A national ID card just won’t work

April 18th, 2004 – 8:08 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

Some people think it’s worth the privacy loss and hassle if a national ID card can make us safer. The problem, according to Bruce Schneier, is that a national ID card would actually make us less secure (and still cost us privacy and hassle).

The potential privacy encroachments of an ID card system are far from minor. And the interruptions and delays caused by incessant ID checks could easily proliferate into a persistent traffic jam in office lobbies and airports and hospital waiting rooms and shopping malls.

But my primary objection isn’t the totalitarian potential of national IDs, nor the likelihood that they’ll create a whole immense new class of social and economic dislocations. Nor is it the opportunities they will create for colossal boondoggles by government contractors. My objection to the national ID card, at least for the purposes of this essay, is much simpler:

It won’t work. It won’t make us more secure.

In fact, everything I’ve learned about security over the last 20 years tells me that once it is put in place, a national ID card program will actually make us less secure.

It’s another one of Bruce’s excellent pieces that spells things out clearly and concisely, and it’s well worth a read, especially if you’re someone who thinks that national ID cards aren’t all that bad an idea.

No Comments

» RSS feed for comments on this post

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.