There's been a lot of talk over the past few days concerning the almost certain passage of the Real ID Act which was tacked on to a House appropriations bill by Rep. James Sensenbrenner. While there are strong opinions about the Real ID Act for a variety of reasons, one unfortunate side effect of the bill is that, in tying together various DMV databases, it's actually going to make life much easier for identity thieves. This seems like yet another unintended consequence situation put in place by politicians. Once again, it's a situation where politicians put in place a surface level solution to an issue, without considering the deeper level implications of what they're doing. That's because there's no real accountability. They just need to be able to stand up at the next election and say they "fought terrorism" by "strengthening" our data sharing, or something like that. And, of course, tying it to an appropriations bill that no one will want to have on their record as voting against, makes it doubly sneaky. In the meantime, the real effect is that it will make it even easier for identity thieves to get data, because all of the data will be standardized, connected and (of course) not even remotely protected. And, we get all of this without even the slightest bit of discussion about the bill. No wonder so many are mobilizing to try to stop the bill, though it seems like it will be difficult to stop.
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