Due 5 pm today Eastern time. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: Docket No. DHS-2006-0030. Or fax the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): FAX 1-866-466-5370.
The American Library Association is part of a broader privacy coalition to stop REAL ID. The coalition has sample comments (see below). The ACLU's RealID action center has talking points. As for library impact, see the ALA resolution (below the fold), and just think about this: Most libraries use drivers licenses as identification for library cards, and many add that number to the patron database. With the REAL ID's greatly expanded use of drivers license numbers, attaching much more personal information (e.g. divorce records), the demand by law enforcement for library patron records can only go UP.
Department of Homeland Security
Attn: NAC 1-12037
Washington, D.C. 20538
RE: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking DHS-2006-0030
Dear Secretary Chertoff:
Because the Department of Homeland Security is creating an illegal national identification system, I write to urge the agency to withdraw the regulations and seek repeal of the REAL ID Act. The attempt to create rules for the establishment of a national identification system is unlawful for the following reasons:
- The law that created the Department of Homeland Security prohibited a national identification system. By trying to implement REAL ID, the Department of Homeland Security is breaking the law and violating the public trust.
- The plan will create a massive national identification system without adequate privacy and security safeguards. It will also make it more difficult for people to get driver's licenses. And it will make it too easy for identity thieves, stalkers, and corrupt government officials to get access to such personal information as a home address, age, and Social Security number.
- The regulations endanger the privacy of domestic violence survivors' personal information, exposing them to stalkers in all 50 states.
- If the regulations are not withdrawn, then the Department of Homeland Security must FULLY APPLY all provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 to this REAL ID system, including the right to limit the use of personal information collected by the federal government, access the data collected about them; correct any mistakes in the data; and turn to the court system to apply for redress.
We the people were unable to speak during the rushed passage of REAL ID. We are speaking now and we are demanding that the Department of Homeland Security reject this illegal national identification system.
Tune in to the hearing right now at http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=2746
Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect said: “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 could access everything about you - in a database that could have images of your birth certificate, marriage license, divorce papers...
More information at EPIC's National ID cards and Real ID Act
2004-2005 CD# 20.1 ALA Midwinter Meeting January 19, 2005
RESOLUTION ON PRIVACY AND STANDARDIZED DRIVER’S LICENSES AND PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION CARDS
WHEREAS, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108- 458) requires the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, to issue regulations establishing minimum standards for driver’s licenses and personal identification cards issued by a state for use by federal agencies for identification purposes; and
WHEREAS, the federal government will, after a phase-in period, refuse to accept licenses or identification cards for federal identification purposes that do not comply with the standard, thereby making the standardized card a de facto national “identity card”; and
WHEREAS, the Act requires that “standards for common machine-readable identity information be included on each driver’s license or personal identification card, including the defined minimum data elements”; and
WHEREAS, the Act requires that security standards for driver’s licenses and personal identification cards must be implemented in a manner “capable of accommodating and ensuring the security of a digital photograph or other unique identifier” that can easily be maintained in linked databases; and
WHEREAS, machine-readable driver’s licenses and personal identification cards could allow the linking of financial, educational, health, travel, and other personally-identifiable information; and
WHEREAS, the states’ machine readable databases can be mined or linked to create a national database, presenting the opportunity to use the data for purposes for which it was never intended, including profiling of individuals and the government’s surveillance of the public; and
WHEREAS, driver’s licenses are commonly used by the public as a means of identification for obtaining a library card and driver’s license numbers have been entered into the user’s registration record, and could potentially result in the ability to search library use by individuals; and
WHEREAS, the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights affirms that libraries are committed to the principles of Americans as a free people and to “free expression and free access to ideas” in an open society; and
WHEREAS, the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association upholds the protection of “each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted;” and WHEREAS, a stated intent of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 is to ensure “an enhanced system of checks and balances to protect the precious liberties that are vital to our way of life” and that the “concerns with respect to privacy and civil liberties are appropriately considered in the implementation of laws, regulations, and executive branch policies related to efforts to protect the Nation against terrorism”; and
WHEREAS, the statute requires that implementation of the regulations “shall include procedures and requirements to protect the privacy and civil and due process rights of individuals who apply for and hold driver’s licenses and personal identification cards”; therefore be it
RESOLVED, the American Library Association urges the Chief Privacy Officers of
the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security to work closely with
the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board created by the Intelligence Reform
and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to fulfill the law’s stated intention of
ensuring a system of checks and balances to protect the liberties of the American public and our
society and to ensure that all implementations of the law respect privacy and civil liberties; and, therefore, be it further
RESOLVED, the American Library Association convey to the rulemaking committee its concern that the standardization of driver’s license and personal identification card information not be used to create a national database or to mine, link, or otherwise obtain access to the “information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted” by library users.
Adopted by the Committee on Legislation, January 17, 2005
Privacy, January 16, 2005
Endorsed in principle by: OITP Advisory Committee, January 16, 2005.
Endorsed in principle by IFRT, January 2005.
Endorsed in principle by
January 18, 2005
Prior History: CD #20.1: “Resolution on the USA Patriot Act and Related Measures That Infringe on the Rights of Library Users,” January 29, 2003.
CD #20.2: “Resolution on Proposed Amendments to the USA Patriot Act,” January 14, 2004.