Proposal floated for North American ID card
By Sarah Staples
Local News - Thursday, July 08, 2004 @ 01:00
CanWest News Service
An influential organization representing U.S. and Canadian drivers’ licence bureaus is developing a proposal for a de facto North American identity card: a biometric licence for 300 million people that could be fed through law enforcement databases to nab holders of multiple forged licences.
Such a card would require the creation of the largest database of biometric data in the world — potentially to include digital images of a person’s face or eye, or electronic fingerprints.
The move comes as Ontario becomes the latest Canadian province to signal it will tighten security on major pieces of identification: It has quietly just revealed plans to adopt biometric technology on health cards and drivers’ licences.
A spokesman would not rule out the possibility of merging the two cards into a single “smart” ID even though a similar proposal by the previous Conservative regime was abandoned in 2002 after it was panned by privacy critics.