“Real Id “Faces Reality
The Real ID Act is causing serious concern among state technology officials, who are unsure about what is required and their ability to implement necessary changes. Delaware CIO and NASCIO President Thomas Jarrett says that while exact technical requirements are unclear, Real ID will undoubtedly involve some uncomfortable changes, especially since it requires states to share information. “As technologists, we start getting paranoid when we move information outside our walls,” he says.
Real ID was passed by Congress and approved by President Bush last May and is meant to improve homeland security by standardizing identification requirements.
Privacy advocates say the bill amounts to a federal ID law since state residents will be unable to use driver’s licenses for federal functions, such as boarding an airplane, unless those cards comply with Real ID rules. Those requirements include making cards machine readable and checking with other government databases before issuing compliant cards; the deadline for the new system is 2008.
Gartner research director Richard Hunter says the technology aspect will not be as challenging as mustering the resources necessary to restructure databases and coming up with rules for access, management, and security for shared records.
EDI links are already shared among 39 states to verify driver’s license applicants’ names and Social Security numbers, but Real ID extends documentation requirements to include birth certificates and other vital information.
Systems will have to be built to store those records digitally, and the Electronic Verification of Vital Events pilot project is one possibility that has already proven itself.
But American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators CIO Jay Maxwell says document-checking systems will only be effective after many years’ worth of data has been populated into the system.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from InformationWeek (05/16/05); Chabrow, Eric; Greenemeier, Larry .