Friday, February 24, 2017

Real ID and the future

"Bottom line? Don't lose any sleep over Real ID. It just scratched the surface."

I guess I am a bit stupid on this entire enhanced or Read ID issue. I have heard that to get onto a military base these days, your need to have one of three things: 1) military ID (which I have), 2) passport, or 3) enhanced ID (Read ID drivers license). If you don't have one of the three, you don't get on. At the Naval Air Station, there are parts of the base which are for tourism. And to get on base, you will need one of those forms of ID. There are other parts of the base which are operational, and only a military ID will get you in those areas.

Now that Minnesota has passed their version of compliance with Real ID, here is the bad news for the Libertarians. I don't think this dance is over. Between the continuing War on Terror and the advancements in identity theft, look for more of the same in the near future. Like what? Facial recognition, bio-metrics, and (gasp!) - maybe even DNA mapping.

To truly figure out "who is who" in today's complex world, I really do think it is coming. Try going on a cruise these days. The first day you check in, your picture is taken with a special camera. Why? It is for facial recognition. So when you come back on the boat with your room card and badge, the security on board can also check your picture against their data base.

I have said for quite a while now this Real ID thing is a nothing burger. Big whopping deal. However while working at IBM, I attended a seminar about the future of the identification badge. It was all about bio-metrics. In fact, we were all given an ID badge which held just a sample of what our bio-metrics might look like. It was almost Orwellian. But in a world of over 7 billion people, there really does need to be a way to identify each of us as unique. In other words, where our identity cannot be copied by someone, or something with nefarious intentions.

The future might hold retina identification and a licking a swap to check your DNA. Why? Fingerprints (although somewhat archaic), retinas and the DNA obtained from saliva are all unique markers. I am sure in some not too distant year the bad guys will be trying to trick those measures also. Then there will be even more intrusive identity markers developed. Back and forth, cat and mouse. 

Bottom line? Don't lose any sleep over Real ID. It just scratched the surface. Sure, you can try and hide from the future. You may not want the government to know anything about you, but the bad guys will. And not having an iron clad way of proving you are you, may put you in peril. Sorry to be a rain cloud on this issue - but that is our reality today.   

1 comment:

  1. I don't think you are a bit stupid on this topic. I agree that there are and will continue to be advanced techniques to validate identities, with good reason given the exposures (financial and personal safety) present today as well as improving efficiency. From a commercial sense, I am ok with these enhancements because at some level I can opt out of some these areas (may be painful and unproductive). You may not agree with this, but I don't think the risk of terrorism in the U.S. is as a high as our politicians say it is. It is an effective way of instilling fear in people and then proposing solutions which people gravitate to to make them feel safer. Real ID is a response to solving the fear in people. It is not going to make things safer, so I am skeptical as to the real reason the Govt wants to use it. Additionally, it's a state rights issue, the Feds are encroaching on these rights (states determine what a driver's license should be used for and not used for).