The new German digital identity card, and what the government plans to do with your data...

What kind of sick joke is this? The German government seems to want to sell the personal information of 80 million German citizens to interested companies.

They wanted to introduce a new digital identity card with biometric data and possibly also an RFID chip on it for quite a while now (you know, all those evil terrorists out there, blah blah blah). And now they dream about selling the data records stored on that card for 40-50 cents per record to interested companies? WTF?

I don't think I have to elaborate on the abuse-potential this can have, and on what this means for the privacy of all 80 million citizens affected...

The above article and also another article are a bit fuzzy on the exact details so we'll have to wait until more info is published/leaked, but this is definately an alarming trend/discussion...

(via Anarchaia, Fefe,


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Accessing data requires permission

From what I understand reading the second article entioned above [de] the person whose data is affected will need to grant permission to companies for each single access to this data. So, the real change to the old system is that companies will be charged a fee for accessing this data.

This is not the same as providing all companies unlimited access to all germans' private data without any form of access control (despite money), which is what one might think reading the above article.

However, depending on how much is charged for the data, new data warehousing and data mining buisinesses may emerge, which will provide the same data to third parties for a lower price and with limited or without any access control. This surely cannot be in the interest of the german government, that is, if and as long as you presume that it is acting on behalf of its inhabitants.

Unless futher detail is leaked or intentionally made public which would demonstrate that the german government is not realizing or does not care about the risks this step bears, I will personally consider the new data retention laws [de|en] and the possibility to crack most european digital passports [en] (including the german ones [de]) within minutes the most severe issues germany's and other EU countries' inhabitants will have to cope with along the next couple of years.

Data privacy issues

I fully agree that there are lots of other new threats to our privacy and security!

Although the original article turned out to be a canard/false alarm, I still find it quite disturbing that the government even thinks about such measures.