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U-Turn On UK ID Cards 143

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the from-bad-to-worse dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The UK appears to be watering down its national ID card system, with the revelation by the government that it will now only check the cards against a central biometric database in a minority of cases. Critics are saying it not only renders the whole scheme pointless, but will pose a security risk by making it far easier to use copied or cloned cards. 'But an Identity and Passport Service spokesman denied the system would be vulnerable to fraud: 'The majority of instances where people use their identity cards will be day-to-day situations where the cards offer a convenient method of proving identity such as a young person proving their age to buy alcohol,' he said.'"
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U-Turn On UK ID Cards

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  • What a waste (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tripdizzle (1386273) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:46PM (#25709567)
    Ha, it said this system cost 150 million pounds to the gov't, and now their purpose is for a

    convenient method of proving identity such as a young person proving their age to buy alcohol

    • Re:What a waste (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:17PM (#25710149) Journal
      No, the purpose is selective enforcement [wikipedia.org].
      • Re:What a waste (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AntiDragon (930097) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:07AM (#25717699)
        More than this.
        It's hard not to be a cynic when you live in a country that pulls this off so many times. What we have here is a not a U-turn but a well-used method of having your cake and eating it.
        • 1. Propose outlandishly extreme system, preferrably with nice fat government contracts for companies you/your spouse holds shares in.
        • 2. Stand firm while public outcry commences.
        • 3. Replace outlandishly extreme system with watered down system that still costs far too much money and still does what you actually wanted.
        • 4. Pretend to look sheepish as the public thinks they've won and stops fighting.

        Don't take this as the truth but unfortunately I'm beyond the point of accepting "incompetence" instead of "malice" when it comes to my (ha, "my"...) government.

      • by MindKata (957167) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:28AM (#25718115) Journal
        "No, the purpose is selective enforcement"

        ...and selective enforcement, is a slower way to boil a frog. The point being, once they have a basic system implimented in law, they can then introduce new technology, controls and additional laws over time. So at first, introduce selective enforcement, then over time, widen the scope to much greater levels of enforcement. This way, they slip the full idea past opponents as opponents, *at this time* only have to agree on small parts of the overall idea. The control freaks who want this system, are starting to tread more carefully, now they are getting more (unwanted) attention on their plans. They still intend to have the full system, but they are now bring it in bit by bit. Don't want to heat the water too fast, or the frog will jump out the water.

        But its wrong for the opponents of this system to say this is a U-Turn. "U-Turn" is political talk for implying a back down. This isn't a back down, the control freaks still want this system, no matter how many times they are told it will not work.
    • Re:What a waste (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nursie (632944) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:20PM (#25710187)

      The funny/tragic thing about that is that we already have a scheme for that :

      http://www.citizencard.com/ [citizencard.com]

      It's government approved but run by non-profit. This statement is just yet more bullshit and hot air.

      • by jez9999 (618189)

        I applied for one of them when I was about 18. The ONE time I needed to actually prove my age (I very rarely get asked for ID, I have some stubble now), the bouncer's answer: sorry, we don't accept them as proof of age. Driving licence or passport.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by mpe (36238)
          I applied for one of them when I was about 18. The ONE time I needed to actually prove my age (I very rarely get asked for ID, I have some stubble now), the bouncer's answer: sorry, we don't accept them as proof of age. Driving licence or passport.

          In other words in order to prove your age a document specifically intended to prove your age isn't acceptable. However one granting you permission to drive on public roads or one to allow you to travel to foreign lands is...
    • Re:What a waste (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:23PM (#25710245) Journal

      I'm going to quote an old post [slashdot.org] from the "DMCA Abuse Widespread" [slashdot.org] article:

      Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're lying . They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible.

      Without transparency or oversight, who the public really doesn't know what their government plans to do with those ID cards.

      • Re:What a waste (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RegularFry (137639) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:30PM (#25713999)

        Yes. The correct response to this is "if the law is never going to be used like that, and we agree that it would be wrong to do so, why is the law not framed to make it illegal?"

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jez9999 (618189)

          'course, it's more common now for the government to say that the law would only be used to its extreme 'in extreme circumstances', which makes it OK.

          The logical conclusion of this argument is that any law covering government or police should be abolished, and only in extreme circumstances will they act in an illiberal manner.

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      because if there's one thing England needs it's more louts drinking... "weeeheeeey!!"

