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How not to screw up your National ID

Aadhaar virtual id

Editor's Note: This post is published under CC-BY. You are free to crosspost it, as long as you attribute the author and the publication, and link back to it.  * At an ISOC Asia Pacific meeting on privacy last week, a representative of a government asked about how we can have National ID systems that protect privacy. From what I gathered from conversations that followed, several governments are looking to set up National IDs in the Asia Pacific region. While having National ID system is by itself problematic, here's a quick list I made, for how not to screw up your National ID, IF you want to have one despite its risks, along with an explanation for each point: 1. Make it optional: A mandatory National ID is a recipe for surveillance and runs the risk of citizens data being compromised in one way or another. Even an optional National ID stands the chance of becoming "voluntary but mandatory" - as the joke about Aadhaar goes - where making it mandatory for services that cover almost the entire population, such as getting mobile services, means that it becomes mandatory for the entire population. Remember that data will get collected, stored, shared and compromised. By making it mandatory, you rob people of the choice of not getting a National ID, and thus rob them of the option of protecting themselves against potential hacks, leaks and malafide intent and persecution from future or current dictators. National ID's, and associated data, do get…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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