U.S. states continue to work toward a May 11 deadline — mandated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — to be in compliance with the REAL ID act’s first 18 security benchmarks for state-issued driver’s licenses and identity cards. But similar efforts in the United Kingdom have come to an end as Great Britain canceled its widely unpopular national IDs Program due to complaints about privacy breaches and attempts to make the cards mandatory for all U.K. citizens.
The U.S. and U.K have both worked toward developing more secure ways to identify their citizens as they face rising identity protection and anti-terrorism concerns. But the British national IDs, launched in 2009, are being retired and are no longer valid for identification or travel abroad. Their national registry containing the personal information of all cardholders will be destroyed this month.
In the U.S., attempts to strengthen identity security through the REAL ID act have been met with concerns about costs, and potential government misuse of private information.