Australian Government to Introduce De-Facto ID Cards

From the ABC:

Federal Cabinet has approved the introduction of a smart card for all people who use Government health and welfare services.

The card will include a photograph and personal details, and will be used to access Medicare rebates and family benefits. […]

Announcing the decision, Prime Minister John Howard says the Government has decided not to continue with a proposal for a national identity card for all Australians.

So if you want to be able to claim your Medicare for going to see the doctor, you will have to have one of these cards…

6 thoughts on “Australian Government to Introduce De-Facto ID Cards

  1. I’m sure the real Prime Minister Howard will carry his everywhere.

    A suggestion: whenever the real Prime Minister Howard speaks publicly, observers and news reporters should ask to see his card identity card in order that he prove that he is the real Prime Minister Howard and not an imposter.

    If this happens, it won’t take long before the real Prime Minister Howard realizes that than an ID card is inconvenient, irrelevant and does nothing to increase security or simplify the management of citizen data.

  2. The Register has a nice writeup too, I liked this quote..

    Again, like Britain’s card, it will be biometric, but not too biometric at first. As in Britain, the limited biometrics are presented as a sop to borderline civil libertarians. Don’t worry, says Howard, the card’s chip will only hold your digital photograph, not your fingerprints. They fail to mention how unreliable biometric technology is. They couldn’t get anything more sophisticated working in the jittery timescale they want to do it all in.

  3. For similar reasons to Swagy, I too abhor the ID cards, and the methods in which governments could subvert this. In Britain, my government have used national security as the reason for imposing ID cards. There has also been some sort of an auction, as to whether the card should be £30 or £500.

    If ID cards were ever launched, no one should ever be forced to pay for the privilege of being themselves.

  4. The Australian IT Section has more on this, saying:

    INTELLIGENCE agencies and police will be given access to a vast database of “biometric” photographs of Australians to be created for the new health and welfare smart card to fight terrorism and more general crime.

Comments are closed.