    • Re:What a waste (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nursie (632944) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:25PM (#25710271)

      it's budgeted to cost around 5-7 billion, with the LSE and others saying that's grossly underestimated.

      Gordo could fund his proposed tax cuts if he scrapped some of the his horrendous police-statist measures. But no, he'll get us ever more into debt whilst scrambling for some way to boost his political reputation.

      C*nt.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Gordo could fund his proposed tax cuts if he scrapped some of the his horrendous police-statist measures. But no, he'll get us ever more into debt whilst scrambling for some way to boost his political reputation.

        The UK Government is sick of being called the USA's bitch. They're trying to prove that they can beat them. Gordon Brown & Jacqui Smith have made it their mission to prove the UK government can screw up worse than the US government. We can beat the states in Nation Debt per citizen if we try

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      I've got nothing against a biometric card which shows my name/date of birth when inserted into a machine.

      But does the machine need to be networked and have a massive database behind it?

      The problem is the feature creep, not the card.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Future creep or past is prologue [wikipedia.org]?

        (In my books, the best-written series ever.)

    • Re:What a waste (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gsslay (807818) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:04PM (#25713691)

      Just how many reasons for this card have we gone through now? I've lost count.

      It was to win the war against terrorism. No, wait, it was to prevent illegal immigrants flooding the country. Errrm, noo, it'll stop Social Security spongers. Your key to a seamlessly integrated health care system? No? A fun techno gadget that everyone will want? Oh, come on, still not going for it?! Ok, how about a way for 18 year olds to buy alcohol?

      I mean, how clear an indication do we need that this is a project that's not so much gone of the rails, but never had rails in the first place and never knew where the hell it was supposed to be going and what it was supposed to do once it got there? Either those driving it forward are fumbling cluelessly in the dark towards the inevitable large pay-off bonuses, or someone somewhere, has a very definite plan for this ridiculous waste of money that they really don't want to tell us about.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jandersen (462034)

      Ha, it said this system cost 150 million pounds to the gov't, and now their purpose is for a convenient method of proving identity such as a young person proving their age to buy alcohol

      I think everybody knows that the purpose of this scheme is simply to create a central database of all citizens and where they live, which they don't have now. This will not only help in fighting benefit fraud, but also make it almost impossible to hide from creditors. The question of "national security" doesn't enter into it at all, at least not until they want to sell it to the public; which is why that explanation has always sounded hollow.

  • by viking099 (70446) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:47PM (#25709577)

    Personally I'd be more worried about some junior level government worker losing my data along with that of everyone else in the country when he goes digging through his pocket for enough change to buy lunch at the pub down the street.

    • Man, I love it when a plan comes together :D

      I've got a No2ID car sticker in my rear window - I drive a g6 Celica so it's out of sight in my rear-view mirror and I always forget it's there, which makes for much hilarity when people start flashing their lights at me after I've overtaken. Once a carload of wasted student-types pulled alongside me as I cruised down the M40 in the low 90s, gurning and grinning and giving me thumbs-up signs... it took me quite a while to work out it was the sticker.

      • by OriginalArlen (726444) on Monday November 10, 2008 @05:41PM (#25711675)

        i totally suck, too, which is why I have to reply to my own post -- I failed to link to No2ID.org [no2id.org] and recommend interested UK types to tip them a tenner if they can afford it. Oh well, having failed to do so the first time, I may as well get ORG [openrightsgroup.org] in the frame too.

        Well, with this and Nov 4th and some hope for proper action on climate change and all... I'm starting to wonder about paying my subs to the Total Fucking Cynic Club this year. Perhaps if Obama doesn't get shot or co-opted I'll start to believe it...

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        I've got a No2ID car sticker in my rear window

        Just above your number plate?

    • by mikael (484)

      On a university campus of over 5000 students and staff, around 20 memory sticks are lost on campus alone each month. How many are being lost from these government offices each month.

  • by snspdaarf (1314399) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:47PM (#25709601)
    So, this system will not be susceptible to fraud because young people will use it to buy alcohol, an activity known to create a black market in fraudulent identification. Brilliant!
  • "check the cards against a central biometric database in a minority of cases." It says "minority of cases", I hear "Minority Report, welcome to 1984"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tripdizzle (1386273)

      "check the cards against a central biometric database in a minority of cases."

      More like "check the cards against a central biometric database if your a minority"

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        UK != racist America

        I know it's a difficult concept to grasp.

        • One word: chavs.

        • UK != racist America I know it's a difficult concept to grasp.

