The Enormity of ID

And when I say enomrity, I mean it (see sense 2b).

The wonderful thing about Bird Flu is that allows governments to pursue other things with barely a word of complaint or comment. Note how earlier this week, in the midst of the Avian flu panics, HMG managed to sqeak the Third Reading of the ID Cards Act through the, “mother of all parliaments”.

To those Labour MPs who trooped dutifully through the “Aye” lobby, I have but one thing to say: congratualtions for selling out essential liberties that have taken nearly nine hundred years and countless lives to win.

From the day this Act becmes law, the relationship between me as a citizen and the state changes for ever. The government will no longer be an instrument of the people; how can it be when it controls who the people are? My entire identity will be at the whim of the state, who can do with it as they wish. And with no reciprocal responsibility for the government, what is to stop the creep of interference?
The Bill is fairly scary reading, particularly Sections 11,12,15,16 and 17.

And what if I were to lose my card? How do I get another? How do I prove who I am? The rate of failure of biometric data, admitted by Tony McNulty (a home Office minister), is a major concern. And if you can prove who you are, you end up being no one.

Having one card to do everything is a sure recipe for disaster. The fact that I need three separaate pieces of ID to do some things is a positive advantage: it make it harder for someone to steal my identity. With one single point of failure, the best forgers and ID thieves will command a higher price for their services. I wager now that within a year of a system being put in place, easy and feasible ID fraud will be fairly common.

And, given the previous record of IT projects in the public sector, I’d just love to see how HMG will manage a system that will need a huge range of entry points and security points to work. And just guess who’s going to pay for it?

Not me.

Principio Obstate!


2 thoughts on “The Enormity of ID

  1. >Four things concern me about id cards. Firstly the technology isn’t up to the job. Widely reported is the client-side stuff we keep hearing about people with brown eyes or bald people or whatever not being recognised by whatever system is being considered today. Thats an implementation issue – important, but it depends on what biometric or other credentials will be required. This can change throughout the implementation phase – I’m only a *bit* concerned about that.The second is the not-at-all publicised fact that there is absolutely *no way* that a database and management/delivery system of the scale required could ever be built.Thirdly, blindy blunkett, when he first announced this stuff, called on technology that hadn’t been invented yet. It’ll be ok, he said, because by the time we implement this, the technology will randomly exist. Its all the more worrying that he was only talking about the client end (which doesn’t and probably won’t exist in a reliable way). He didnt even mention the systems end, which is at least as impossible.Finally, theres the invasion of privacy aspect. I feel very keenly the loss of innocent until proven guilty and i see the disingenuous way that the government seems to be undermining this. I’m not at all a political person and i have no illusions about what democracy is supposed to be about, but i agree that a line has been crossed here – and its a line we may well regret crossing.


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