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Personal identity management in the information polity: The case of the UK national identity card

Beynon-Davies, Paul ORCID: 2006. Personal identity management in the information polity: The case of the UK national identity card. Information Polity 11 (1) , pp. 3-20.

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In the Information Society an individual may take on an identity for each electronic service with which he or she engages. As a consequence, an individual may accumulate a vast array of personal identifiers for such 'services' and is also likely to accrue a range of physical representations of such multiple identification: credit card, debit card, driving licence, passport, library card, parking permit etc. Hence, multiple identity management is a significant issue for individuals and organisations. In this paper we unpack this issue in terms of a semiotic framework consisting of three interrelated processes - authentication, identification and enrolment. These processes serve to locate the three elements of the person, identifiers and identity that help define the socio-technical network which comprises the issue of personal identity in the Information Age. We test the explanatory utility of this framework against a contemporary and prominent case from the UK - an attempt by the government to introduce a national identity card. Such an identity token offers numerous potential benefits for individuals and organisations but raises major challenges to data protection, data privacy and public trust in the information governance of the UK.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Publisher: IOS Press
ISSN: 1570-1255
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 10:43

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