FMA: The need for national ID must be pitted against legitimate dangers

A national ID system is a State apparatus often used to verify the identities of individuals who avail of public services or engage in certain public transactions.1 Under a typical system, a person is assigned an ID number at birth or upon reaching the legal age. It usually covers a country’s citizens, although resident foreigners have also been included from time to time.

The experience of countries that have adopted such a system shows varying outcomes—not all, suffice to say, turned out okay.

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