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Personal identity management and electronic government: The case of the national identity card in the UK

Paul Beynon‐Davies (Cardiff Business Technology Centre, Cardiff, UK)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 24 April 2007




The purpose of this paper is to unpack some of the socio‐technical relationships inherent in contemporary notions of personal identity management. For this purpose it considers the issue of personal identity management in terms of a framework, which distinguishes between the related processes of authentication, identification and enrolment.


The conceptual model described in this paper is reflected against an important recent case in which issues of personal identity management are being enacted: the introduction of a UK national identity card. Both this issue and case are particularly examined in the light of the growth of e‐Government in the UK.


The paper relates issues associated with the technical infrastructure of e‐Government with some of the costs and benefits associated with the social infrastructure of e‐Government. This device offers a useful framing for a whole range of issues surrounding individual‐organisation interaction in the Information Society that rely on elements of personal identity management.

Research limitations/implications

In the paper the issue of personal identity management is under‐represented in the Information Systems and Information Management literature. The conceptual approach adopted in the paper is used to identify areas of further research in terms of issues relevant to the technical infrastructure of e‐Government.

Practical implications

The paper identifies a number of personal identity management issues embedded in the technical infrastructure required for effective e‐Government.


This paper raises the importance of personal identity management to the success of the e‐Government agenda. It also links classic information management issues to the issue of personal identity management and identifies the challenges for e‐Government within this.



Beynon‐Davies, P. (2007), "Personal identity management and electronic government: The case of the national identity card in the UK", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 244-270.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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