A post on popular tech blog, The Verge, discusses the Immigration Reform bill currently in the Senate. One of the provisions of this 800 page bill is the formation of a national photo ID database. This database would contain every image from driver’s licenses and government issued IDs from across the US. Homeland Security would maintain it. Employers would be required to cross reference (with Facial Recognition technology) any potential new hires with the database to confirm their identity and citizenship. This would essentially require that every adult in the US (who wants/needs to work) have their image registered with the government.
While these images already exist across multiple state governments and databases, the fact that they may be compiled under a single authority would put a considerable amount of power in a few choice hands. As we’ve brought up on the blog before, putting that much information in the hands of a single authority may be too tempting to avoid abuse.
More concerning is the compulsory nature of this database. Want to work but don’t have a driver’s license or government ID? No dice. Get in the database or else. And with such a complete record of the US adult population, one can easily see how use of a database would spread to banking, credit agencies, the healthcare system, etc.
Check out this important article here, and then share your thoughts in the comments.