Thursday, January 04, 2007

ID Cards and REALITY

Bruce Schneier in his article ID Cards to Stop Bullying decries the use of ID cards.

It's important that schools teach the right lessons, and "we're all living in a surveillance society, and we should just get used to it" is not the right lesson.
Mr. Schneier should spend a prolong period of time in a public school! Bruce should be exposed to the egregious behaviors and attitudes of today's young people. The 'surveillance society' that Bruce refers to has less to do with privacy and more to do with safety. Having two daughters in a urban/rural American High School gives me certain insight into this matter.

At first I thought it outrageous that a full-time law enforcement officer (with his 'drug' dog) would be posted in a high school. Then it became obvious to me that this isn't My High School - of nearly 35 years ago. Today students carry photo IDs for the same security reasons that any company or institution requires them. This is not an invasion of their privacy but an attempt to insure the integrity of their personal experience in a public institution of higher learning.

Mr. Schneier:
Do you drive? Do you have a picture license to operate a motor vehicle?
Do you travel? Do you have a picture license to leave and return to you home country?

While I agree that the indiscriminate use of personal information, including a personal image (picture) is not appropriate I cannot say that offering a negative criticism, "...is not the right lesson." is productive either. What is the 'right lesson'?

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