A Genealogue News Flash [What's That?]In a move meant to protect the identities of future South Dakotans, and to curb the spread of terroristic activity in their state, officials announced Monday that they will stop issuing birth certificates.
The announcement was promptly condemned by South Dakota's genealogical societies, but was praised by privacy advocates.
"This is a bold step," gushed Melvin Ferrick of Americans for Absolute Anonymity. "Studies show that every person whose identity was stolen in the past 25 years had a birth certificate. It marks you for life."
Assistant State Registrar Barbara Werner agrees. "Identity theft is rampant in South Dakota. We had two cases just last year. This measure will cut off the supply of identities at the source—just like the War on Drugs has cut off the supply of illegal narcotics."
Critics point out that birth certificates serve legitimate purposes—whether for obtaining a passport or tracing one's ancestry. But for Werner, the dangers far outweigh these trivial benefits.
"If parents really do want to expose their children to identity theft and a life of unending terror, they should give birth in Nebraska."
[Photo by Giuseppe Crimeni]