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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Thursday, April 25, 2024

An Australian Perspective on National ID Cards

Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
3:35 am

In his May 16th article in the Sydney Morning Herald, entitled “Smartcard not so clever: fraudster,” Nick Miller pointed out some of the pros and cons for a National ID Card.

First the pro: Jonathan Loretto, general manager of extended enterprise solutions at Telstra, stated, “Technology is confusing for a lot of people so we need a single point of access for them, a single point of understanding that helps them make their lives simpler.

“Before long we might end up with five, six or seven identity cards, which is great for people who sell handbags or wallets. But I don’t want to stand there flicking through my cards trying to work out which one lets me into the lobby of my office and into the lift.”

“We need to simplify things and think of the end user.”

Then, the con: William Heath, chairman of consultancy Kablenet countered, “A single identifier (card) is bad and dangerous for government,” he said. “It is an extremely courageous step to put all your identification, all the different departments, on to one identifier.”

“As long as you use an identifier unique to your department you manage that risk. If somebody’s playing fast and loose you can nail them. But if you’re all using the same identifier and some external party is managing it you don’t have any control at all.”

It’s good to know that our friends on the other side of the world are as concerned as I am about this subject.

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One Response to “An Australian Perspective on National ID Cards”

    Hi Mark – great series of posts… keep ’em coming!

    FYI, William Heath is actually a Brit (he just happens to have been ‘down under’ recently)… so the concerns you were picking up on are every bit as valid for the UK as for Australia and the US. William has a great website here, which I think you would find useful and interesting. Enjoy…

    Comment by Anonymous on May 24, 2006 at 4:27 am

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