“We’re talking Little Brother now, and we're talking Big Brother down the road,” said Michael Ostrolenk, national director of the Liberty Coalition.
Attempts to track terrorists and illegal immigrants have led to massive new efforts to identify people, using their body’s unique fingerprints, facial characteristics and iris patterns. A program called Real ID would marry this “biometric” information with a person’s driver’s license, making it easier to track. “It would require all states to conform to national standards for your driver's license," Ostrolenk explained. "So it basically creates a national identity card.”
The E-Verify system has also been proposed to boot illegal immigrants out of the American workplace. But both Ostrolenk and Stepanovich object to its overreach. "E-Verify is kind of the government inserting itself between an employer and an employee," Stepanovich said. "The employer must collect certain types of information and send it over to the government." The government will check verification databases and let the employer know if they can hire or keep the worker. "But you should never have to seek permission from the federal government to be employed," Ostrolenk said. "Or for an employer to hire a new person."
And Stepanovich says the databases are filled with errors. "So people are being rejected for employment or they lose the employment they already have based on information in the system that may or may not be true,” she added.
Some government programs and cities are making this RFID “chipping” mandatory. And it’s now becoming more acceptable to use biometrics and RFIDs on people.
Supporters say this chipping could help track lost or kidnapped children, or Alzheimer's patients who wander off. But they can also be used to control a person’s actions. One Florida school is requiring students to have their biometrics checked before they get food from the cafeteria. And a Miami university hospital has embedded microchips to track whether medical workers are washing their hands.