Hong Kong’s ‘Smart’ Id Card: Designed to Be Out of Control

PLAYING THE IDENTITY CARD, C. Bennett, D. Lyon, eds., Routledge, 2008

18 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2012

See all articles by Graham Greenleaf

Graham Greenleaf

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law

Date Written: March, 23 2012

Abstract

Hong Kong has had an ID card system for nearly sixty years, used primarily for purposes of immigration control, and for identification by government, but at the turn of this century it decided to convert it to a chip-based 'smart' ID card. This was only a few years after Hong Kong became part of the People's Republic of China. The Hong Kong Administration took the opportunity to make the smart card multi-functional from the start, but claimed that use of all the additional functions would be voluntary. This chapter questions to what extent these uses of additional functions will be voluntary, and whether this is significant. It examines the potential for further expansion of the functions of Hong Kong's ID system, commonly known as 'function creep', and the extent to which any such expansion will or will not be under democratic control.

Keywords: Asia, China, Hong Kong, ID cards, surveillance, data privacy, privacy

Suggested Citation

Greenleaf, Graham, Hong Kong’s ‘Smart’ Id Card: Designed to Be Out of Control (March, 23 2012). PLAYING THE IDENTITY CARD, C. Bennett, D. Lyon, eds., Routledge, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2027862

Graham Greenleaf (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales 2052
Australia
+61 2 9385 2233 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 1175 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham

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