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Monday, March 27, 2006

National Smart Card on the way

Reports today in The Australian and The Age indicate that the Federal Cabinet this week will consider a proposal for a new “smart card” with photo ID and a computer chip to replace the Medicare card and 19 other cards used in dealings with Centrelink. The Age report gives more detail.

This obvious intentional leak of what is in a submission yet to be considered by Cabinet stands in contrast to arguments relied on in many cases to refuse access to documents because of the sanctity of the Cabinet process. These arguments don’t get in the way of government trying to get on the front foot in presenting the case for its plans.

Both reports state that privacy and the prevention of identity fraud are key justifications for the project.

This card will take years to roll out and is said to be separate from the National ID card which is still under consideration, although the Wilcox cartoon in The Age report may reflect the response of most.

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