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Should electronic identities be managed by the state?
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Only state can ensure correctness of data

The Argument

Many countries, the US in particular, have made strides towards streamlining electronic ID's. In the future, an electronic ID may become the equivalent of paper documents like passports and ID cards. Only the state can ensure the correctness of data; sub-contracting such a job to private companies doesn't come with the same level of certainty. Electronic identities should be managed by the government because personal interests in money, data, and information will be larger issues with private companies. Presently, private companies often mismanage and unethically exchange the data of their customers.[1] The management of electronic identities by the state already occurs in certain countries. Estonia is a country where electronic identities managed by the state are the reality. According to the former prime minister, having a proper digital ID managed by the state "gives certainty." There isn't concern over whether someone requesting their own tax returns is who they say they are. There isn't doubt that a person casting a vote is indeed a member of Parliament.[2] Electronic identities should be managed by the state because the state can guarantee accuracy. Because governments already have access to a substantial amount of information on their citizens, the management of electronic identification would be a smooth and easy transition. An example is the use of social security as identifiers in America. The government should manage electronic identities because they have the means and resources to ensure the correctness of data.

Counter arguments

It is not necessary for the state to manage electronic identities because sub-contractors may be better suited for the overarching job. The state can always keep a supervising role in the validation of identity, while the practical/logistic aspects are left to sub-contractors. For example, the US government already has social security under the U. Social Security Administration, and it is one of the largest forms of identification used in the country.[3] Sub-contractors can request something like this as validation before they enroll people in their programs that would manage electronic identities. The management of electronic identities by private companies has benefits that outweigh management by the state, and private companies can ensure the correctness of data with minimal assistance from the state.



[P1] Only the state has the required data that allow to validate the correctness of data (with-date, residence, etc.) [P2] Only the state has the authority to prevent or limit the usage of electronic-ID for criminals.

Rejecting the premises

A sub-contractor can always request a state organization to validate the data. The state can always exercise a veto for legal/public security reasons.


This page was last edited on Sunday, 27 Sep 2020 at 13:23 UTC

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