Thursday, 23 October 2003
Bad idea of the day
Venture to Offer ID Card for Use at Security Checks (N.Y. Times, free registration and cookie acceptance required)
"Today a new company, Verified Identity Card Inc., which will offer customers an electronic card containing data showing that they are not on terrorism watch lists and do not have certain felony convictions on their records.... Partners include Lehman Brothers; TransCore, the company that created the E-ZPass electronic toll system; and ChoicePoint, a Georgia company that will screen the customers."
I can't begin to catalog all the things that are wrong with this scheme to outsource imposition of a national ID card to the "private" (read, "unregulated and unaccountable", at least until we have a comprehensive data privacy law) sector.
As Marc Rotenberg of EPIC is quoted by the Times, "I don't think it will necessarily come as an assurance to most Americans that a Big Brother card is being minted in the private sector and not in the government."
The first potential use mentioned in the lead of the Times story for this "Large USA Corporations Do Not Consider Me A Threat" card is as a "trusted-traveller" card to shortcut or bypass airport security. That's consistent with the disingenuous efforts of the TSA and DHS to evade exisitng (minimal) privacy protections on data in federal government hands by outsourcing as much as possible of the CAPPS-II airline passenger profiling, monitoring, and surveillance system to the private sector -- while mandating that data be collected and structured in such a way as to assure convenient access by the Feds to data of interest, but without their having to dirty their hands with the data or pay to warehouse it (that would be taken care of by private firms, in exchange for the opportunity to exploit for their profit data obtained through government coercion).
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, although Congress still doesn't seem to be listening: the only way to close this loophole is to bring the USA into line with international norms by enacting a federal privacy law that applies eqaully to all travel records, whether in "private" (corporate) or government hands.Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 23 October 2003, 06:35 ( 6:35 AM) | TrackBack (0)