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Security Issues Regarding Name Badges

By Expert Author: James Harry

Recently name badges have been making the headlines in news across Australia. This is because name badgename badges have become a hot-button issue for customs agents. Right now there is a debate going on with customs and it will impact everyone in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and beyond. The outcome of the debate could be a turning point for other businesses and government-related agencies, too.

Last year, the 5,000 people who work for Australian Customs, as well as the Border Protection Agency were told that the new dress code was going to include name badges. They were also told that the name badges would include the person’s full name. This prompted many agents to speak out against the idea. It’s not the idea of name badges that they are against, but they are against giving people their full name. This is because they deal with a diverse crowd and they feel that it is a security issue.

The last thing that border or customs agents want or need is to be targeted for retaliation by those in organised crime. And that is exactly what those who will be wearing the name badges fear. When it comes down to it they are likely being a little overly protective, but if they don’t want to put their full name on the name badges that is understandable. There are other options that will still bring the benefits of wearing a name badge without giving the public the person’s full identity.

Having government employees wear name badges just makes sense. It’s going to help improve professionalism, create a friendlier atmosphere, and improve accountability. But if there is fear over having too much information on the name badges then all that needs to be done is to go with something less personal. Instead of having the employee’s full name on the name badges they could have the first name only, initials, or even the person’s nickname. All of these will help people identify who they are speaking to, but will not provide personal information that could become a security risk for the employee.

The discussions regarding what to do with the name badges is still taking place. While one side wants name badges worn, the other has privacy concerns. Both parties have legitimate points. The logical solution here is to meet in the middle. Leave the last names off the name badges, going with just the first names, or use another variation that helps with identification, while still avoiding the fears that the employees have.

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