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IT Article: National ID credit cards Ethical issues

National ID credit cards have always been advocated as a means to enhance countrywide security, unmask potential terrorists, and protect from illegal immigrants. They may be used in many countries surrounding the world including most European countries, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Currently, the United States and the uk have prolonged to debate the merits of adopting national ID credit cards. The types of cards, their functions, and privateness safeguards vary generally. In UK, The Governments decision to add a national Identification Cards Program was declared in the Queens Speech on 17 May 2005 and the Id Cards Monthly bill was reintroduced to Parliament. The time frame for introduction depends on the timing of the Charge being approved as law. It really is expected to issue the first Identification cards from 2008. But there's been a huge outcry over the issue and public continue steadily to debate over it.

According to the government press releases, ID cards provides legal UK residents, including overseas nationals, with a fairly easy and secure way of demonstrating who they are. ID credit cards will be associated with their owners by unique biometric identifiers (for example, fingerprints) which signify one will have a much better way of protecting peoples identities. Background checks will ensure that claimed identities are real rather than stolen, and will prevent bad guys using multiple identities.

The card will have the facts like Name, address, gender, day /place of delivery, immigration status, finger prints and iris scan. However it won't have very sensitive information such as cultural origin, medical records, tax data etc

In UK, anyone who is in the united states for more than 3 months and is over 16 years old is eligible for an National ID card. Community and private sector organisations will be able to check the information presented on the National Personality Register to help them build the identity of these customers and staff. For example, you may well be asked to confirm your identity when starting a bank-account or registering with a health care provider.

Major tips advocating the necessity for an Identification card is:

1. Elimination of Identity robbery: An ID card will prevent the identity robbery of a person by giving him a secure and easy manner of demonstrating and protecting their personality. .

2. Elimination of unlawful immigration and travel: ID credit cards will stenghten immigration control. Government and people will know who's a legal citizen of the country and who go the privileges to work here, therefore preventing against the law work which infact affects the market.

3. Public services: ID cards will help ensure public services are being used by those entitled to use them. Thus it'll improve the success and efficiency of service delivery.

4. Terrorism and organised crime: In the same way people will gain an individual reap the benefits of registering with the Identification cards program, as more people r enrolled contemporary society as a whole benefits. It will be better protected from activities of these who use wrong identities, from people who cover their criminal former to avoid constraints on working with children through to organised crime and those who support terrorist activites.

ID cards- Moral issues:

We will discuss the national ID cards issue regarding various computer honest theories:

1. Honest relativism: According to this theory, Morality is in accordance with the norms and customs of a contemporary society. It states that whether an action is right or wrong depends on the society where it is used. Actions which are right in one society can be viewed as wrong in another one. Now comparing this to the problem of national Identification cards, which are believed as a tag to a resident given by the federal government. Although National Identification cards have been implemented in various europeon countries, malaysia, singapore etc but also for countries like UK or USA, its not really a very good idea to apply this. Reason being these countries are quite liberal in terms of foreigners settling in to take up jobs and a higher quality lifestyle. So the culture is merged. There are many colors and races of individuals. Issue of nationwide ID credit cards can foster a new form of racism and descrimination. E. g. in UK, Asian or African communities can become subject to constant identity assessments to confirm their status in the country. Failure to carry a nationwide I. D. cards would likely come to be viewed as a reason for search, detention or arrest of minorities. The stigma and humiliation of constantly having to prove that they are citizens or legal immigrants would ponder heavily on such groups.

Now in comparison to countries having a single colour people rather than many foreign guests, they might not have the same problem as Identification cards can cause in USA or UK. So relativism theory holds true for national ID cards.

It also depends upon the problem of the population. National ID cards were granted in UK back in Second World Warfare. Nonetheless it was done to protect countrywide security from intruders and spies from other countries. It had been abolished down the road. So taking into consideration the situation; it was not a negative move that point. Now compare this for this situation of UK the recent terrorist disorders, and post Sep 11 attacks on USA. National ID cards will provide a means of figuring out any suspected person or someone who is having a past criminal record. This may make the present society more safe in comparison to what it is today. But again the implications are too many. With various immigrants from so many countries, it would just cause an humiliation for them who are also an integral part of today's culture in these countries, as they would be looked at as potential suspects. ID credit cards would also act as an interior passport in the united states. This is no doubt useful in the case of criminals or terrorists, but the citizen must show his reliability every time, thus giving a feeling to be monitored all the time.

