Identifying Citizens : ID Cards as Surveillance
This book takes an historical, comparative and sociological look at citizen-identification, and new ID cards in particular. It concludes that their widespread use is both likely and, without some strong safeguards, troublesome, though not necessarily for the reasons most popularly proposed. Arguing that new IDs demand new approaches to identification practices given their potential for undermining trust and contributing to social exclusion, David Lyon provides the clearest overview of this topical area to date.
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- Hardback | 192 pages
- 144.78 x 215.9 x 20.32mm | 385.55g
- 01 Oct 2009
- Polity Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
- 1. Auflage
Other books in this series
31 Mar 2017
28 May 2004
28 Jan 2002
Back cover copy
New ID systems are "new" because they are high-tech.But their newness is also seen crucially in the ways that theycontribute to new means of governance. The rise of e-Government andglobal mobility along with the aftermath of 9/11 and fears ofidentity theft are propelling the trend towards new ID systems.This is further lubricated by high technology companies seekinglucrative procurements, giving stakes in identification practicesto agencies additional to nation-states, particularly technical andcommercial ones. While the claims made for new IDs focus onsecurity, efficiency and convenience, each proposal is alsocontroversial. Fears of privacy-loss, limits to liberty, governmentcontrol, and even of totalitarian tendencies are expressed bycritics.
This book takes an historical, comparative and sociological lookat citizen-identification, and new ID cards in particular. Itconcludes that their widespread use is both likely and, withoutsome strong safeguards, troublesome, though not necessarily for thereasons most popularly proposed. Arguing that new IDs demand newapproaches to identification practices given their potential forundermining trust and contributing to social exclusion, David Lyonprovides the clearest overview of this topical area to date.
Table of contents
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, and author of Territory, Authority, Rights
"ID cards are an issue of growing concern in many countries. David Lyon provides fresh perspectives and many new insights into the way these systems work and the consequences they have for individuals and society. The clear, compelling and informative writing makes the book attractive to both specialists and the general reader."
Charles Raab, University of Edinburgh
"With an admirably lucid and clear style David Lyon shows how new technologies of identification govern new divisions of citizens and their others (strangers, outsiders, aliens) by decoding (biometric) and sorting (categorical) bodies. It also brilliantly illustrates how struggles for citizenship must now be also fought through databases (increasingly owned and controlled by 'card cartels') that make such technologies possible."
Engin Isin, Open University
About David Lyon