The informatics infrastructure supporting the Information Society requires the aggregation of data about individuals in electronic records. Such data structures demand that individuals be uniquely identified and this is critical to the necessary processes of authentication, identification and enrolment associated with the use of e-Business, e-Government and potentially e-Democracy systems. It is also necessary to the representation of human interactions as data transactions supporting various forms of governance structure: hierarchies, markets and networks. In this paper we use the agenda surrounding the proposed introduction of a national identity card in the UK as an empirical backbone for considering the issue of identity management. Currently, the UK government is attempting to relate the rights and entitlements of citizenship in the UK with a standard electronic identifier for British citizens and its instantiation in an ‘entitlements card’. This attempt to define legitimising identity seems to us a potentially fruitful empirical source for examining the conceptual and pragmatic issues associated with identity management in the information age. Such a card offers numerous potential benefits for individuals and organisations but its introduction raises major challenges to data protection, data privacy and public trust in the information governance of the UK.