Down Under, Real ID is a Furphy:

Australia is wrestling with its own plans for a real ID card, and most of the same concerns are surfacing there. A column at onlineopinion by Peter Chen discusses whether the card is anti-terrorist, what privacy concerns it raises, whether it might be secure, and whether it's redundant to add biometric dat to the card. Here's a quote:
The sad truth of the matter is that the ID card is somewhat of a furphy. As Amanda Vanstone has made clear, the card becomes nothing more than a meaningless piece of plastic in our already over-stuffed wallets if there is no biometric database sitting behind the system. What Vanstone does not elucidate, however, is that with a biometric database the card is redundant.

Why carry a card when you can use facial recognition or fingerprints to provide identity without the plastic? The power of the system is not in a card that can be lost, stolen, or duplicated. It’s in the network that sits behind government firewalls. The Commonwealth recognises that it is easier to suggest this debate is about giving us all another card than saying that they’d like to sample everyone’s DNA. While governments like to be personable, most Australians might find that a little too intimate.


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