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davorg (18)

davorg
  dave@dave.org.uk
http://dave.org.uk/
Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Sunday January 12, 2003
09:38 AM

ID Cards

[ #9913 ]

Those excellent people from Stand are at it again.

This time they are asking people to register their feelings about the proposed introduction of ID cards in the UK. The government are currently undergoing a period of public consultation on this matter and they claim that the responses they've been getting have all been very positive.

Please visit the Stand web site and help them to demonstrate that we're not all positive about the idea.

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  • how people in the UK can welcome the retinal scan for payment of school lunches yet bristle about a lowly ID card. I'll be getting a national ID when I enter Finland and it doesn't bother me since the US has been tracking people for so long in all but the reality of an ID card that it seems late and extraneous at this point. I'm sure the UK isn't much different in this respect. Why all the fuss over something that is really just a foregone conclusion?

    • Why all the fuss over something that is really just a foregone conclusion?

      The UK government is already tracking people, typically using their national insurance number (social security number, which nearly everyone has, but isn't compulsary). The fuss is more about how they are trying to slip this through without any real debate, and how they are trying to spin things (as usual) to hide what they don't want you to spot. They say "it's not compulsory", where they clarify that as "it's not going to be compu

      • The US is in much the same position though, in all honesty, I don't see how requiring people to carry ID is really all that objectionable considering that it's merely a formality given the amount of information that is already collected daily by government and private agencies. There are laws in some US states and municipalities which require a citizen to carry no less than $10 in cash on their person lest they be arrested for vagrancy as well as some form of ID be it a drivers license or a state ID card. T

    • I don't have a problem with carrying an ID card if I actually thought it would do any good. My problem is that it appears that such a card will not deliver the stated benefits. Fraud will not be reduced, crime may well increase as the cards become valuable things to forge/acquire. So over a billion pounds will be spent for little real benefit. It just doesn't seem like a good deal to me.
      • I presume you carry a drivers license or a passport....how is this ID any different or more objectionable? Any ID is subject to fraudulent reproduction so the fear of identity theft seems dated and moot. The expense seems a bit high but there are worse things a government could spend money on.

        • I presume you carry a drivers license or a passport....

          I only carry my passport when I'm out of the UK. And in the UK you don't need to carry your driving license with you at all times. Even if you had one - which I don't.

          • Do you carry some form of ID though? How would medics identify your body or next of kin if you were in some sort of public transport accident or somesuch? At least in the US, if they can't identify you or find someone who can, you sit in the ER as a 'john doe' awaiting identification unless your injuries are critical. I often have my passport with me as it's one of the most definitive forms of ID you can carry and the picture is way better than my drivers license :)

            The ID card is no big whoop but what abo

            • At least in the US, if they can't identify you or find someone who can, you sit in the ER as a 'john doe' awaiting identification unless your injuries are critical.

              The NHS is far more fair than that. Everyone gets to sit in the ER, identified or not :-)

              (There's probably a signficant observation in the above. I occasionally go out with no real identification (just keys and a hankerchief). But it has never even crossed my mind that I'd fail to get medical treatment if I could not be identified. I guess it

        • I presume you carry a drivers license or a passport....how is this ID any different or more objectionable?

          It's different in terms of scope (i.e. a superset of both UK passport holders and driving licence holders) but that isn't really my point.

          The government is trying to sell this idea on the basis that it will cut down on fraud and identity crime whereas the reality is most likely that it will increase the scale of fraud achievable because the document will be the key to many things but this potential fo

          • This I can understand :) It's much like the US and the 'Homeland Security Agency' or whatever they're calling this week which will consolidate a large number of organisations, etc. that will ultimately fail to meet its mission and merely waste a lot of money in the process while schools are currently curtailing the school year and services due to drastic budget problems.

  • I have to second hfb's comment. Not for the sake of starting a debate but because I'm genuinely curious. France has had ID cards forever (well, for at least quite a while before I was born) and I haven't had a single occasion to consider that a problem. I've actually found those useful: you show up at an administration and ask for something, they punch in your ID number (or scan the card) and immediately have all the info they need. It's not like it's private information, you'd have had to fill it out yo

    --

    -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

    • Do you have reasons to be wary of what your government may do

      This is the same governement, in fact this is the same home secretary, who recently tried to sneak through powers to let the post office snoop on e-mail without seeking court approval. There is no may here - they do do. Is that alone a good enough reason, or do I need to give you more? :-(

      • Oh I do understand that governments try that sort of thing, it's not the exclusive of yours... However, my question is more "how do you think having an ID card system will make that worse?"

        --

        -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

        • However, my question is more "how do you think having an ID card system will make that worse?"

          24 hours on and I still haven't got a good answer to that question. So here's a "sorry to keep you waiting" post. You can pretend that you're being played annoying musak if it helps :-)

          • The propsed system is hugely wrong for several reasons:

            1) It's apparently "not compulsory". Unless you want to drive, use a bank account, buy or rent a house, claim welfare, use the NHS, pay tax, vote, or travel. For starters. So unless you're homeless, penniless and in perfect health, it's effectively compulsory. When one of the basic principles of the scheme is based on a lie, I tend to get suspicious.

            2) Note the number of institutions who will have access to it. the DVLA (driving), the NHS, the Home Of
            • The US has the Social Security Number, SSN, which is required and used for everything from bank accounts, health care, employment, credit cards, buying a car, getting a drivers license, buying a home, getting a cell phone, etc. the list is seemingly endless. Many of these agencies share information reciprocally based on your name, DOB and SSN so as long as you have these numbers it's a cakewalk to 'steal' someone's identity. A government issued ID card isn't likely to increase this type of fraud and may eve

              • Yes, the US has the SSN, used for identification. But this is no argument for the validity of a national ID card, because we should be working to NOT use the SSN for identification, not to compound the problem the SSN contributes to. Our centralized credit data system is a horrible crime of invasion of privacy against the people of this country.

                It is not "too little too late." It is not too late. There are still things that could be done; the opposite of trying to improve them is trying to centralize M
            • 4) Centralised data on every individual. Kinda tempting for a well-funded criminal gang for who identity theft brings real benefits, don't you think?

              From the Life-Imitates-Journal-Musing Department: There was a recent theft of medical records for about 500,000 US military personnel and their families from an Arizona company that provides healtcare services (Google News Search [google.com]).

        • Does it really matter? It sure as hell isn't going to make it any better, and it's going to cost a bloody fortune.