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This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. Since September 11, 2001, many governments have considered developing national identity management systems. Beyond identification, politicians and proponents of these systems have touted such system benefits as combating terrorism, preventing identity theft, facilitating travel, and combating illegal work and benefit fraud. For these reasons, the United States and United Kingdom both considered variations of these systems. While the United Kingdom passed the Identity Cards Act of 2006 and spent several years developing a national identity management system before ultimately scrapping the scheme in 2010, the United States sought to secure further the existing means of identification—driver's licenses and identity cards—through the passage of the REAL ID Act. Both measures met with widespread resistance.
What does an examination of resistance to nationwide identity management schemes in the United States and United Kingdom reveal about the nature of national identity management systems and identity cards, and what does this resistance tell policymakers and security officials who promote such schemes? Through a comparative analysis of the REAL ID Act implementation and the National Identity Scheme, this study shows that Anglophone, common-law nations experience the same inhibiting factors, whether or not they attempt to implement a national identity management system or an identity card on a national scale.
The literature suggests that a variety of terms is used to describe national identity management. While the terms "identity cards" and "identity management systems" have been favored, these terms have complex definitions and assumptions associated with them. For this reason, a number of opinions have been proffered about whether the REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and identity cards constitute a national ID card or could be considered part of a national identity management system. The variation in terminology obscures the fact that identity cards that are national in scope face the same problems and issues as those experienced by national identity management systems. Through a comparative analysis of the REAL ID Act implementation and the National Identity Scheme, this study shows that Anglophone, common-law nations experience the same inhibiting factors, whether or not they attempt to implement a national identity management system or an identity card on a national scale.
The second chapter provides an in-depth look at both the REAL ID Act and the Identity Cards Act of 2006. The requirements of both Acts are described, as well as the associated statutory purposes. In addition, a discussion of what both schemes constitute in terms of a national identity management system, a national ID card, both, or neither. The third chapter begins comparing opposing arguments to both the REAL ID Act implementation and the National Identity Scheme. It provides a comparison of the policy and privacy issues. The fourth chapter compares civil rights and civil liberties issues voiced by advocacy groups, politicians, and academia. The fifth chapter provides a comparison of the issues involved in public engagement and government transparency, as well as a discussion of the levels of public acceptance. Finally, it provides a comparison of the cultural and historical factors that inform current identity management system approaches. The study concludes with a discussion of the implications of the comparative analysis and how it impacts policymakers.