A Unique and Centralized ID Device… What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

At face value, something like this may seem practical:

However, in the context of identity fraud and the surveillance society, this is worrisome as well. The idea of complete centralization of information on individuals has the potential for so much damage and risks (in Beck’s sense) that such a device could only work with an army of precautions.

One thought on “A Unique and Centralized ID Device… What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

  1. Coming from a country without identity cards, I feel instinctively suspicious, but then the driver’s license is the de facto identity card here and I never seem to lose that.
    My response to the article is that the making of ‘government welfare payments more easily accessible online’ is only one half of the equation. From the government’s perspective, people are hard to deal with. It is much easier to deal with a USB stick, so the ideal outcome of this is that paying the USB stick will come to stand in for paying a person, the possession of an integrated circuit will come to stand in for citizenship. My concern is not that I become identified by a card, but that the card or chip somehow assumes my identity, somehow becomes me – or in Donna Haraway’s term, I attain ‘cyborg citizenship’, half man, half USB stick, with the stick gradually taking over until I (whatever that was) become, if not redundant, then transformed.
    One response is to worry. Another is to identify entirely new kinds of political and social possibility.

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