Vive Le Canada

Old Idea; New Sales Pitch - The North American Union ID
Date: Monday, March 26 2007

Brent Jessop - Knowledge Driven - March 26, 2007

Every Canadian and American entering or exiting the US across land will soon have to carry a passport. This has led to panic among Canadian officials because of fear of a total collapse of trade and tourism across our shared border. Amongst all this panic and confusion the US government has graciously extended the implementation deadline to June 2009.

But no need to worry. Our indispensable bureaucrats have come up with an ingenious new solution. A fancy high-tech drivers license complete with biometric data, RFID chip and more data then you could imagine all linked to a single database. Wow! Aren’t they clever to come up with such a timely solution?

Well, not really. This is an old idea with a new sales pitch.

Way back in the pre-bin Laden days of 1998, Ontario wanted to “replace drivers licenses and health cards with a single computerized smart card, capable of storing vast amounts of information about an individual” complete with fingerprints, patient's treatment history, doctor's phone number, other health data, driving record and a “computer chip”. Even before this, Alberta and BC had rejected similar plans.

The real purpose of the 1998 smart cards was to facilitate “a better flow of information between databases. The main ones in government would be in health, transportation and the registrar's office" said Jeremy Adams a communications assistant for the Ontario Health Ministry.

To this end, “some of the behind-the-scenes technologies to be used to implement a smart card plan will be incorporated into some health care pilot projects that will start soon in Hamilton, Kingston, Chatham, Paris, and Wawa.” Also some smart cards were to be tested in the Mondex experiment in Guelph, Ontario which were to record transaction data including where and when services were accessed. The Mondex smart card test in Guelph was actually cancelled but performed elsewhere and originally came to Canada from the UK in 1995.

So was the justification back then identity theft or protection from terrorism?

Read the full article here.

[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on March 28, 2007]

Knowledge Driven Revolu... fancy high-tech drivers... more data then you coul... single database replace drivers license... performed elsewhere identity theft protection from terrorism here

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