has already begun
    to demagogue the issue in the media. Countering such misinformation
    and paranoid scenarios about 'tracking' the movements of citizens will
    take a patient and and concerted education effort."
       DMVs Pushing for Standard License
       By Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
       2:00 a.m. Feb. 15, 2002 PST
       WASHINGTON -- Your driver's license soon may become a lot smarter, and
       a lot more worrisome.
       State motor vehicle agencies want Congress to standardize the license,
       share more driver data between states and mandate techniques such as
       biometrics to "uniquely identify" each of America's 228 million
       The group behind the push for what critics derisively call a "national
       ID" is the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
       (AAMVA), which met last weekend in Arlington, Virginia, to figure out
       how to talk Congress into handing them $100 million for the project.
       On Monday, AAMVA arranged for buses to take conference-goers to
       Capitol Hill for a day of lobbying legislators.
       Welcome to the latest tug of war, post-Sept. 11, between security and
       privacy. The AAMVA's fans in Washington note that four of the five
       hijackers who crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon
       had fraudulent identifications, while detractors argue that
       standardizing drivers' licenses is tantamount to a national ID card in
       all but name -- and un-American in any form.
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