Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What they think about ID cards in the UK

Should there be a national identity card system in the UK?

Quotes from the BBC website:

A stealth tax on the law abiding! ID cards will present no major threat to international terrorists or organised crime, as fakes and forgeries will appear within weeks of the first cards being issued. Sorry, the theory is good, but it won't work in the real world. And the only losers will be the law abiding public. Yet again!

Kevin, Tetbury, Glos


This will be labours poll tax. I will not be forced into paying for one of these cards.

Neil, Wrexham, Wales


It would be useful to have an ID card. I will use it to scrape the frost off my windscreen in the winter. When I think of any other useful purpose for an ID card, I will be back in contact!

Rod Watson, Winchester, Hants


I grew up under apartheid in South Africa. In the mid-sixties, the apartheid regime instituted ID cards for whites, myself included. The British will realise, as we did, that within months, Big Brother has arrived and will stay! Anything the government can do, in this technological age, is easily replicated by many, many others with the will and the drive. Resist ID cards with everything you have - or kiss Freedom goodbye, as we did in South Africa.

Jack Bybee, Tucson, AZ. USA


Anyone want to bet on how long it will take between the first ID card being issued and a reporter from The Sun managing to get a low paid data entry clerk to assist them in producing a fake?

Paul, Loughborough


How will the authorities be able to tell the difference between a terrorist or criminal and a law-abiding citizen who has lost his card, if their data corrupted? To be any use at all, ID cards mean detaining innocent people, suspecting law abiding citizens, and criminalising the forgetful or mentally ill. Can you imagine having to explain a mistake to a policeman who has a computer telling him 'the truth'? You'd sound just like a terrorist, trying to get away, and the ID card won't help the Police to tell the difference: only evidence of a crime will do that. They need more policemen for instead of ID cards.

Julius Beltrame, London, UK


As a university lecturer in the field of human rights I have deep concerns over the principle of introducing ID cards. However, I suspect that the alleged public support for the measure will quickly erode when each of us will be legally obliged to put our hands in our pockets to pay for a piece of plastic which, even supporters accept, cannot ensure the level of protection from national and international crime we are entitled to expect from our government.

Andrew, UK


One of the great freedoms in this country is the freedom to leave the house in shorts and a t-shirt with no wallet, no ID card. The introduction of these ID cards is a huge waste of time, a huge waste of money and undoubtedly, like many of the other computerised 'schemes' instituted by the government there will be years and years of ridiculous system failures necessitating more funding and ruining people's lives in the meantime.

Russell Harris, London


This scheme will go ahead regardless of cost. It's worth a fortune to those involved, i.e. companies, civil servants, ministers, advisors and its low risk, i.e. there will be no comeback against the private companies that end up running the scheme when data turns out to be inaccurate (which experience tells us will be 10-20%).

RB, York, UK


I work in the computing industry and have interests in security and socio-political issues. ID cards are a disaster waiting to happen; they impinge on the liberties of the individual; they would not solve the problems they purport to; they would introduce whole new types of fraud; they would be costly to introduce and maintain. The government says that this is a manifesto commitment and they must proceed.

It didn't stop them introducing top-up tuition fess when the 2001 manifesto said they legislate to prevent it, did it? I will not submit information to the database and I will not pay for a card I do not want and have actively protested against having. Which part of no is proving to be a problem, Mr Blair?

Darren Stephens, Whitby, UK


As an IT worker, the prospect of ID cards scares me. To say that the system will be foolproof is an utter misconception. Users will be able to access the system; I'm sure that someone, somewhere along the line, will offer information for sale. And, what happens when there's an error in the data? Look at how annoying it can be when there's an error in your credit rating and you are refused a loan; imagine what it would be like if there is incorrect information held and you are stopped by the police or at passport control?

Who will they believe your insistence that the data is wrong, or the database? Do you get seven days to provide the correct information? A terrorist could raze London to the ground in that time. If they are not compulsory, and don't have to be carried, what is the point? Use the initial money (and the inevitable overspend) for a better cause. I certainly don't want to invest my own hard earned cash in this new-age, New Labour totalitarian state.

Andrew, Newport, Gwent


As a former rescue IT project manager - somebody who spent his time putting right large scale IT projects that had previously gone wrong, I am quite certain that the ID cards scheme will be the largest public sector IT disaster in history. The pomposity of the politicians in dismissing the considered opinions of the LSE team is disgraceful.

By the time we have wasted more than £18bn, the present collection of politicos will have long since moved on and we the taxpayers will be left with the bill. And, by the way, I have no intention of taking one up - something that Stalin or Hitler would have loved is not for me - thanks.

John Shelton, London, UK


Will the IT project be completed within budget? No. Will ID cards prevent terrorism? No. Will the private data be abused? Yes. Is there anything that can be done to stop the scheme? No. Is there any point in discussing it? No, it is in the Labour Manifesto that you voted for.

Peter Barkas, Cambridge, England


The ID cards themselves seem to be a bit of a red herring. The real purpose of this bill is to get all the biometric data and put it on a central database. Perhaps the bill should be called the "Compulsory Fingerprinting Bill" - then we'd see how many people supported it. Especially given the apparent unreliability of the biometric data, it certainly scares me as to what uses this data might be put.

Steve, Newbury, UK


In a word no. They are to expensive, will not stop identity fraud and are likely to be used to be used to monitor people. Plus it equates government with technology and IT something that they constantly prove they have no control over. I expect the cards cost to spiral out of control and be scrapped after spending a few billion of the public's money.

