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This article was published on March 23, 2010

    National ID Cards Proposed In The Senate

    National ID Cards Proposed In The Senate
    Michael Klurfeld
    Story by

    Michael Klurfeld

    Michael Klurfeld is a Chicago-based musician and technologist specializing in legal happenings and public policy. You can find him on Twitte Michael Klurfeld is a Chicago-based musician and technologist specializing in legal happenings and public policy. You can find him on Twitter here, or send him an email here.

    Senators Chuck Schumer from New York and Lindsey Graham from South Carolina have made a proposal in the Senate which would require all those employed in the United States to have “high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security cards.”

    According to the proposal, the card would do little in the way of giving more personal information to the government. Each card would house in itself Social Security data, along with a “unique biometric identifier.” The senators go further to say that there would be no government database which houses private or medical information.

    The way that these cards go from being souped-up Social Security cards to national IDs is in what the EFF calls “mission creep.” If everyone were carrying a unique identifier, airlines and healthcare services and banks, among other types of organizations, would probably request your data when you use their services. This then creates a massive target for hackers, which is particularly creepy in that stealing your card steals some of your biometric data.

    Richard Esguerra’s post over on the EFF’s Deep Links blog raises some other great points, such as how there’s no such thing as fraud proof: you can bring down the most complex security system just by getting in bed with an employee who runs it. Also, how does biometric data help to identify anyone if there’s no database against which to check it?