National ID Card: Learn from Japan’s mistakes

Joi Ito has been reappointed to the Yokohama Committee for the Protection of Identification Information. Basically, this Committee allows citizens to opt-out of being within the database where they are currently pushing a National ID system.

Also, my main concern has always been the risk of the data being collected and abused OUTSIDE of the core network and these issues have not been addressed. There have been some fraudulent cards, but major crimes have not been committed. I warned that this is because barely anyone is using the network. If the government comes up with some useful application for the ID system, I’m sure fraud will increase. I also pointed out that at this level of usage, it can’t be making any financial sense for the local governments who have installed and are running the system. Yokohama is one of the largest cities, but in small towns, there are still only dozens of users. I added rather bluntly that considering the cost and the potential risk because of the ill-conceived architecture, I still think they should shut the whole thing down and start from scratch building something useful using modern privacy technology to address specific needs rather than continue to use this expensive and pointless system.

It is unfortunate that in the wake of 9/11, the United States treads down the same path that Japan is already on. Will we learn from others’ mistakes or could we reinvent the wheel?
Via JoiIto