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
Date Written: March, 23 2012
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
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