ALA joins anti-National ID Campaign

The American Library Association (ALA) has joined a large and diverse group of 43 organizations to launch a campaign against the first national identification system, REAL ID.

The groups joining in the anti-National ID campaign are concerned about the increased threat of counterfeiting and identity theft, lack of security to protect against unauthorized access to the document’s machine readable content, increased cost to taxpayers, diverting of state funds intended for homeland security, increased costs for obtaining a license or state issued ID card, and because the REAL ID would create a false belief that it is secure and unforgeable.

“There are serious privacy and security issues with the REAL ID Act,” said Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect. “ALA has expressed deep concern about standardized machine-readable driver’s licenses and national identification cards because of the potential privacy implications for library users, as well as the increased potential for identity theft for all individuals.”

Under the REAL ID Act, states and federal government would share access to a vast national database that could include images of birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, and more, including detailed information on the name, date of birth, race, and Social Security Number for more than 240 million individuals, with no requirements or controls on how this database might be used.

The draft regulations to implement the REAL ID Act are open for comment until 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 8, 2007. Please take action by submitting comments against the fundamentally flawed national identification scheme, under Docket No. 2006-0030. To make comments go to http://www.regulations.gov or send by fax to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): 1-866-466-5370. Be sure to include docket number listed above.

For detailed instructions on using DHS’s public comment system and information on the REAL ID Act, visit: http://www.realnightmare.org/actioncenter/109.

To see list of all groups participating in this campaign go to: http://privacycoalition.org/realid_campaign.php.

About Jacob Roberts

Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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