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Move Over Real ID: Here Comes PASS ID

  After a revolt over cost, timelines and a host of other difficult issues, the original "Real ID" appears dead. Secretary Napolitano testified ...

by / July 20, 2009

  After a revolt over cost, timelines and a host of other difficult issues, the original "Real ID" appears dead. Secretary Napolitano testified this past week on why changes were needed to create a new "PASS ID" which will be partially funded by the federal government. PASS ID stands for "Providing for Additional Security in States' Identification Act." described the differences in this plan.  

Calling it " Real ID Version 2 ," new legislation was introduced into Congress which would modify the Real ID Act of 2005. Implementation details from the original Real ID were opposed by many Governors, the National Governor's Association and numerous privacy activists.

Here's an excerpt from a article describing the National Governor's Association (NGA) position on this topic: 

   The NGA said in a release that PASS ID Act recommendations supported by the NGA included:

  • Reducing costs by providing greater flexibility for states to meet federal requirements by eliminating fees associated with the use of existing databases and eliminating unnecessary requirements
  • Eliminating the need to develop costly new data systems that raise significant privacy and cost concerns without increasing security
  • Strengthening privacy protections by requiring procedures to prevent unauthorized access or sharing of information
  • Allowing states to better use existing timetables to renew compliant drivers' licenses and identification cards.

But critics of PASS ID claim that this new "scaled back Real ID" won't solve many of our driver license fraud problems. The Washington Post reported:

    "The new plan keeps elements of Real ID, such as requiring a digital photograph, signature and machine-readable features such as a bar code. States also will still need to verify applicants' identities and legal status by checking federal immigration, Social Security and State Department databases.

But it eliminates demands for new databases -- linked through a national data hub -- that would allow all states to store and cross-check such information, and a requirement that motor vehicle departments verify birth certificates with originating agencies, a bid to fight identity theft.

...'The new plan would still let people get licenses with fake documents,' said Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), who authored the 2005 legislation." 

It remains to be seen if these modifications to Real ID become law. However, with state governments in difficult budget situations, there is no doubt that PASS ID, with federal funding, is a welcome sight for most cash-strapped states. The chances are very good that a similar new approach (with some modifications) will become the driver's license standard that is implemented across America.

What are your thoughts on PASS ID?

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Dan Lohrmann Chief Security Officer & Chief Strategist at Security Mentor Inc.

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.

During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.

He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.

He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.

Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.

He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso

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