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Hackers News

Keeping Knowledge Free

Doubts, fears and the Australian ID card

Concerns about the privacy of individuals are as important as ever and ought not be compromised. Whenever the Federal Government discusses its plans for a "smartcard" - which would allow citizens to electronically access Medicare and other government services - speculation inevitably strays to the possibility that a compulsory national ID card will also be introduced. Is the "smartcard" a way of accustoming people to the notion of a national ID card? The smartcard would have a photo ID and a computer chip allowing bureaucrats to access personal information. It would not be compulsory, but most people over 18 would need one because it is the only way they would have access to government money including Medicare, Austudy, child-care benefits, pensions and pensioner concessions, the family tax benefit, unemployment benefit and maternity payments.

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