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  • 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 []

    • 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 []

        • 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 :-)

          • by hitherto (2431) on 2003.01.14 19:14 (#16012) Homepage
            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 Office, the Inland Revenue, the DSS, the Education department, Customs, all Banks, all Mortgage lenders, and quite possibly Estate Agents. Probably the Post Office too. That is a *hell* of a lot of people with access to all your personal data (including potentially medical records, criminal record, banking history and details, address, phone numbers, biometric data, and so on and so on).

            3) Having so many people with access to so much data might be manageable, if there were stiff penalties for misuse. But there are none whatsoever. Not a single proposed law. On the other hand, not notifying the Government when you move house will become a criminal offence. So, we have hundreds of thousands of public and private sector employees with access to all your personal data, and no penalties for misuse. Given that the Police have already been caught misusing and even selling personal data when it's against the law, are you telling me *no-one* is going to abuse the database? Excuse me if I remain an unbeliever.

            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? And even with every electronic signature, watermark and other trick in the book, these things will still be forgeable. I find that *so* reassuring. Oh, wait...

            I'm not interested in what other countries do regarding centralised ID. This particular proposal is wrong beyond belief, and if it's enacted, will severely impact the freedom and everyday life of every citizen of the UK. We have a chance to stop it now, and with any luck we will.

            As I write, Stand have handled 3506 dissenting commentaries against the proposals. The cynic in me just hopes that the Government don't have time to dredge up 2000-odd mysterious "commentaries" in favour of the idea from thin air before Jan 31st.
            • 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 []).