NY issues its RealID card

In a move that some fear as the harbinger of a national ID card, New York this week launched its version of the "enhanced" driver's license, complete with RFID chip and good for land and sea crossings to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

In a move that some fear as the harbinger of a national ID card, New York this week launched its version of the "enhanced" driver's license, complete with RFID chip and good for land and sea crossings to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It's a "smart way to travel!" the state site boasts.

And to allay fears that personal information will be exposed to RFID sniffers, the state is sending the licenses out in a protective sleeve. The Times files this as "function creep," and EPIC for one has furiously opposed the consolidation of formerly disparate modes into one, easy-to-compromise device.

The Dept. of Homeland Security denies the cards will make it easy for bad guys to steal card bearers' data. In a column published after the current regulations on Real ID, Secretary Chertoff wrote:

Your privacy truly is at stake in the REAL ID debate. But in my view, it's the opponents of secure identification who pose the greatest risk. Without REAL ID, you are far more likely to endure one of the worst privacy violations -- having your identity stolen.

We've detailed the states' rebellion against the RealID requirements over the years. With New York's RealID card, it seems clear the rebellion has passed.