AS a Hongkong citizen living in Hongkong, I do not doubt that the identity card is important. It has some very wide ranging and essential uses in everyday life. From applying for a passport or a visa, to showing the police that one is not an illegal immigrant when being questioned on the street, we can recognise its significance. There are however many situations where the request for the disclosure of the ID card number to private organisations cannot be justified - for example, when participating in lucky draws (held by shops or individual promoters), subscribing to magazines, taking part in contests held by private organisations (such as photographic competitions), and writing to the South China Morning Post, to list but a few. Why should these people require us to disclose our ID Card numbers? What information can they get from knowing these numbers, which they cannot get by asking us directly? One particular case which I would like to point out is writing to the editorial page of your newspaper. If I am unwilling to disclose my identity to anybody for whatever reason, am I then not qualified to voice an opinion in your newspaper? What happened to freedom of speech? I think there should be some guidelines as to how the ID card should be used. ALFRED WU North Point The requirement to supply an identity card number with Letters to the Editor has been dropped - Editor.