Past EED rants


Live leaderboard

Poker leaderboard

Voice of EED

Tuesday 7 December 2004

Compulsory ID cards: welcome to our 1984 [Brit]

It appears that by 2012, every man, woman and child in the UK will be required to register for and carry a personal ID card.
The Independent newspaper published an article last week that identified in more detail than before the penalties for anyone found not to have registered for one, and they are (as you would expect from our current Home Secretary) unsurprisingly draconian (refusal to register will result in you being fined £2,500 for a start).
These biometric credit card sized devices will be a mandatory requirement for UK subjects, and are being sold to the general public as a way of combating everything from terror to benefit fraud to the somewhat ambiguous 'identity fraud'.
Currently, there is a voluntary trial in progress - quite how that will tell anyone in government anything useful is beyond me, other than the number of volunteers on the trial.
We're no stranger to having identity cards in one form or another of course, after all at sixteen everyone is issued their National Insurance number card (the equivalent to the social security number in the States) and then you have your DVLA issued driving license card, credit cards (the easiest 'id' card to track) and so on.
Where the new personal ID card differs however, and where is becomes distinctly Orwellian in nature, is the amount of information it stores and the number of organisations who will require its presentation before approving or offering services and products. The new ID cards will store fingerprint data (amongst other sensitive personal information) and give each person a number that would be tied in to a centralised database.
Personally, I don't see how these cards will do anything other than offer yet another opportunity for government to lay yet more red tape and associated penalties on a populace already sinking under the same. National databases have a long history of going badly wrong and costing an absolute fortune to implement; the government has estimated a £3bn cost for making ID cards a reality. If anyone needs convincing that central government led hi-tech initiatives are nothing short of a disaster waiting to happen, look at the laughable air traffic control service move to their new headquarters a while back.
The Great British Public (as they are so fondly referred to by observers hankering after a simpler time) are quite used to putting up with all sorts of nonsense from Whitehall, but this time I think they might find themselves facing another Poll Tax.
ID cards do nothing to assist in the protection or promotion of a democratic ideal - but do everything possible to erode it.

1 comment:

  1. This is a typical response of the facially challenged. Those ugly people fear photographic ID, especially one which tells the state they have the pe0n gene.
    Me, no fears at all.