          Sadly, in some sectors, not that far off. And before anybody wonders, I live here.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Lord Jester (88423)

          I like how these blanket statements of damnation are frequently made by, appropriately tagged, Anonymous Cowards.

          While I will be among the first to admit that the US has its problems, blanket accusations such as this appear to say that everyone in the US (not America, that is a continent - two actually) is racist.

          Inflammatory statements like that are likely only going to serve to get your comments in their entirety written off as just unfounded accusations and overblown bravado.

  • Obvious tactics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:48PM (#25709619)

    They feel the resistance so now they roll the IDs out as an inferior version of the original proposal. As soon as they push them through, they will turn around and make them mandatory in every possible situation, blaming it on worsening terror and crime situation.

    • by jabithew (1340853)

      I fully intend to refuse. I may even get my hands on some copies of the home secretary's fingerprints that the guys at no2id [order-order.com] are cooking up and use them instead. I'm a free citizen and I'm not going to be coerced into this bullshit.

      Want freedom? Vote Liberal.

      • by Nursie (632944)

        Good.

        Did you sign up to the refuse petition when this was first announced?

        It was a pledge to refuse and to put 10 pounds into the pot to buy lawyer time for the first case that goes through the courts. They got several tens of thousands of signatories IIRC.

        • by jabithew (1340853)

          I never heard about it. Link?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Nursie (632944)

            http://www.no2id.net/pledge/ [no2id.net]

            Actually, it looks like I'm rather behind the times and they called in the pledge sometime last year (when the rhetoric was really gearing up) in order to have the fund ready:

            http://www.no2id.net/pledge/defenceFund.php [no2id.net]

            Guess I ought to send my tenner in...

            No2ID seem to be on the level, they've recently acquired Jacqui Smith's prints and are coming up with some sort of anti-ID publicity stunt. The legal defence fund is a damn good idea though.

    • *FACEPALM*

      The government is not out to get you! The reason why these measures were being pushed through, is because a lot of people have an overblown fear of terrorists. The reason why they're pulling them back, is because a lot of other people have an overblown fear of authority. It's not some dramatic coup on democracy.

  • ID, Democracy X509 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by omb (759389) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:54PM (#25709757)
    Not if they loose the database each week and screw up _both_ the biometric data signing and
    UID, which given the history of UK government seems most likely.

    While a Brit, thank God I live in Switzerland, where the populace is educated, public data secure and FOSS is ever more popular while the Bundesrat can't pass laws the people don't like.

    What the USA and UK need is Universal Democracy, and the Internet would allow large populations to get there.

    What the democracies also need to is to issue X509 certificates, free, to everyone at birth
    keeping the key card till children come of age.
    • by Reziac (43301) *

      Ah yes, Switzerland, that bastion of sanity -- where one must consider the "dignity" of plants.

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/065njdoe.asp [weeklystandard.com]

      http://www.practicalethicsnews.com/practicalethics/2008/04/the-dignity-of.html [practicalethicsnews.com]

      (and numerous other references, these were just the first two I came to)

      • by Cowmonaut (989226)

        PLANTS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

        Remember that the next time you bite into your salad you vicious vegan! TAKE SCISSORS TO YOUR LAWN INSTEAD OF A MOWER AND LISTEN TO THE SCREAMS FROM EACH BLADE OF GRASS!

        STOP pumping plants full of steroids [scotts.com] and other "enhancers"! DESIST from government approved foilage mutilation!

        AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, I WON'T LET MY TREES FRIENDS DOWN!

        • by Cowmonaut (989226)
          Fail. Half the links apparently didn't go in and I didn't check the anonymous box. :(
        • by Reziac (43301) *

          A funny and true story proving plant sentience:

          About the third time I mow the lawn each summer, ten minutes later there are dandelion heads raised high above the grass which I just got done cutting. After some bafflement, I figured it out -- after a few mowings teach them the folly of remaining upright, as soon as the mower noise starts, all the dandelions lay down flat, thus avoid being decapitated. As soon as the noise stops, they stand back up.

          I've never seen any other plant do this. Dandelions re clearl

    • by mpapet (761907)

      What the democracies also need to is to issue X509 certificates, free, to everyone at birth

      Absolutely.

      Furthermore, forbid the use of the cert in any government service. Permit citizens to use the certs as they please and industry to rely on them as they please. It's done to some extent with EMV already. Everyone in the global payments industry knows that's been very successful.

