Coalition questions RFID in RealID cards

What do Citizens Against Government Waste and the ACLU have in common? Animosity for DHS' RFID plans for RealID.

In a case of unlikely bedfellows, a coalition of conservative and civil libertarian groups have joined forces in a letter to DHS' Chertoff to complain that RFID is too expensive and too insecure to put into the national ID card that is RealID. The letter reads:

An exact tally of the potential costs of RFID technology is hard to come by, but there is no question it would be expensive.  While the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of complying with the REAL ID Act would be $100 million for all 50 states, the state of Washington concluded that it would have to spend at least $92 million just in the first two years.  The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated the cost of implementation of the REAL ID Act would be $9-$13 billion.  Citizens Against Government Waste has estimated that a federal chip mandate for state drivers’ licenses would cost $17.4 billion.

Aside from the cost issue, we are concerned about the lack of adequate protections against the theft of personal information arising from remote-sensing devices.   Local and state law enforcement agencies have already implemented many processes and technologies to use existing security features.  Mandating drastic change to new unproven technologies might actually weaken the security of citizens at state and local levels and decrease the ability of law enforcement and the states to prevent identity theft, fraud, or other criminal acts.

 Signatories include Citizens Against Government Waste, ACLU, the Center for Democracy and Technology and the American Conservative Union, to name a few.


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