Almost twenty years ago, Australia rejected the attempts of the Hawke Labor Government to introduce a national ID card system, the ‘Australia Card’. Australia in 2006 is debating the proposed introduction of what the conservative Howard government calls a ‘health and social services Access Card’. It is therefore informative to compare the current proposal with that of 20 years ago. No matter what the government prefers to call it, if it has a sufficient ‘family resemblance’ to the one ‘ID card’ and ID system that we knew – and most people loathed - then it is one. The purpose of this paper is principally to explore that issue: if the ‘Australia Card’ was a national ID card scheme, then is the 2006 ‘Access Card’ proposal also one according to the same criteria? Such a comparison is also a useful way to explain what is proposed in the ‘Access Card’ proposals, by providing a comparison with what was technically feasible 20 years ago, compared with the significant changes in the new smart-card based proposal.
Computer Law | Cyberspace Law
Date of this Version
Graham Greenleaf, "Australia's Proposed ID Card: Still Quacking Like A Duck" (January 2007). University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series. Working Paper 1.