2. Honest utilitarianism: This theory classifies an act as right or incorrect depending on contentment of the population or person worried. If the action is right, it could bring joy. But if its false, then it is considered incorrect. Utilitarians also assume that it's possible to compare the intrinsic beliefs produced by two alternative activities and to calculate which could have better consequences. In the event the difference in the results is not of different works is not great, some Utilitarians do not respect the decision between them as a moral concern. Coming to the problem of national ID cards, there are numerous direct and indirect repercussions on the population. Some of them are good and beneficial and some are not. Corresponding to utilitarians, you'll be able to execute a bad thing from a right motive. Basically it offers an answer from what should a man do, to provide best possible results. Step taken in terms of issuing an Identification card has the right motive. It would help in elimination of identity fraud of an individual by another person, prevention of illegal immigrants and travel into the country, as Identification cards provides a positive method of recognition on the immigration position of any person. It would also help in protection of misuse of open public services and most importantly avoid the terrorists and individuals having criminal history from taking imitation identities to mix up in the population and make an effort to cause some injury to it. Now each one of these will be the positive points coming from ID credit cards.

But there are few negative factors too. Utilitarian theory attempts to compare the bad results with the good ones and find out if the act is right or wrong. Now the most important negative point about issuing an ID cards is invasion of privacy of a person. All information about a person would be stored in a centralised database which can be accessed by any authorised person with the select a button. But it doesn't guarantee avoidance of possible misuse by some corrupt individuals to determine the facts of someone and possibly change it. And information once modified if not monitored in time, can cause a great loss compared to that one who wouldn't really know what went wrong. He could get denied a job in a general population sector necessitating security clearance. People can make fake ID cards and steal identification of others, as it would be the most dependable method to prove one's identity. ID credit cards would also restrict one's free motion in the united states and can cause racial discrimination. Now evaluating the negative and positive points of this step, it's very difficult to choose which step is right for the modern culture. But taking the safeness of today's contemporary society, the decision tilts just a little in the favour of Identification credit cards. But it's a long debate and the exact implications would only be known when the credit cards are actually implemented.

3. Deontological Theory: This theory concentrate on use of certain guidelines rather than implications to justify an action or coverage. The best-known deontological theory is that of Immanuel Kant in the 18th century. His theory mentioned that

Moral guidelines should be universalisable i. e. applied to all logical, moral users of the community alternatively than to a few. All persons should be cured never simply as means but also always as ends in themselves. Participants of the moral community should have a submit making the laws as well as living by them.

This theory declares that one has to check out some morals regardless of what the results are. Subject of ID cards clearly violates some flexibility of movements and privateness of an individual. So officially speaking; it is not a moral move to make. Even though the results can be good for the contemporary society, but according to this theory, it will not be achieved, as it is not morally correct. One of the theory by shelly kaggan states that folks are destined by constraints which he should respect but also given some options which he is able to choose to follow or not. Issue of ID cards can be considered as an option but it isn't totally correct morally as it affects some protection under the law of humans. Consequences are not considered in this theory. Apart from all these moral issues affecting an individual's rights of data safeguard, freedom of motion, privateness etc, there are many more hurdles which makes picture before employing ID cards

Conclusion:

It is as yet not known how ID cards will be foolproof given the above failure methods. Misuse can be a lot more dangerous than expected. And they're prone to mistakes and misuse, and will tend to be blindly trusted even though wrong. And cost of issuing the ID cards to everyone in the country would come across billions that may probably be paid by the taxes payers of the country. As expensive as the financial costs are, the communal costs are worse. However saying that, ID cards aren't totally inadequate but an effective and much more reliable systems must be put into place before making a decision on the level of privacy and rights of the people. Data Protection legislations is wholly limited to cope with the utilization of ID credit cards. Indeed legislation in most countries facilitates the utilization of ID credit cards, while doing little or nothing at all to limit the spectral range of its uses or the deposition of data on the card or its related systems. However with its help in protecting against terrorist activities, it could be implemented with a slight improvement on real human rights concern. Morality of Identification cards is still being debated all around the globe, which is the primary reason behind the execution getting delayed.

Bibliography:

1. Ermann M and M. B. Williams. Computer systems, ethics and world. NY: Oxford School Press, 1997, pp 12 - 50

World Wide Web:

2. Office at home. http://www. homeoffice. gov. uk/passports-and-immigration/id-cards/how-the-data-will-be-used/?version=1. Oct 09, 2005

3. Identity credit cards. http://www. identitycards. gov. uk. . Oct 09, 2005

4. Bruce Schneier. Schneier on Security. http://www. schneier. com/blog/archives/2005/05/real_id. html. Oct 10, 2005

5. National Identification debate. http://www. vastlyimportant. com/vastly/2004/08/national_id_deb. html#comments. Oct10, 2005

6. Epic-National identification and real ID function. http://www. epic. org/privacy/id_cards/. Oct10, 2005

7. Utilitarianism. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Utilitarianism. Oct 12, 2005

8. Ethical Relativism. http://www. scu. edu/ethics/practicing/decision/ethicalrelativism. html. Oct 12, 2005

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