Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 21, 2006

REAL ID Act: no RFID requirement

Filed under: Technology for HLS — by Christian Beckner on February 21, 2006

The “spy chips” crowd can sleep more soundly tonight: according to this EE Times story, DHS will not be mandating RFID adoption in its pending Real ID regulations:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is drafting regulations, expected by August, that will define how to implement more-stringent security, required under the Real ID Act for state-issued driver’s licenses and other ID cards. The rules, which go into effect in May 2008, may push some agencies toward chip-based cards.

“Homeland Security has told us they are going with bar codes, but that doesn’t keep the states from going with RFID or anything else they choose,” said Denise Blair, the IT director responsible for implementing those rules for California’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Indeed, Blair said, “any security features could become obsolete in two years.”

The U.S. ID card work follows talk of using RFID tags in everything from European bank notes to passports.

The Los Angeles Times also had an interesting piece on REAL ID today.

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1 Comment »


Comment by William R. Cumming

February 21, 2006 @ 8:38 am

The DHS has no regulatory authority in this area. Its only standard setting authority is limited to participation in voluntary standard setting organizations. See OMB Circular A-119. Congress in passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 specifically denied DHS standard setting legal authority.

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