Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert
Fake IDs aren’t just a tool to get in a bar, they are a significant threat to personal security and national security.
Who in their teens and college years didn’t have a fake ID? I did.
At 17, I was 23! That meant I could buy alcohol, go to bars and take others to “R” rated movies. It also meant I was a ROCK STAR. For a minute.
A friend of mine peeled apart Massachusetts IDs and melted crayons together to create colors that matched the IDs colors. He would apply the crayon to the face of the ID and alter the persons age. For example if you were born in 1968, he would color the left side of the 8 the same color as the ID making it a 3. 1963 gave you five extra years to party!!
Then he’d just seal it back up and voila! You were a ROCK STAR.
CNN reported the Government Accountability Office did a test. An investigator used a fake ID to get a real passport. Once he had the passport he bought an airline ticket and went through security. How stupid big is that hole in security?
Former DHS Secretary Chertoff said, and I agree; “I’m going to submit to you that in the 21st Century, the most important asset that we have to protect as individuals and as part of our nation is the control of our identity, who we are, how we identify ourselves, whether other people are permitted to masquerade and pretend to be us, and thereby damage our livelihood, damage our assets, damage our reputation, damage our standing in our community.”
The problem here is the speed of technology has far outpaced the security of our identifying documents. Anyone with a computer, scanner, printer, laminators and for crying out loud CRAYONS can create breeder documents getting real IDs.
This makes it very difficult to prevent identity theft when anyone can be you any time.
What contributes to the problem is there are thousands of variations of birth certificates, dozens of social security cards and a couple hundred different drivers’ licenses in circulation. Very little security and no significant standards preventing counterfeiting. I’m sure plenty will argue this point with me, however the fact remains, fake IDs are everywhere.
Identity theft protection becomes very difficult.
While technology certainly exists to properly identify and authenticate through numerous technologies, privacy advocates and ignorant politicians will fight till the death to prevent their implementation for 2 reasons; 1. Cost, which is a naive argument. 2. Privacy issues.
Cost; spend whatever it takes to properly identify and authenticate. Privacy; is DEAD. Security is the issue we need to be concerned about. Manage out circumstances and tighten things up. The UAE has an “Identity Card” in place that is the best active solution I’m aware of.
There are hundreds of solutions being proposed every day, but cost and privacy continue to creep up. One argument some have is technologies such as RFID and biometrics are the equivalent to the Mark of The Beast. That just goes right over my head.
The Real ID Act has been passed, slammed and revisited. It is the first step towards effective authentication. Fight it as you might, its coming.
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discusses Identity Theft and the rampant use of Social Security numbers Here
I’m excited to work with uni-ball in 2009 in a partnership to help raise awareness about the growing threat of identity theft and provide tips for protecting yourself. Check out uniball-na.com for more information