    • Something tells me they'll still get the expats in the end, probably when we renew our passports.

  • As a Brit... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lobiusmoop (305328) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:55PM (#25709779) Homepage

    I'm jealous of you folks in the US, at least you've got a new government in 2 months time. We're stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months or so. Given the current recession and the billions plowed into bailing out the UK banking system, I'm pissed off that such big budget projects such as this - with dubious benefits - are still on the agenda.

    • by kraut (2788)

      I'm jealous of you folks in the US, at least you've got a new government in 2 months time. We're stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months or so. Given the current recession and the billions plowed into bailing out the UK banking system, I'm pissed off that such big budget projects such as this -

      which are an egregious, malicious misuse of public funds -

      are still on the agenda.

      There, I fixed that for you.

    • ...stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months

      We can cut you a great deal on a low mileage used executive.

      If W can pretend to be from Texas, I'm sure he can fit in over there.
      Come on, you know you want another King George.
      We'll even through in Uncle Dick for free (shotgun not included).

    • by Ash Vince (602485)

      We're stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months or so.

      Not just that, the just elected the Democrats, traditionally the more liberty friendly of their two parties. We currently have the Labour party in power, the only people we can elect who stand any chance of winning are our Conservative party who traditionally are the more right wing of our two parties.

      • by hclewk (1248568)

        [they] just elected the Democrats, traditionally the more liberty friendly of their two parties

        That depends on your definition of liberty. Do you mean "Give us all your money so we can spend it for you, but do as you wish (to an extent)" freedom (Democrats) or "Spend your money like you want but we'll lynch ya if you don't share our values" freedom (Republicans).

        I, personally, think they are both a crock. I'm all for the "Spend your money how you want and do whatever you want as long as it's not hurting anybody else" kind of freedom (Libertarians).

        • by Nursie (632944)

          "Spend your money like you want but we'll lynch ya if you don't share our values"

          I think you missed the part where they spend way more than the democrats and ratchet up debt like nothing else on the planet...

          (not american, can't vote in us elections, just wanted to point out what I see as a bit of a fallacy, that old "republicans are fiscally conservative" thing)

          • by hclewk (1248568)

            I think you missed the part where they spend way more than the democrats and ratchet up debt like nothing else on the planet...

            I think you missed the part where I said "Republicans" not "George Bush".

            (not republican, just wanted to point out what I see as a bit of a fallacy, that old "George Bush is a Republican so all Republicans are like George Bush" thing)

            • by Winckle (870180)

              Unfortunately, both Reagan and GB senior did the same thing, though to a lesser extent.

        • ... or "Spend your money like you want but we'll lynch ya if you don't share our values" freedom (Republicans).

          You do know that lynching is traditionally a Democrat sport, don't you?

      • by malkavian (9512)

        Don't equate right wing with freedom unfriendly.
        Odd as it may sound to those that make that mistake, 10 years ago, pre-Labour, we had a lot more freedom here in the UK than we do now. A LOT more.

      • by Skuldo (849919)
        Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
      • by kraut (2788)

        We currently have the Labour party in power, the only people we can elect who stand any chance of winning are our Conservative party who traditionally are the more right wing of our two parties.

        Traditionally , perhaps, New Labour handed their principles in at the door when they came to power.

        Howard was a terribly oppressive Home Secretary, but all the Labour ones that followed have been progressively worse. Remember Barmy Blunkett?

    • Don't be jealous just yet. Most administrations start out as a bunch of lip service and gt progressively worse. It won't take too many missteps by the new administration to turn bad into worse... You may be happy in a year or so and see us as a test case instead of your own government.

      Yes folks, things can get much worse... and it's looking like there's a good chance they will regardless of who promises what. We are nowhere close to the worst economic situation the nation has seen in the last century but w
    • by iminplaya (723125)

      I'm jealous of you folks in the US, at least you've got a new government in 2 months time.

      Not really. It's more like England's "Changing of the Guard", without the big hats.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      I'm jealous of you folks in the US, at least you've got a new government in 2 months time. We're stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months or so.

      Yep. And, Labour wouldn't be in power under any kind of sane electoral system [game-point.net]. And UKIP would have seats in parliament.

  • Don't worry guys! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:03PM (#25709913) Journal
    Our Spiffy, Shiny, Radically New(tm) system that is horribly vulnerable to fraud isn't vulnerable to fraud because we will only be using it to do what the old and busted system was perfectly capable of doing! (Is there some aspect of this that isn't completely insane that I've missed out on?)
    • by Arimus (198136)

      The fact that the idiots will find a way to leave a copy of atleast 1m people's biometric and other details on train or on a usb stick left lying around in a public place....

