Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Well, those words are even more terrifying coming from the Obama administration.
On January 7, 2011, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined the White House cybersecurity advisor to announce a new government ID card that will contain all your private, personal data like passwords, bank account numbers, etc., and will track your web activity. The White House wants to create an “identity ecosystem” that will centralize personal information and credentials. For more info on the supposedly “voluntary” program, check out this editorial from the Washington Times.
The absurdity in all of this is the fact that the government doesn’t have such a great record of keeping information secure. One just has to think back a couple of months to the WikiLeaks scandal to realize data security and government don’t go hand in hand. The Washington Times article has a good list of other instances where the government has tried and failed to secure private information.
Ability to secure the data aside, the potential misuse of data is another serious problem. They claim the Commerce Department is the only agency that will have access to the information, however, it is a short jump to imagine Homeland Security gaining access. Also, the data would be worth a large amount of money in the wrong hands. The temptation to sell the information would be great.
Is all of our personal data really something we want to trust the government with? For the reasons stated above and many, many more, I’m going with a resounding…NO.