Thursday, March 13, 2008

You need good ID:

I found a story in Texas that is an absolutely fascinating insight into security issues. I think the story would apply to New Jersey, too. NJ requires about four pieces of ID to give you a driver's license. The state is really hard-nosed, and the license you get is pretty hard to copy illegally. But this Texas trick reported by Fox33 news cleverly defeats all that security.

The last step in getting a license is to get your photo taken and placed on the card. Then you get your license. Now what happens if they call you up for your photo, and you don't hear your name called? Or maybe you've stepped out. At that point, an underage teen who just happens to be waiting around steps up, pretends to be you, gets his picture taken, and gets your license. Now he can get into bars! (Except that now in Texas, if you look too young, they may doubt your driver's license, even if it has your picture on it. Because of this.)

Now obviously it's easy to fix this process. You ought to show really good ID to get your picture taken. But you already showed good ID to get into the process! How many times should you have to re-validate your raw ID documents to get a license?

Stop the presses! There's an easy fix to all this. When you first show your ID documents, to enter the process of getting a driver's license, they could give you a numbered card to show that you are who you are supposed to be. Then you can show that card before you take your photo. What I really like about this idea is that the card you carry around is likely to be much easier to forge or fake than your actual ID documents. Oh, never mind.
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