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Smart IDs

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Americans are beginning to come to grips with the fact that it is impossible to achieve both complete security and complete privacy. Nevertheless, when it comes handling personal identity information, many U.S. consumers trust credit card companies more than the government. A new survey conducted by Gartner found that more than 40% of U.S. citizens are opposed to the creation of a national identification database to identify citizens and visitors to the United States. Only 26% of U.S. citizens agreed that such a database should be established. Opposition to such a database was particularly strong in the southern, western, and midwestern regions of the United States. The survey also disclosed that among private institutions, banks and credit card companies are more trusted than any government agency where national ID administration is concerned. Among government agencies, the FBI ranked as the most trusted to manage a national identity database, followed closely by the Social Security Administration. Least trusted of the agencies suggested were state motor vehicle departments and the Internal Revenue Service. Several governments around the world are in the process of establishing or overhauling national ID programs with smart cards, most notably China.

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