National ID cards are a hot topic in Canada and other countries thinking about introducing a nationwide uniform identification document. Especially since the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York and the ongoing 'fight against terrorism', national ID cards have risen to the top of the agenda in immigration and security departments all over the world. Further fuel to the discussion is added by the increasing problem of fraud crimes related to the misuse of personal information, commonly called 'identity theft'.

However, national ID cards are also associated with fears of social control, surveillance and loss of privacy and individual freedom. An ID card regime will likely entail a database containing personal information of everyone bearing the card and could include biometric identifiers. This leads to questions like: What personal information is collected and how is it protected? Who can demand to see the ID card and for what reason? Who can query the database? And how much does it all cost?

This section of the CIPPIC website addresses issues surrounding national ID cards and its implications for society and the rights of individuals.

See also: Biometrics.





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