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by iminplaya (723125)

      Is there some aspect of this that isn't completely insane that I've missed out on?

      3) Profit!

    • Our Spiffy, Shiny, Radically New(tm) system that is horribly vulnerable to fraud isn't vulnerable to fraud because we will only be using it to do what the old and busted system was perfectly capable of doing! (Is there some aspect of this that isn't completely insane that I've missed out on?)

      Yes.. Cushy jobs after the political career goes runny.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      It seems like a tacit admission that the entire purpose of the scheme is simply to introduce mandatory ID, rather than effective ID. We joke about these fuckers using 1984 as an instruction manual, but the laughs are becoming forced.
  • by jimicus (737525) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:26PM (#25710277)

    If they're seriously proposing this as being used primarily for things like proof of age when buying alcohol with no means to confirm the validity of the card, how exactly are they going to protect against things like this [bbc.co.uk]?

  • by caluml (551744)
    Frog, meet pot. Water's not too hot at the moment for you, is it?
    • I'm not convinced that boiling the frog even works. Can anyone point to any evidence that it does (or doesn't) work? If it does work, how long does it take? Hours? Days?

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:29PM (#25710333)

    There were so many different ways in which you were required to provide absolute proof of your identity these days that life could easily become extremely tiresome just from that factor alone, never mind the deeper existential problems of trying to function as a coherent consciousness in an epistemologically ambiguous physical universe. Just look at cash point machines, for instance. Queues of people standing around waiting to have their fingerprints read, their retinas scanned, bits of skin scraped from the nape of the neck and undergoing instant (or nearly instant -- a good six or seven seconds in tedious reality) genetic analysis, then having to answer trick questions about members of their family they didn't even remember they had, and about their recorded preferences for tablecloth colours. And that was just to get a bit of spare cash for the weekend. If you were trying to raise a loan for a jetcar, sign a missile treaty or pay an entire restaurant bill things could get really trying.

    Hence the Ident-i-Eeze. This encoded every single piece of information about you, your body and your life into one all-purpose machine-readable card that you could then carry around in your wallet, and therefore represented technology's greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense.

  • 'But an Identity and Passport Service spokesman denied the system would be vulnerable to fraud...' ...and the ship is unsinkable, the volcano is dormant, the electronic voting system is un-hackable, and that really popular operating system doesn't totally suck.
  • by Fweeky (41046) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:49PM (#25710659) Homepage

    But I thought "People 'can't wait for ID cards' [bbc.co.uk]":

    The cards will be available for all from 2012 but she said: "I regularly have people coming up to me and saying they don't want to wait that long."

    Someone should tell Jacqui that the people who stand to make lots of money from producing ID cards for the government wanting it to be done sooner don't count as a representative sample of the British public.

  • by Fastolfe (1470) on Monday November 10, 2008 @05:04PM (#25710957)

    It seems to me that much of the problems with any form of national ID card could be mitigated if you had different cards for different purposes. If I need to be able to assert that I'm old enough to buy something, all I need is a difficult-to-forge card that asserts that fact, and ties that fact to me (with my photograph perhaps). Such a card has no need for my name, my address, or any other facts about my identity. If you wanted to get fancy, you could digitize all of this information and have nothing appearing on the card at all.

    Similarly, a license to drive should be based on my ability to drive. My identity doesn't matter, at least beyond what's needed to prove that I'm the rightful holder of the license. I might need to present some identification to the government when I obtain the license, but that doesn't need to remain with it. So you could have a separate card (or set of digital credentials) for that.

    It's the concentration of all of this into one card that makes that one card so valuable to thieves and a police state. But for most of the uses of the various identity/license/payment/shopper cards, they need to know very little about me. Usually just an account number of some kind, a way to ensure authenticity (digital signature, watermark) and a way for people I present the card to to verify that I'm the rightful holder, if that even matters (like a photograph, or a hash of any kind of biometric data). Why must everything be tied to a government identity?

    • If I was to be forced to comply with an identity card/database scheme, your proposal is roughly how I'd want it to work; an arbitrary number of distinct identities which I, the citizen, can separate or combine as I see fit. Like you, I'd be happy with the management overhead that comes with having several distinct identities (it's no worse than at the moment, after all).

