New TSA rules say passengers cannot fly without a biometric ID card

REAL-ID

The ability to travel in the United States is about to become more restrictive as the TSA announces it will soon be enforcing new identification standards in American airports.

Beginning in 2016, passengers attempting to pass through a federal TSA checkpoint will be subject to the requirements of the REAL ID Act. To that end, the TSA will put higher scrutiny on travelers’ identities, and will only accept a federal passport or a “REAL-ID” card, which is issued by the states to meet federal requirements. Passengers will not be allowed to fly through an American airport without submitting to the advanced federal specifications.

Both federal passports and REAL-ID cards require a number of unique personal identifiers to be stored together in government databases, including his or her full name, date of birth, Social Security Number, scanned signature, and other identifiers. Both cards require biometric data: a front-facing digital photograph of the passenger’s face, which is ultimately used with a facial recognition database.

ORIGIN OF ‘REAL ID’

The enhanced security measures stem from the passage of the REAL ID Act of 2005, a U.S. law enacted by President Bush that states that a Federal agency may not accept state-issued identification cards without complying with a number of enhanced standards of the REAL ID Act.The states were given a number of years to comply, and many moved to pass their own laws to meet the benchmarks of the REAL ID Act.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, only Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and American Samoa have not met REAL ID standards as of January 2015. By DHS estimates, 70%-80% of all U.S. drivers are already carrying around REAL ID cards or live in states that have received extensions for compliance.

Some states have even gone as far as to require the applicant to present birth certificates, W-2 tax forms, bank statements, and/or pay stubs to verify one’s identity before handing out the new REAL-ID cards. Some cards have RFID chips embedded in them.Among the 39 benchmarks of the REAL ID Act, state ID cards have to be scannable with a bar code reader, and the states are required to share access to an electronic database with all other states.

Once DHS begins enforcing the REAL ID standards, Americans without a compliant state ID will be effectively prohibited from flying at a commercial airport. Passengers would need to obtain passports even to fly on planes that never leave the United States.

REAL ID cards streamline the process for the centralization and federalization of our private biometric data, while offering very little true benefit. In the words of Congressman Ron Paul, the program “offers us a false sense of greater security at the cost of taking a gigantic step toward making America a police state.”

Via Police State USA

MasterCard Rolls Out Orwellian National ID Card

MastercardNationalID

Imagine an ID card that remembers all of your personal records. This one card serves as your driver’s license and a catch-all that includes information about your health insurance, tax payments, and bank accounts. Oh, and it’s a MasterCard. Now imagine you’re required to have it to vote. By 2019, that will be the case in Nigeria, where the government is running a large-scale pilot program with MasterCard, the U.S. credit card giant. An initial 13 million Nigerians will participate in the pilot program, but all those above the age of 16 — a whopping 160 million people — are expected to carry the cards by 2019.

Nigeria is not the first country to launch a biometric ID card tied to a banking system, this is the first time a major banking institution has so specifically endorsed the use of an ID card. Eventually, the ID system could be used to disburse social benefits, make deposits and withdrawals, and set up savings accounts through local banks partnering with MasterCard for the initiative.But the card has also raised concerns among many Nigerians who worry that the card could compromise their privacy — by making it accessible either to the government or to a hacker. With a massive trove of information stored on each citizen, the card could pose as an attractive target for cyber-criminals looking for personal information.

Gus Hosein, the executive director of U.K.-based civil liberties NGO Privacy International, said these concerns are especially frightening as so far no plan has been presented to protect citizens from having their private data shared with MasterCard.There is good reason why no democratic society permits the creation of such a system, at least not without incredible safeguards,” Hosein said. “Something as precious as your right to participate in elections should never be placed at risk of faulty systems, deployed by people who may be well meaning, but do not understand the risks.”

Original Article Here

Drivers Licenses becoming a resource for Police Facial recognition Databases

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Law enforcement agencies are building what critics say is becoming a de facto national, searchable database of ID photos — with pictures of both those with and without a criminal past — that uses state driver’s licence photos as a foundation.

The facial databases have grown rapidly in recent years and generally operate with few legal safeguards beyond the requirement that searches are conducted for “law enforcement purposes.” Amid rising concern about the National Security Agency’s high-tech surveillance aimed at foreigners, it is these state-level facial-recognition programs that more typically involve American citizens.

Such open access has caused a backlash in some of the few states where there has been a public debate. As the databases grow larger and increasingly connected across jurisdictional boundaries, critics warn that authorities are developing what amounts to a national identification system — based on the distinct geography of each human face.

Sources: The Verge
Washington Post