The Irish minister responsible for mental health has suggested that all public services cards be linked to social media accounts to verify users’ identities.
RTE News reports that Jim Daly, the Irish minister responsible for mental health and older people, has recently called for all public services cards to be linked to the social media accounts of card users to verify their identity. Daly has reportedly brought this issue to the European Commission to explore the possibility of implementing social media linking as standard practice.
The Irish minister seemed to show disregard for basic privacy in an interview on Claire Byrne Live saying that he believes “child protection trumps data protection”. Daly stated that he hoped to see social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook applying to the Department for Social Protection to issue verification codes to users to be linked to their public services cards.
Daly stated that he hopes that this measure would prevent the use of fake identities and stop adults from targeting children. Daly’s proposal is reminiscent of a proposal by the European Commission in 2016 which insisted that state-issued ID cards should be used to log into social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
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Leaked documents from the proposal stated: “In particular, online platforms need to accept credentials issued or recognised by national public authorities, such as electronic ID cards, citizens cards, bank cards or mobile IDs… for every consumer to have a multitude of username and password combinations is not only inconvenient but becomes a security risk.”
Diane James, a Member of the European Parliament and UKIP’s then-spokesman for Home Affairs, spoke out against the proposal at the time, stating: “This intrusive and seemingly authoritarian EU interference in social media and the internet is not new. In 2013, the European Parliament spent almost £2 million on press monitoring and trawling Eurosceptic debates on the internet for ‘trolls’ during euro-elections amid fears that hostility to the EU was growing.”
Ms. James continued to say: “Calling on us to log onto YouTube with national IDs etc shows a direction of travel which should worry anybody who believes in personal liberty. Voting Leave in this Brexit Referendum is our way to shout ‘Stop’ and put an end to this madness.”