      On the other hand, there are people who really are looking forward to just being able to carry around one piece of plastic that serves as

      • by mpe (36238)
        On the other hand, there are people who really are looking forward to just being able to carry around one piece of plastic that serves as an all-purpose ID card. I think they're crazy, and I expect you do too, but I'm not sure it's my place to deny them the right to jeopardise their identity in that way.

        Just because some people are foolish is no reason to demand that everyone acts like a fool. (Or for everyone to live in houses made of straw build using bricks would would be "discrimination against" thos
        • by cowbutt (21077)
          Just because some people are foolish is no reason to demand that everyone acts like a fool.

          I made no such demand, or even suggested such.

          I was merely making the point that I've met Real People who don't worry as much about privacy as you or I, and are looking forward to trading what privacy they have right now for a little convenience, and that any proposed system should be able to included their (ill-considered) desires as well.

      • by Fastolfe (1470)

        On the other hand, there are people who really are looking forward to just being able to carry around one piece of plastic that serves as an all-purpose ID card.

        You could still do this, and stay within the spirit of compartmentalization, by digitizing all of the data on the card, and using a card+reader that allows you to (securely) decide which bits of information you want to share.

        • by cowbutt (21077)
          Theoretically possible, but I suspect that eventually, there would be a diverse range of card readers out there and no way for a card user to easily determine whether they are a) official and b) uncompromised. See also chip and PIN [bbc.co.uk].
          • by Fastolfe (1470)

            With a sufficiently capable card, you could make your select on the card itself. But we're straying too far into the realm of science fiction, unfortunately. Maybe in another 50 years.

    • It seems to me that much of the problems with any form of national ID card could be mitigated if you had different cards for different purposes. If I need to be able to assert that I'm old enough to buy something, all I need is a difficult-to-forge card that asserts that fact, and ties that fact to me (with my photograph perhaps). Such a card has no need for my name, my address, or any other facts about my identity. If you wanted to get fancy, you could digitize all of this information and have nothing appe
  • First say the system won't be used for this or that to quiet opposition and then introduce it. Once deployed the scope creep begins. For the amount of data leaks the UK government has had, it surprising that UK citizens allow any personal information to be captured digitally at all.
    • by kraut (2788)

      For the amount of data leaks the UK government has had, it surprising that UK citizens allow any personal information to be captured digitally at all.

      Information wants to be free!! :)

  • .... even in its watered down state, donate a little cash to the splendid NO2ID campaign: - I gave them £20 earlier this week and every little helps.

  • Did anyone really expect that the back end database would be checked for all use, no matter how trivial? No, of course not, so saying this is simply a statement of fact, and, if anything, an attempt to convince people that they are backing down, when it is nothing of the sort.

    The most worrying aspect of the id system is the creation of the biometric database, not the card itself. The card itself may be the most visible, but it's almost a red herring, so you will see more ploys like this to show the governm

  • May I offer a radical or extreme solution?

    The ONLY "ID card" that simply can't be faked is the person himself. In other words you don't issue ID cards at all. When the cop on the street wants to know who you are he takes some measurement of you, such as say a photo of your face and or asks you speak out loud into a microphone, to get a voice sample. Then this info gets compared to a database. Any other system can be faked.

    If you think about it, this is how "ID" used to work centuries ago. People would

    • by mpe (36238)
      The ONLY "ID card" that simply can't be faked is the person himself. In other words you don't issue ID cards at all. When the cop on the street wants to know who you are he takes some measurement of you, such as say a photo of your face and or asks you speak out loud into a microphone, to get a voice sample. Then this info gets compared to a database. Any other system can be faked.

      How many criminals would then be "getting away with it" because all the cops were too busy checking IDs.
  • This bit makes no sense at all.

    It has also been revealed the National Identity Register Number (Nirno) will now not appear on the card or its embedded chip.

    This sounds like having a credit card without putting the account number on the card ... I can't see how it would work. Unless the card contained enough other information, like national health number, driving license number, name and date of birth, which you could lookup in the central database .... and get the Niro number. And of course, only author

    • by giafly (926567)

      It has also been revealed the National Identity Register Number (Nirno) will now not appear on the card or its embedded chip.

      This sounds like having a credit card without putting the account number on the card ... I can't see how it would work.

      Simple, the cards will include a unique code that can be used to look up the Nirno. But most importantly it will not be the Nirno, so everyone can stop worrying.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

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