The re-issue of a technology-based book 16 years after it was originally published is an unusual event. The events of September 11th, 2001 were more than unusual and have elicited a variety of responses from the technological to the philosophical. One response-the issue of a secure and tamper-resistant process of personal identification for U.S. residents and citizens-is neither new nor difficult to implement from a technological standpoint. The idea of a national ID card has been hotly debated (and rejected) for years, but in the wake of September 11th, its time may finally have come. This revised edition of what was originally published as Card-Carrying Americans is being published for its emphasis on the privacy issues posed by the book's proposals, an updated introduction, and a new foreword. Author Joseph W. Eaton discusses the social value of a national ID card, the problems of technology, the threat to privacy, possible safeguards, and the effects of different policies on society and the Bill of Rights. Eaton addresses some of the same 'tough choice' questions that foreword writer Amitai Etzioni addresses in his influential book, Limits to Privacy. Here Eaton and Etzioni join in contending that some trade-offs are long overdue in the now pressing interest of the public good.
Joseph W. Eaton is professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Card That Could Change America Chapter 3 National ID Card Options Chapter 4 The Deterrence Technology Chapter 5 The Case for a VIP Card Chapter 6 The Case Against a VIP Card Chapter 7 Identification and Democracy Chapter 8 Weighing the Balance Chapter 9 Policy Alternatives Chapter 10 Modernizing the Bill of Rights Chapter 11 Summing Up