Privacy advocates and NIC naysayers will argue a national identity card will pose potential threats to our civil liberties and civil rights, but here in the 21st century these arguments fall flat - especially in the face of the vast majority of Americans having already sacrificed their privacy through the use of the internet through their phones. State and national identity documents (Real ID, Driver’s Licenses, Passports, Green Cards, etc.) are required in almost any facet of life now. From making credit card purchases, to buying liquor, or boarding a plane, citizens are required to provide proof of who they are.
These doubters will also argue a NIC will only be as good as the documents people provide to get one, but the card need not be issued if the provided documents don’t meet the veracity threshold established by the government. They will argue that the program will cost billions of dollars to implement - and it just might, but the money saved by reducing the amount of fraud, waste and abuse will vastly outweigh the cost of implementation.
Moreover, they will argue a NIC will lead to a slippery slope of surveillance, monitoring and warehousing of citizens’ personal data and movements. That argument might have held some water a couple of decades ago, but the prevalence of personal cell phones routinely using geographic positioning data, online social media, municipal closed circuit television video equipment, police body cams, license plate readers, and the emergence of drones have all but erased the notion of trying to secure a person’s public privacy. It is also important to note, under the USEP’s plan for the implementation for a NIC, there would be no connection to a person’s financial data, credit scores, or status of solvency. Here in the third decade of the twenty-first century, and as evidenced in many countries overseas, the benefits of a standardized NIC far outweigh the unfounded threats of personal privacy loss.