[LINK] Smartcard mooted for federal welfare paymen ts

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue Apr 21 17:08:03 AEST 2009

At 4:43 PM +1000 21/4/09, Tom Koltai wrote:
>I urge the Government to include Biometrics as the SOLE source of card

Tom, in the following, I'm not disputing your argument about the 
physical risks confronting the weaker partners in remote households 
(almost all females).

But awarding a free-kick to the diabolically unreliable biometrics 
sales force out there is not a good idea either.

Is there a way to ensure that the biometric feature is actually 
cardholder-friendly rather than -hostile?

I'm not talking about the technical issues (Steve Wilson will happily 
expand on my and the APF's outline designs for cardholder-friendly 

I'm talking about the politics of such schemes.

Note that the Dept of Human Services is conducting discussions with 
business on this scheme, but emphatically not with any privacy 
advocacy organisation that we're aware of.

As a result, it's also unclear to us whether they're involving reps 
and advocates for social interests (ACOSS, aboriginal welfare groups, 
aboriginal legal advice centres, etc.).

And it's unclear whether the specs that have been made publicly 
available are comprehensive and honest, or gloss over the awkward 
bits.  (That's an expression of lack of knowledge, by the way, not an 

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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