A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE: REAL ID is about grabbing, storing information in national data bases



About seven years ago, Ancestory.com - the popular for-profit genealogy research website - launched a new DNA testing service.

Supposedly, it was innocent enough.

It’s “an entirely new way to make amazing discoveries about their family history,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com.

“Amazing”ly enough, in 2018, the newspaper USA Today reported that experts confirmed DNA in these genealogy databases can be accessed by law enforcement and third party companies under certain circumstances.

Wow! [tongue in cheek] Who saw that coming?

What’s this got to do with REAL ID? My line of thinking goes something along the lines of citizens voluntarily turning over private information which is stored in databases and accessible by “authorities.”

Also, back to the DNA sample example, a few months later in 2018, another newspaper posted on their online site “HuffPost” another genetic research company - 23andme that also encourages people to voluntarily send in spit to learn more about ancestry - teamed with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

Wow! [tongue in cheek] That’s interesting! Who would have thought that would have ever happened?

And, there’s always the spin to sell the new collecting of private information as a service provided or for our own good.

However, in the case of the REAL ID Act, it’s not exactly voluntary. There are consequences attached if I decide I don’t want a compliant driver’s license.

Yes, for now anyway, Oklahoma will allow individuals to choose between a REAL ID driver license/ID card and a non-compliant driver license/ID card.

I could present alternative forms of identification, such as a passport (which requires a lot of personal documents, also), said the Oklahoma Department of Safety website. Some form of ID must be presented that is accepted by TSA, a federal agency.


I well remember the surreal day of Sept. 11, 2001. My late husband and I lived in Texas not far from military bases and a large airport in San Antonio. Standing outside in our yard, I remember how quiet it was with no airplanes in the sky. We looked at each other and both agreed that the world, and life as we knew it, would never be the same again.

And, it hasn’t been.

Yes, I appreciate our government’s effort to keep us safe in our own country. However, I still mourn the loss of what was my once perceived privacy of personal information.

I say perceived because my 26-year-old son reminds me constantly that I never really had any privacy anyway.

He was the one who talked me into finally getting a smart phone several years ago. When I balked at entering information, he said, “Don’t worry. Enter it. Everyone already has it anyway.”

My sons were seven and nine in 2001. They don’t spend too much time thinking about information privacy. Somehow, I think that was the plan.