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Electronic ID Cards Incite Concerns

PERSONAL PRIVACY—GERMANY

November 3, 2010

Fears about privacy and identity theft are accompanying the government's rollout of electronic identity cards, Reuters reports. The cards store personal data--including the owner's date and place of birth, address, biometric photo and voluntary fingerprints--and aim to facilitate e-commerce by allowing users to sign documents electronically. But around 44 percent of Germans are skeptical about the cards, according to an industry body's survey. Johannes Caspar, head of Hamburg's data protection agency, said some of the fears are based on a "Big Brother" scenario about the state's collection and storage of personal information.
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