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Should electronic identities be managed by the state? Show more Show less
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The management of electronic identities (credentials for accessing state services) should not be sub-contracted to external entities. Electronic identities should be private.

Yes, electronic identities should be managed by the state Show more Show less

State should not sub-contract this activity
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Only the state can guarantee security of data

Private firms cannot guarantee protection of data, especially against state actors. Only government security has the resources to appropriately protect citizen data.

Context

All activities related to official "papers" even if they are in fact in an electronic form should be governed by the state.

The Argument

Electronic identities should be managed by the government because only they can ensure the security of data. The largest caveat of electronic identities is that there are issues of cybersecurity. If private companies manage these electronic identities, the security of such data may come under attack. This type of issue has been seen increasingly over the years. In 2017, there was a catastrophic breach at the credit reporting agency Equifax, Yahoo admitted billions of email accounts were compromised, and Deep Root Analytics accidentally leaked the personal details of approximately 200 million U.S voters.[1] Record-shattering data breaches and inadequate data-protection have been on the rise from private companies. The state should manage electronic identities because they have the means and resources to do so. There is no certainty that the state will be completely protected from security attacks, but the U.S government spends a large sum on data security. In 2020, the budget for cybersecurity-related activities was 17.4 billion dollars.[2] The US also has federal institutions like the National Security Agency (NSA) that have the means to ensure the security of data. No other institutions can dedicate the number of resources into the security of electronic identities. The state should manage electronic identities because they will be able to ensure and guarantee the security of data.

Counter arguments

The government cannot guarantee the security of data. From federal government agencies to state agencies, cyber attackers have been able to get to US citizens' private information through every level of government. Significant government data breaches, while uncommon, still happen. In June 2015, 21.5 million people were affected by a breach at the US Office of Personnel Management, and in October 2009, 76 million people were impacted by the government security breach at the National Archives and Record Administration.[3] The government cannot guarantee the security of data. Having the government manage electronic identities is not smart because this info can get streamlined in one system. This will make it easier for cyber attackers to get access to the information of millions at any given time. If electronic identities are managed by several private companies, it would mean that not all the data would be stored under one system, thus making any potential security breaches less potent. The state should not manage electronic identities because there is no guarantee that the data will be legitimately secure.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/23/the-10-biggest-data-hacks-of-the-decade.html
  2. https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/ap_24_cyber_security-fy2020.pdf
  3. https://digitalguardian.com/blog/top-10-biggest-us-government-data-breaches-all-time

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 27 Sep 2020 at 13:18 UTC

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