HARRISBURG- At a press conference at the state capitol today, a bi-partisan group of state senators announced the introduction of a package of bills to increase privacy protections for Pennsylvanians and won praise from the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 621, introduced by Senator Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon County), would block Pennsylvania’s participation in the federal Real ID program. Senate Bill 622 would ban businesses from collecting information from state drivers’ licenses and was introduced by Senator John Wozniak (D-Cambria County). SB 623, introduced by Senator Shirley Kitchen (D-Philadelphia), would block government agencies from collecting biometric data from persons without consent.

The following statement in support of SB 621 can be attributed to Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

Real ID is an unfunded federal mandate that will cost the commonwealth more than $100 million to implement and maintain. It turns our state drivers’ licenses into de facto national ID cards. And it increases our vulnerability to identity theft by turning the state license database into one massive national database.

Pennsylvania should pass SB 621 and join the 11 other states that have already rejected Real ID by law.

The following statement in support of SB 622 and SB 623 can also be attributed to Andy Hoover:

"Americans are losing control of their personal information. Public agencies and private actors have an insatiable appetite for collecting and dissecting any data they can get their hands on. These bills will help stem that flow of information."