Instead of addressing the deficiencies or giving it up as a bad idea they are hiring “public relations” consultants to convince the people a national ID card is a good thing. Why don’t they be honest about it and go for the tattoo on the forearm or the RFID chip under the skin? Of course they probably would need Joseph Goebbels reincarnated to get that “PR” campaign off the ground.
Details are here:
As controversy rages over forthcoming federal Real ID requirements, state officials should be plotting public relations strategies to counteract the well-publicized rebellion, past and present state motor vehicle administrators advised their colleagues Monday.
Civil liberties and privacy groups, as well as organizations like the National Governors Association, have attacked the 2005 law as insufficiently protective of privacy and too costly to implement. But that’s exactly the sort of message motor vehicle departments need to offset with their own materials trumpeting the plan’s perceived benefits, suggested Lucinda Babers, interim director of the District of Columbia DMV, and Betty Serian, a retired Pennsylvania Department of Transportation official who now runs a private consulting firm.
“I think it’s a classical textbook case of good communications planning, knowing who your audience is, and working that into your implementation plan for Real ID,” Serian said during a panel discussion on the first day of the Government ID Technology Summit here. About 100 state and federal officials and representatives from technology vendors were in attendance.
The Department of Homeland Security plans to issue final rules in the fall, but draft rules say that starting on May 11, 2008, Americans will need a federally approved, “machine readable” ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments or take advantage of nearly any government service. (States that agree in advance to abide by the rules have until 2013 to comply.)
But even those states that fall into the anti-Real ID category should be thinking about how to make their residents feel happier about the requirements, the conference speakers said.
Sample messages could include, according to Serian: “It’s an improvement to your existing process, it’s a way to do the right things for the right reason, it will help prevent identity theft.”
They admit they have to make their residents feel happier. I’ve heard “arbeit macht frei” too. Do you feel happier now?