Update: EDLs and Real ID

200903121807.jpgThere has been discussion that Enhanced Drivers Licenses are really a ‘gateway document’ towards implementing a continental identity management system. The Department of Homeland Security’s new secretary, Janet Napolitano, is an outspoken critic of the Real ID program. There has been wide speculation about what her position would be concerning Real ID now that she is running the department that was pushing Real ID. We’re now starting to see her position come out:

Enhanced driver’s licenses give confidence that the person holding the card is the person who is supposed to be holding the card, and it’s less elaborate than Real ID. (Source)

As long as states are running the databases, rather than there being a central federal database, she’s willing to get behind EDLs. While it’s good that the DHS is retreating from a full-scale deployment of Real ID, I’m not so sure that shifting to EDLs is a ‘solution’ to the privacy issues that are discussed surrounding the RFIDs in EDLs.

Update: Repatriation of EDL Database

200902171545.jpgThe Canadian Press is reporting that the EDL database that was part of the Phase 1 Trial of the BC EDL program is coming home. Specifically, they write,

The database with details about several hundred British Columbians was turned over to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency last year as part of a controversial project to issue “enhanced driver’s licences” instead of passports for land border crossings. (Source)

What strikes me as interesting/weird about this is that under Phase 1 of the BC EDL program no Canadian data was turned over to the American authorities! This was revealed in the BC EDL Phase 1 Post Implementation Review (Redacted), for which I’ve provided a ‘best hits’ document. Only in Phase 2 was any data sharing to actually start happening, and it was last November (’08) that Ottawa totally dropped plans to locate the Canadian EDL database in the US. This seems to suggest one of two things about the Canadian Press’ article: Continue reading

Update: ‘More Secure’ (non-EDL) Drivers Licenses Coming to BC Soon!

200902131709.jpgAs I’ve written about before, Enhanced Drivers Licenses (EDLs) are coming to British Columbia, as well as many other provinces around the country (I have a wiki page set up to collate information on EDLs). It seems that, at the same time the BC is rolling out EDLs, they are updating their ‘regular’ licenses.

The Canadian Press is reporting that these new licenses will be available in March, and include:

holographic overlays and laser-engraving or raised elements such as the cardholder’s image and signature…The B.C. government said the cards will incorporate technology that analyzes characteristics that do not change, such as the size and location of cheekbones and the distance between the eyes. This “facial recognition technology … will enable ICBC to compare a cardholder’s image with their existing image on file and with the corporation’s entire database of millions of images.” (Source)

Continue reading

Update: Ontario EDL Suppliers Named

200902042317.jpgDr. Ann Cavoukian, the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner, announced yesterday that GND (located in Munich) would be responsible for producing Ontario EDLs. Further, she is working with the company Peratech to develop an on/off switch that would enable or disable the EDL RFIDs. As of yet, Peratech only has their technology working with contactless smart cards (i.e. cards with a 10 cm range), but they expect to overcome this. Ann is presently in talks with DHS to let them build the Peratech solution into the EDLs – this ‘privacy protective’ feature is not currently in the EDL spec. This is part of her ‘PETs Plus’, or ‘positive sum’ approach to security and privacy.

Update: Manitoba and EDLs

200902011558.jpgFirst, and totally off-topic: I had no idea just how beautiful the Manitoba legislative buildings were!

Now, on-topic. Manitoba is moving forward with its planned deployment of EDLs, with residents of the province being able to apply for the card starting February 2nd, 2009. The government has apparently been working with the privacy ombudsman, but to date I haven’t found anything about those consultations. Perhaps this is another time where Access to Information claims need to be made?