From the office of Sam Rohrer, Pennsylvania State Rep (128th):

Following the recent grand jury’s announcement that more than 45 people have been charged with issuing fraudulent drivers’ licenses, Representative Sam Rohrer, prime sponsor of legislation to outlaw Real ID in Pennsylvania, issued the following statement:

“This most recent debacle highlights my long-standing concerns with government entities taking and storing an individual’s personally identifying information, often without their knowledge or consent. PennDOT has lost credibility over this fiasco; no driver can feel safe knowing that his or her personal information, including social security number and biometric data, is vulnerable to this kind of misconduct.”

“In another example of the state yielding personal, constitutional rights to the federal government for the sake of federal funds, Pennsylvania adopted a facial recognition program with the stated intent to eliminate fraudulent or duplicate licenses. If we cannot trust PennDOT to hire honest employees at this most basic level of their security, how can we trust any government agency with any of our personal information?”

“Your security system is only as strong as the people in charge of it. I remain opposed to intrusive technology that not only doesn’t catch the bad guys, but also compromises the innocent citizens and takes away their privacy rights. I call once again on Pennsylvania to stand up for the rights of Pennsylvanians to be secure in their persons. We simply cannot allow innocent citizens to have their personal information open to misuse at the very lowest levels.”

The Real ID Act of 2005 was passed as part of a tsunami relief bill, and mandated states comply with several federal guidelines in the issuing of state drivers’ licenses, including the use of biometric information. Rohrer introduced legislation this session, House Bill 1443, to join states across the nation in legislatively refusing to participate in the federal program.

Read the full text of HB1443 below:

AN ACT Prohibiting the Commonwealth from participation in the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005 and other related laws; and providing for the authority of the Governor and Attorney General to file certain legal challenges.

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:

Section 1.  Short title.

This act shall be known and may be cited as the REAL ID and Biometric and Economic Privacy Act.

Section 2.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

“Biometric data.”  Information relating to a biological characteristic of an individual that makes that individual unique from any other individual.

(1)  The term includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(i)  Fingerprints, palm prints and other means for measuring or recording ridge pattern or fingertip characteristics.

(ii)  Facial feature pattern characteristics, excluding any low resolution photographic image of a face.

(iii)  Voice data collected for comparing live speech with a previously created speech model of an individual’s voice.

(iv)  Iris recognition data containing color or texture patterns or codes.

(v)  Keystroke dynamics, measuring pressure applied to key pads.

(vi)  Hand geometry, measuring hand characteristics, including the shape and length of fingers, in three dimensions.

(vii)  Retinal scans, reading through the pupil to measure blood vessels lining the retina.

(viii)  Deoxyribonucleic acid or ribonucleic acid.

(2)  The term does not include a handwritten signature.

“Compromise.”  Any disclosure of information except:

(1)  A disclosure to a court or law enforcement agency pursuant to arrest or indictment.

(2)  A disclosure to any law enforcement agency if there is reasonable suspicion that the individual has committed a crime.

(3)  A disclosure authorized by any Federal statute finally enacted on or before May 10, 2005.

(4)  A disclosure authorized by any state statute finally enacted on or before the effective date of this section.

“Economic privacy.”  The privacy of an individual that relates to a right, privilege or reasonable expectation that certain information is required by law to be held confidential or is otherwise protected from unauthorized disclosure to the public.

“Low resolution photographic image of a face.”  A photographic image of a face or a portion of a face with a resolution no greater than necessary for human identification and verification. The term does not include a photo image with a resolution of more than 30 pixels between eye centers or any image with a resolution that enables the extraction of biometric data.

“REAL ID Act of 2005.”  Division B of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror and the Tsunami Relief, 2005 (Public Law 109-13, 119 Stat. 302).

Section 3.  Participation in the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Neither the Governor nor the Department of Transportation or any other Commonwealth agency shall participate in the compliance of any provision of the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Section 4.  Participation in other related laws.

Neither the Governor nor the Department of Transportation or any other Commonwealth agency shall participate in the compliance with any Federal law, regulation or policy that would compromise the economic privacy or biometric data of any resident of this Commonwealth.

Section 5.  Legal challenge.

Either the Governor or the Attorney General may file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to challenge the constitutionality or legality of the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Section 6.  Effective date.

This act shall take effect in 60 days.


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