NATIONAL ID CARD
The public debate about National Identification (ID) in the United States, Canada and other countries have been restarted after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. National ID card is one of the most important issues that had been discussed in Congress and also in the little discussion group in the CSC 4735 – Computer Society and Ethics teach by instructor John Clark at the University of Colorado – Denver lately. I can see clearly the heat of the discussion happening right now in every student in that class. Some support it all the way, and some against it totally. It rises to the question that whether the national ID card will help us prevent the tragedy happened on September 11th or not, what action should the federal government do to increase security in this country, and what problems with the use of national ID cards? Participating in that discussion group, reading many articles, magazines, and skipping through lots of frequently ask question about national ID card, I myself believe that federal government should reject the idea of national ID card. National ID card will not only not stop terrorism, illegal immigrants but also create a form of discrimination and increase ID fraud.
First, national ID card will not stop terrorism. In order for all of us understanding this issue, I should go briefly about what information the national ID card will contain and how it works. The national ID card not only contains information like our regular driver license right now but also has biometric identifiers such as a barcode that holds a fingerprint or a retinal image as well as a photograph. I found an interesting source about biometric data in the article “National ID Schemes and the Fight against Terrorism”. It stated that: “Using biometric data such as fingerprints and retina scan can help in verifying that the card actually belongs to the cardholder.... If they are checked against a central database, then biometric can ensure that a person does not hold more than one card.” (http://www.cpsr.org/program/natlID/natlIDfaq.html)
Every time we use the national ID card, every move we make will appear in the government database. Using this technology in making the national ID card, the government will be able to catch terrorists and track them down wherever they go. However, in this article, they also said that biometric data couldn’t ensure that the information on the person presents when obtaining the card is correct. People can get fake information to obtain national ID card. Also, if the terrorists who involved in the September 11th are the suicide bombers, they do not afraid that they will be identified after the attacks. Then what we should do to prevent it? We know that the purpose of the terrorists is to live as quietly and unobtrusively as they can. Their activities will have nothing for the government to follow them or arouse the suspicions of...