“The federal intelligence overhaul that became law last month while creating a new national intelligence director and beefing up border patrols also aims to close loopholes for identity fraud that some of the Sept. 11 terrorists used to get aboard the jets they hijacked.
Privacy advocates warn that the new federal standards for driver’s licenses will effectively create a national ID card, centralizing information that can be misused _ by letting the government track the whereabouts of innocent people, for instance. Government officials say they’re just making the cards more secure, and that the worries are overblown.
Many of the law’s specifics have yet to be decided. Will licenses include biometric information like fingerprints or retinal scans? Will “machine-readable” mean bar codes or radio frequency identification systems _ in which a tiny computer chip transmits data and can theoretically be used to track location?”