government is taking first steps with states to develop driver's
licenses that can electronically store information - such as fingerprints.
Privacy experts fear that including encoded personal data on identification
cards would circumvent the intense debate about federal ID cards.
claim that with careful use, these new licenses could alert authorities
if a suspected terrorist attempted to purchase an airline ticket,
withdraw cash or enter the country.
of Transportation, under instructions from Congress, is expected
to develop rules for states to encode data onto driver's licenses
to prevent criminals from using them as false identification.
Under a new national standard, a license from one state could
be verified and recorded using equipment in another state.
new security administration is the likely choice to take charge
of the project, according to published reports. Already, 37 states
store information on licenses electronically.
they start scanning (ID cards), they can track where I go,"
Richard M. Smith, former chief technology officer for the Privacy
Foundation of Denver, told news reporters. Smith is fearful that
if the government adopts a national standard, there's no difference
between a driver's license and a national ID card.