IBIA supports the goals of REAL ID and the use of biometric technologies to ensure that it is implemented effectively. Biometric technology is the only technology that can bind an authentication or verification event to an actual person. As such, biometrics has an important role in meeting one of the key goals of the REAL ID Act to establish the identity and immigration status of an applicant before a card can be issued.I have to admit to a strong reaction when I see and hear about the rise of biometrics--and the emergence of many biometrics companies salivating at the prospects of a national id card.
"Biometrics" include proven technologies that identify or verify individuals based on physiological or behavioral characteristics. Examples of biometric technology include products that recognize faces, hands, fingers, signatures, irises, veins, voices, and fingerprints.
Technology is not (usually) inherently good or bad. What we must always be careful about is the application of technology.
And "booking" every citizen through biometrics is the opposite of freedom.
Mr. Chertoff implies that people resisting a national id card are Luddites.
But maybe we are simply Americans who love our heritage and ideals of freedom. Since Mr. Chertoff employs the sublte use of ad hominem remarks, then freedom-loving people should be alllowed to imply that Mr. Chertoff wants to lead a nation of national-id-card-lemmings.
Before we take the biometric plunge as a nation of lemmings, can we please stop for a moment's reflection?
Let's ask ourselves the following questions:
The current REAL ID regulations do not require the use of biometrics--so far. But the pressure to include biometrics is immense. The pressure of lobbyists who stand to make a lot of money at the expense of the Bill of Rights is not going to go away.
We have some decisions to make.
It seems that we are unconsciously making all the wrong ones.