MIT REAL ID Forum Online

I’m going to be participating in the MIT REAL ID online Forum this week, and you’re invited. Here’s the description sent out by co-organizer Daniel Greenwood, Lecturer, MIT Media Lab and Director of the MIT E-Commerce Architecture Program:

Your digital identity and physical identity may be about to merge under a new federal law that requires a standard federally controlled identity card. You are invited to participate in the first Real ID Forum, convened by the MIT Media Lab and MIT E-Commerce Architecture Program. The Real ID Act of 2005, as enacted by Congress and signed by the President, sets up a new federally controlled driver license that can be read by computers according to common national standards. This raises many public policy, technical and business problems and prospects. The act is binding starting in less than three years.

The first forum is on online discussion, facilitated by experts in the relevant fields, and taking place from Monday, September 19th at 3pm Eastern Time through Friday, September 23rd. Is the Real ID going to be a National Identity for the USA? Does it represent the ultimate convergence of physical identity cards and your digital log in? Are the privacy, civil liberties and administrative issues addressed adequately? How should the various competing interests surrounding implementation of the Real ID Act be balanced? These are among the questions that will be addressed in the online Forum. There will also be a face to face meeting, held at the MIT Media Lab in November, 2005. To find out more information and to register for this free program, please see

The tracks and moderators include:

Track 1. Real ID And National Convergence of Physical and Digital Identity (facilitated by Dan Combs, President of Global Identity Solution)

Track 2: The Need for a Secure Driver License (facilitated by Colleen Gilbert, Executive Director, Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License)

Track 3: The Need for Privacy and Civil Liberties (facilitated by Lee Tien, /Senior Staff Attorney, /Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Track 4: Practical Implementation Issues (facilitated by David Lewis, Former CIO, Massachusetts and President of American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators)

Track 5: Balancing Interests Going Forward (facilitated by Professor Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law)

In addition, there will be a section of the web site called What is Real ID? This is where we’ll house the background information on the Act itself.

While you are encouraged to register and participate from the start of this event, we will be accepting new participants throughout the week. Again, to find out more information and to register for this free program, please see We sincerely hope you will join us for this important and timely event.

My track won’t actually get under way until Wednesday, but it all promises to be interesting and informative.

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One Response to MIT REAL ID Forum Online

  1. Anne says:

    I’m kicking myself for not following the national id news. Thanks for the heads-up on the forum.

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