Monday, February 09, 2009

One for the privacy fans out there.

I'm not one to fret too much over privacy in the way some people fret over privacy, and I don't understand the mentality very well. To keep others from knowing things that are none of their business is one thing, but not registering to vote "so the government doesn't know where I live" as one friend of mine does is another.

But when it comes to uniform, Federal ID cards, I balk. It's not that I really have strong opinions about driver's licenses, but rather that there's no good reason for the Feds to have strong opinions either. "Real ID" and similar measures are only means to mischief.

Arizona is one of several US States that have refused to go along with Federal uniform ID schemes, last year passing HB 2677 (link unavailable due to technical quirks of the AZ Legislature website) forbidding Arizona compliance with the Real ID act. Janet Napolitano, now head of the Department of Homeland Security, signed the bill not out of opposition to Real ID per se but because Real ID was an unfunded mandate.

With Napolitano gone, we now see a bill with more teeth, HB 2426. The authors do not mince words, as the bill creates a new ARS § 28-337 reading:
This state shall not participate in the implementation of an enhanced driver license program to satisfy the requirements of the federal western hemisphere travel initiative or the Real ID Act of 2005 (P.L. 109‑13, Division B; 119 Stat. 302). The department shall not implement an enhanced driver license program and shall report to the governor and the legislature any attempt by agencies or agents of the United States department of homeland security to secure the implementation of an enhanced driver license program through the operations of the United States department of homeland security.

Nothing to cause me to drive up from Tucson--and I'm still waiting to be entered in the RTS system this year--but you privacy nuts (I'm using the term affectionately) who live in the Phoenix area may want to drop in when the bill is up for discussion in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this Thursday morning.

HT: Seth Apfel

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