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wide identity system, although brief and modest in scope, raised numerous complex questions. It is clear that an evaluation of the potential costs, presumed benefits, and potential drawbacks of any proposed system is necessary in order to fully appreciate its trade-offs.

Care must be taken to completely explore the ramifications of any nationwide identity system not only because of the significant policy concerns and technological challenges but also because after-the-fact costs— the result of revoking, correcting, or redesigning after broad deployment—would be enormous. Moreover, analysts must give serious consideration to the idea that—given the broad range of potential uses, security requirements, and privacy needs that might be contemplated— no single nationwide identity system is likely to meet the varied demands of all potential users. Undoubtedly many more issues exist that are not even touched upon here.

Given the wide range of technological and logistical challenges, the likely direct and indirect costs, the serious potential for infringing on the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens, and the gravity of the policy issues raised, any proposed nationwide identity system requires strict scrutiny and significant deliberation well in advance of design and deployment.

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