National Identity Card: The Dilemma between Social Opportunities and Threats


  • A. R. Khan Department of Sociology, East West University, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh



Biometric national identity card schemes are increasingly becoming common around the world and considered as an essential social component of our time. It is assumed that providing national identity cards to all the citizens will help governments to combat various social malice such as terrorism, illegal immigration, fraudulent activities, and accelerate social service delivery. Nevertheless, the introduction of national identity card has been a matter of academic and policy debate. This paper, based on a review of the literature, portrays a general overview and the current state of knowledge and understanding about the issues and concerns associated with national identity schemes. Although the use of biometric technology-based national identity schemes need not or do not face refusals, the unintended, unwelcome and unanticipated consequences on society of such a high-tech scheme must be critically considered to ensure utmost benefits to the society. It is also suggested that in order to combat or control social threats and vices, social resistance is more important than the introduction and use of high technology.

KEYWORDS: Identify cards, Biometric, Security, Cost, Opportunity, Threat