India’s plan to create National ID cards has received worlwide attention from sites like Slashdot. It’s interesting to see what the world thinks of it since the comments are by people who live in countries where National ID cards have failed as an Idea.
The most shocking comment however, came from an Indian who claimed that “the need for privacy is stronger in the West and lesser in the East.” I hope he was only speaking for himself. The responses to his comment are most interesting and also demonstrate that there are Indians for whom Privacy is an extremely important issue.
Even worse was his statement that “The risk of misuse, however, is not a sufficient argument against the very real need for introduction of such an identity system in our country.” Let him say that after the next Godhra riots take place by searching through the central database for a list of Muslims instead of just taking their “Muslim sounding names” from the Telephone Directory like the last time.
I don’t want my personal information being consolidated in one place where some wacko can find out all about me. And if anyone thinks that it’s impossible to prevent abuse think again. No country in world has succeeded in making a 100% secure National ID card.
In India, it’s a tragedy waiting to happen.