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ID cards

Should the government introduce Identity Cards?  

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  1. 1. Should the government introduce Identity Cards?

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Defeated in the House of Lords so far. And perhaps the card will not become a reality under this Labour government. I believe that if the next government is Conservative they will decide that the card is a good thing and with parts of the Labour party also in favour will use the Parliament act to get a bill approved even if the Lords are still against the idea.


That is why we need discussions at all levels to determine the format of the card, the information on it and of course who can see the information held in the encrypted data on the chip.


Having seen at first hand the problems bars and shops have deciding peoples age from a photocard I suspect some sort of data checking hardware that would match the card with a fingerprint would be good. And as for the cost.....just look how the prices of adsl modems are falling.

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Very funny....once I managed to get it past my security programs. As far as I can make out from government releases at some stage the ID card will become law......perhaps we will even be able to use it instead of a passport. What we need to do now is to accept that there will be an ID card which will have a chip carrying biometric and other data.


Once we accept that there will be a card then we can argue about the data. Name and date of birth.....surely thats ok. Some bit of biometric data....fingerprint or the like.....so the card and photo can be checked at airport security. Going to have that on passports anyway so why not. Drivers licence details so we dont have to carry the drivers photo card. Ok makes sense.


Criminal records?.....police would love that but would the public. Medical data to show you are allergic to penecillin?. Yes I reckon that sounds good. But what about data showing you were HIV+.....is that a step too far. Showing your religion might be great so the right type of minister could do a blessing if you were about to die after an accident.....but would that data be available to the police?. Now think if you were an innocent Muslim who had a shoe fall off on the London Underground?


Lots more that needs to be discussed while Parliament argues about the principle but ignores the detail.

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One of the major issues of ID cards is the security. If they can make the card then somebody else can clone it and use it for illegal purposes.


A few months ago I read about a campaign in Computing magazine to reduce the amount of backend databases that the Government had storing peoples data. A lot of the data differed in each database. Think about yourself, which doctor are you registered with, what address is on your driving license, are you registered on the electoral roll? How many spelling mistakes are there within your 'official' documentation?


The government should really think about sorting out existing databases and cross-referencing the data held in each so that it matches securely before even considering starting another database that could be misused.


I believe that there are already several million National Insurance numbers in use than there are people in the UK....how does that work?


More info here http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/news/2071203/major-database-plan-cancelled


and it looks like the UK's first Biometric ID cards are to be rolled out as soon as 2008 according to this --> http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/news/2150323/biometric-id-cards-scheduled

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Quote from Stuart Hill's Letter to the Shetland news

A phone call to the helpline number on the card (the Shetland Islands Council helpline turns out to be in Northampton!), reveals that it contains the following information: name, address, phone and email, post code, local authority, gender, over 60, not disabled, proof of address and ferry voucher number. I called the SIC transport department, who confirmed that the information was indeed on the card (and that other information could be added at a later date).


What is the man fussing over. The same or similar data will be collected and held by lots of people.....I imagine that the phone number or e-mail data is not compulsory as otherwise how could people without phones or computers get their card.


As for a scanning device on the bus I guess the data once pooled from all journeys throughout Scotland will mean that each bus operator gets what is due to them for the number of journeys made. Perhaps the data might also show that restricting travel to off peak times is needed in some cities.


As far as ID cards are concerned it is possible that the travel pass may provide information that will help with considering how to roll out the ID card when it comes.....and I am not only certain that it will come but I am convinced that we need a proper debate from now onwards as to what information the card will carry and who can ask to see the card, who can demand to see the card and who can read what data on the card.


And I cant wait to get my bus pass.

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Here's a link to Stuart Hill's letter on the www.shetland-news.co.uk website




When I first read the article about Mr Hill's protest in the Shetland Times, I did think that he was making a mountain out of a molehill, but after reading his letter, I believe he raises some valid points.


For something as innocuous as a penioner's travel pass, quite a significant amount of information is stored on the smart chip, with supplementary data regarding travel routes and times being collected by the contractors.


Who exactly has access to the info on the card? Which/how many databases is the info stored on? Who has access to the databases? How secure are the access points?


I'm sure the info is planned to be used for constructive purposes, but handing over the info is mandatory to claim free transport and (I hate the term) I'd say this is the thin edge of the wedge?


I'm not paranoid, I just don't like the idea of my personnal information being held by unknown organisations (although I don't need my bus pass quite yet)

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