Jon, Glasgow


Why don't we all just have a unique barcode tattooed on us at birth, complete with metal strip inserted. It'd cost less and is just as equally stupid and flawed as the proposed system.

Edd Almond, London, England


Wouldn't the cost pay for more police and wouldn't this protect us better?

Steven White, Manchester


What a waste of our money. Give us more hospitals, better transport, cleaner air...... but don't throw away our hard earned money on ID cards.

Karen Milliken, Glasgow, Scotland


Forget the ID cards for now and just get the passports working.

Peter, UK


I work in the industry. Nothing on a computer system is 100% safe. Also, anything can be forged (chip + pin has not stopped fraud on cards). Biometric passports are coming in, which means we will all have to travel to an office to get one and how many offices will be set up? The bottom line is that it could take up to 10 years for everyone who wants a passport to get a new biometric one. How do you force people who don't get a passport to get an ID card? There are huge problems with this scheme even before you start on civil liberties, terrorism, etc. Forget the ID cards for now and just get the passports working.

Peter, UK


Welcome to the world of 'Big Brother'. Who needs cards though, just electronically tag us like dogs.

Ian, Camberley


From what I've heard the contract was tendered and won some months ago - well before the election. So if you think the government is going to give up on this - forget it.

Bryan, Scotland, UK


Having watched the escalation of the cost of the Scottish parliament building and the problems with other computerised government systems I have as much confidence in this as I have in winning the national lottery two weeks running. Also as a single earning parent of three children with a wife to support at present costs I am going to be made to pay £500 for these cards simply for the privilege of living in run down, congested rip off Britain. Also if the US can't top terrorists what are ID cards going to achieve they are nothing but another tax.

Martyn Howie, Aberdeenshire


If you're still arguing about ID cards then you've completely missed the point. The real danger here is the national identity register. This database, without reasonable safeguards, will track all your ID card usage (NHS, benefits, etc) and will grow as the ID card usage creeps to track your whole life.

Paul Bristow, Basingstoke, England


The money can be spent in a much more effective way. Even if we don't pay in the form of a direct charge, we're all paying through our taxes. The technology is not accurate enough, so the system will be overwhelmed with inaccuracies which need to be followed up. White elephant!

Anon, UK


I have a number of objections to the ID card scheme. Firstly, it's another erosion of our civil liberties; secondly, if our personal information were to be sold on to private companies, we would be open to more junk mail (at least). My biggest concern, however, would be the security of our personal data. Government computer systems are notorious for being late in their implementation, over-budget and poorly constructed. I doubt anyone could convince me that my data was safe!

Sean Wheeler, Northampton, UK


ID cards are authoritarian and wrong. Furthermore, the Madrid bombings show that they do not even help against terrorism. When we take into consideration the digital rights management technology coming into PCs, RF chips in our shopping instead of barcodes, the tracking of cars for road pricing and ID card (not to mention CCTV), every aspect of our lives will be under constant scrutiny. Do those who say that the "innocent have nothing to hide" really understand the Orwellian and horrifying implications of this kind of future?

Gregg, Manchester, UK


The government has yet to present a clear reason for the introduction of these unwanted infringements upon civil liberties. It argues variously and seemingly as the mood suits that ID cards will assist in fighting terrorism (as it did so well in Spain), that they will assist in controlling immigration (although no immigrant will be required to have one until they have been in the country for 3 months) and that they will assist with identity theft (although the French government is unable to give any figures on the extent to which its own id cards do this job). In short, the proposal is ill thought-out, expensive, repressive and unwanted.

Stephen Richards, London


Just one question: What documentation will be required to prove our identity when we apply for one of these super-hi-tech ID cards? Or are the authorities just going to take our word for it? So in effect, these new ID cards will be just as easy to forge as the birth certificate or driving licence used to prove who we are when applying for them in the first place?

Anne, Haslemere, Surrey


This is a good time to invest in the IT company that will get the contract for these cards as the project is sure to go massively over budget and be scrapped with great loss to the taxpayer - but great profits to the IT folk involved. If you think I'm being too cynical, then please name ONE high profile governmental IT project which was successfully completed on schedule and within budget.

Max, UK


"Papers, please." The chilling sound of the UK becoming the kind of totalitarian state that our forebears fought against in the Second World War. By supporting the ID card scheme in its current implementation, you spit on the sacrifices made for us by a generation of heroes.

Matt Nailon, Bath, UK


I will not pay £300 for an ID card. I suppose one of Tony's cronies will get the contract and then be made a peer of the realm for their 'contribution to the country'!!!!

B. Clarkson, Halifax



nanohead said...

"Named dog collars will prevent dog attacks."


"I.D card's will prevent terrorism."

Same false logic, this has to be prevented.

Christopher Morris

Sting-ray said...

The end result of terrorism is the same no matter what you call it. In spite of all the blather, the best protection against so-called terrorism is not to commit terrorist acts against others. Simple, eh?? Not for these university-educated suits & nooses in Parliament. Amazing that even the dumbest nincompoop understands that if you go around bullying and smacking people upside the head, sooner or later someone's gonna either do the same or simple remove your brains with a 9mm. The proximate cause of terror in London is the terror London has committed against others around the world. Call it what you will terrorism, counter-terrorism, revenge, retaliation, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh.

One other point that seems to fly over the heads of the stupoids who run the government. Suicide is the very last act a person commits out of desperation and/or despondency. So does anyone in their least of minds think that having a valid ID card in his pocket will stop someone about to pull the string between life and death? How come such basic logic escapes the nation's rulers? Answer: Its not terrorism from others their trying to stop. Their true goal is to impose their own terrorism upon the citizenry.

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