Re: Nigeria launches national electronic ID cards

On 08/30/2014 05:00 PM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> ""The card is not only a means of certifying your identity, but also
> a personal database repository and payment card, all in your pocket,"
>  President Jonathan said at the launch in the capital, Abuja. "
> You have a debit/credit/national identity card hybrid.
> No comment.

I've got a few comments. :)

While this seems like a really horrible idea to data and identity
privacy folks, it certainly makes me cringe, there are nations and
cultures that don't think twice about their government tracking their
every move. I think we should keep that in mind as we build the
solution. The main purpose of this Web Payments work is to provide
options for citizens, governments, and commercial enterprises.

If some government and their banks want to track their citizens
movements and expenditures, it would be better for them to use a world
standard to do it (at least there are efficiencies gained / money not
wasted there) than build something proprietary. As much as it makes my
skin crawl to say that, this is more or less the deal with the devil
that the HTTP Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) work had do. The people
that develop software for the Web have a choice to either standardize
stuff that governments are going to do in a proprietary way (like the
Nigerian debit/credit/identity card, or continue to keep those functions
proprietary (thus indirectly contributing to wasted effort and bad
designs the world over).

Strong governments with strong, functioning democracies would hopefully
fight this type of violation of privacy. For those
governments/corporation initiatives, they should be able to use the same
set of standards as the non-privacy protecting governments. I think
we'll be more successful enabling choice rather than mandating solutions
based on our particular idealism.

If we are successful, the US, EU, Nigeria, China, Hong Kong, and
Singapore would use the same base financial Web standards with differing
values on the privacy/tracking/market-based dials.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Meritora - Web payments commercial launch

Received on Tuesday, 2 September 2014 02:17:31 UTC