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People of our everyday life

Pros & Cons of National ID Cards

by Contributing Writer
A national identi cation card would be used to prove one's
identity to government o cials. The idea of using national
identi cation cards resurfaced after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks
in the United States and the revelations that some of the
hijackers had false identi cation.

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Pro: Immigration Control

1 Types of Photo ID in Australia
An obvious argument for national identi cation cards is that it
will help border agents and other federal o cers more quickly
2 How to Get a Voter ID Card determine the immigration status of individuals. If one is unable
to produce a valid card, it could mean that the person did not
enter the country legally. The card would include information
3 Why Don't American Credit Cards Use Chips? about the person, such as height, weight and eye color, and other
aspects to make it harder to forge.

Pro: Easier Identi cation

4 How do I Find My Son's Social Security
Number If I Lost His Card?
Today, many retailers ask for photo identi cation when making
purchases with a credit or debit card. While many people use a
driver's license, a national ID card will also let those without driver's licenses prove their identity more easily and without
hassle. This easier form of identi cation can also be used in airports and other facilities that require a form of state-
issued identi cation. An easier form of identi cation can also reduce the wait time at airports.

Con: Feasibility

In many countries, it is not feasible to implement a program that would issue national identi cation cards to its citizens,
permanent residents and legal immigrants. In order to be able to distribute the national identi cation cards, staff would
need to be trained and maintained. It would also be di cult to ensure that the majority of the population would register for
a national identi cation card. Some, such as the homeless, might have trouble proving their identities in order to receive a
card because of a lack of Social Security numbers or birth certi cates.

Con: Redundancy
Because most people already have forms of state-issued identi cation through driver's licenses, requiring everyone to
People of our everyday life
obtain and carry another national identi cation card would be redundant. It would also seem silly because the costs that a
national identi cation card would incur greatly outweigh the bene t of having two identi cation cards. There is no point in
having a separate national identity card when the state driver's license system is already in place.

Con: Possible Invasion of Privacy

National identi cation cards can be used to track an individual. In order for the national identi cation card to be usable
by the government, a national database containing personal information would have to be created. This database could
be considered an invasion of privacy. However, if the government chooses not to create this database, then it will be too
easy for individuals to commit fraud by having multiple cards with different identities.


ACLU Information on National ID Cards(http://www.aclu-nj.org/issues/opengovernment/wouldnationalidcardsincrea.htm)

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hand holding blank visiting card image by Pavel Zaytsev from Fotolia.com