National identity cards are in the news. While paper ID documents have been used in some countries for a long time, today's rapid growth features high-tech IDs with built-in biometrics and RFID chips. Both long-term trends towards e-Government and the more recent responses to 9/11 have prompted the quest for more stable identity systems. Commercial pressures mix with security rationales to catalyze ID development, aimed at accuracy, efficiency and speed. New ID systems also depend on computerized national registries. Many questions are raised about new IDs but they are often limited by focusing on the cards themselves or on "privacy."
Playing the Identity Card shows not only the benefits of how the state can "see" citizens better using these instruments but also the challenges this raises for civil liberties and human rights. ID cards are part of a broader trend towards intensified surveillance and as such are understood very differently according to the history and cultures of the countries concerned.
List of contributors Preface and acknowledgements Part 1: Setting the Scene 1. Playing the ID card: Understanding the significance of identity Card Systems David Lyon and Colin Bennett 2. Governing by Identity Louise Amoore Part 2: Colonial Legacies 3. The elusive panopticon: The HANIS project and the politics of standards in South Africa Keith Breckenridge 4. China’s second generation national Identity Card: Merging culture, industry, and technology for authentication, classification, and surveillance Cheryl L. Brown 5. Hong Kong’s ‘smart’ ID card: Designed to be out of control Graham Greenleaf 6. A tale of the colonial age, or the banner of new tyranny? National identification Card systems in Japan Midori Ogasawara 7. India’s new ID card: Fuzzy logics, double meanings and ethnic ambiguities Taha Mehmood 8. Population ID card systems in the Middle East: The case of the UAE Zeinab Karake Shalhoub Part 3: Encountering Democratic Opposition 9. Separating the Sheep from the Goats: The United Kingdom’s National Registration Program and social sorting in the pre-electronic era Scott Thompson 10. The United Kingdom identity Card scheme: Shifting motivations, static technologies David Wills 11. The politics of Australia’s "Access Card" Dean Wilson 12. The INES biometric card and the politics of national identity assignment in France Laurent Laniel and Pierre Piazza 13. The US Real ID Act and the securitization of identity Kelly Gates 14. Toward a national ID card for Canada? External drivers and internal complexities Andrew Clement, Krista Boa, Simon Davis and Gus Hosein Part 4: Transnational Regimes 15. ICAO and the biometric RFID passport: History and analysis Jeffrey Stanton 16. Another piece of Europe in your pocket: The European Health Insurance Card Willem Maas