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Suggested I.D. Cards Bring Fears with Hope

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, July 11, 2003

Suggested I.D. Cards Bring Fears with Hope

Britain's Home Secretary has proposed that every citizen be required to carry an identity card. The proposal, which was in a secret Cabinet document leaked to the press, is designed to fight terrorism by allowing the government to know who is in the country legally and who is not.

The proposed card would not only carry biographical information, but also would have biometric data, such as an image of a person's iris or fingerprint, so police and other authorities can confirm the identity of the holder.

Civil liberties groups are protesting. In an editorial in the Times of London thinks it's a good idea. There is no question something must be done to better identify who belongs in a country and who does not. These identity cards could help.

I worry about too much information about us individuals in the hands of the government. Also, once the principal is established of such a card, someone is bound to propose that the information be encoded not on cards, which can be lost, but on our person in the form of a number on our foreheads or hands. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.