Locals put security ahead of privacy



GLADSTONE residents feel security is more important than privacy with the federal government's reignited debate over a National Identity Card.

The idea has been revisited by Prime Minister John Howard in the wake of the London bombings and Immigration Department failures to identify former detainees.

Some of the options being considered include biometric technology such as fingerprints and extending the Medicare card to function as the national ID card.

The Gladstone residents interviewed were mainly of the opinion that Australians had little privacy now and the need for security was greater.

Neville Gregory yesterday said it was an "absolute ripper of an idea'.

'There are a lot of illegal immigrants out there and some of them might be suicide bombers ? it'd go part way to helping that,' Mr Gregory said.

Privacy advocates were concerned it would be a further invasion by governments while other Gladstone residents believed privacy no longer existed.

Leanne Rosak said it would just be like having any other form of ID although Gladis O'Sullivan was shocked at the ease with which someone's details could be accessed.

Arthur Timms was concerned the details would be passed on to telemarketers.

The idea of a national ID card with a central identification system containing Australians' details, and every Australian holding a card, was first suggested in 1987 and John Howard originally opposed the notion.



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