There 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.