Recent News Articles from around the web

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.: Japan launches national IDs - 5th Aug 2002

"Japan launched a compulsory ID system on Monday in the face of stiff protests calling it a violation of privacy and a temptation to hackers.

A group of academics and activists presented the Home Affairs Ministry with a petition demanding the government halt the program, which links municipal computer systems and gives each Japanese citizen an 11-digit identification number. The group filed a court case at the end of last month, demanding the system be abolished because it is unconstitutional..."

.: Car-tracking system raises hopes, concerns - 1st Aug 2002

"General Motors plans to begin installing new sensors and communications systems into vehicles next year in a move that could save lives but that also raises privacy concerns.

At a news conference Wednesday, emergency medical doctors and highway safety advocates praised the GM's Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) as a life-saving system. AACN is one of the auto industry's most high-profile attempts to use telematics--the emerging field of dashboard-embedded communication devices--to help emergency dispatchers better understand the nature of an accident and determine what equipment or procedures medics might need to administer..."

.: Do we need a national ID plan? - 22nd Jul 2002

"Brad Jansen, an analyst at the Free Congress Foundation, has long been a dogged opponent of national identification cards. In April, Jansen told a Senate panel that a national ID means "a massive bureaucracy that would limit our basic freedoms." In the past, he and the Free Congress Foundation have teamed with the American Civil Liberties Union, forming an ad hoc coalition to oppose federal standards for driver's licenses.

So then why is Jansen applauding a new White House plan--while the ACLU is screaming bloody murder?..."

.: FCC To Let Carriers Share Customer Data - 18th Jul 2002

"The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cleared the way for telephone companies to share customer data with associates that hawk communications services -- without first seeking customer consent.

Earlier regulations governing use of such data had prevented telecom companies from sharing customer information unless they first sought permission from customers. But in 1999, a federal appeals court ruled that those regulations were a violation of free speech, so the agency was forced to revisit the issue..."
[E-C Times]

.: UK ID card plans to be unveiled - 3rd Jul 2002

"Controversial proposals to bring in a type of identity card in the UK are to be published by Home Secretary David Blunkett. Opponents of ID cards, ranging from civil liberty groups to MPs from each of the main parties, have already attacked plans for benefits "entitlement cards".

Mr Blunkett, who faced a barrage of opposition after suggesting ID cards in the wake of 11 September, is expected to announce a six month consultation process on the proposals..."

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