Saturday, March 15, 2008

Random Musing On The Real ID Act (a.k.a. the National ID Card)

Notice: The Random Musing is meant to amuse, pique curiosity, and add a bit of controversy by looking at issue from a completely different perspective. If you emote after reading the Random Musing, then it is working.

Rather than trying to get everyone on-board on using a national ID card as required by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and causing major headache for all states with the Real ID Act, isn’t there a better solution?

As a risk manager, I believe that operational efficiency and effectiveness goes hand in hand with reducing risks to any organization. So, in that frame of mind, I present the following alternative:

A Federal Government Travel ID that is only required to travel on planes or to access a Federal facility.

Here are the benefits of a Federal Government Travel ID:

1. Centralized control – DHS has to love this
2. Uniformity – Why leave it to the states to re-design their driver’s license and non-driver identification card? Having one format will reduce training time and cost since TSA agents will have to study and recognize only one ID format rather than all 50.
3. Will allow seamless access to the holder of such Travel ID to all Federal facilities that are open to the public.
4. Lower Cost – All the state governors will thank the DHS for giving them a way out of spending millions of dollars to upgrade their computer systems to comply with the Real ID Act.
5. Public Support – I think people would not mind having the option of not getting a travel ID, if they don’t like the idea. It will also save them money and time, as they would not have to go in person to renew their licenses or identification card.

Isn’t this wonderful? All of the benefits that the Real ID Act provides with low or no cost to comply.

Am I just dreaming or whistling Dixie? Nope. The last time I checked, we already have a centralized Federal Travel ID that has your picture and all ten fingerprints.

It is called the U.S. PASSPORT.

Wow! What a wonderful concept. Isn’t that what a passport was invented for? To travel? Well, if the public is already accustomed to getting their picture taken, fingerprinted, filling out forms with their most personal data, and then having to go to a local passport office, wait a few hours, and pay $100 for a passport, why mess with a system that people already uses?

Remember, traveling on an airplane, like driving, is a privilege that we pay for. And as such, we will need to comply with the rules, no matter how absurd we think the rules are.

So, if you are upset at the security screening procedure at the airports, then understand that other are too. Therefore, rather than grinning it and bearing it, let your congress representative know just how you feel. That's the correct way to exercise our rights under the 1st amendment.

Ed Kim

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: