Wednesday, 23 January 2008

ID Cards are to be delayed: Ten reasons to scrap them.

Apparently a document has been leaked to the Conservative Party which suggests that plans to issue ID Cards to UK citizens have been put back to 2012. Some suggest that this could be leading to the scrapping of the stupid scheme. Here are ten reasons why I think the scheme should be scrapped:
Following the incredible incompetence shown by the government in failing to protect our personal data, I have compiled a list of ten reasons to scrap the plans for I.D Cards:

1. The government cannot be trusted to protect our personal information. I think the seven million families who are closely watching their bank accounts would agree with that statement.

2. The proposed I.D Card will be EU compatible, meaning that all EU states will have access to the information held on our cards. Why worry about your personal data falling into the hands of criminals, when our own government are going to give it away to foreign states?

3. They threaten individual liberties. The Bill for I.D Cards allows 50 different pieces of your personal information to be put on your card. Why is so much information needed if the card is purely meant to prove your identity?

4. They will cost too much to implement. Current estimates stand at £5.6 billion. It was only announced in May that the cost had gone up from £4.9 billion to £5.3 billion, and now a mere six months later the cost stands at £5.6 billion. If in a years time the government announced that the cost had gone up again, would you be surprised? No, I didn't think so.

5. The direct cost to individuals (of a combined passport and ID card package) is quoted as £93. So even after £5.6 billion of our tax money has been spent on this scheme, you will still have to buy your own I.D Card. Great.

6. They will be open to fraud. We have all heard stories of people (in what should be positions of trust) selling identities to criminals. Will this scheme be any different?

7. The Treasury are not convinced about I.D Cards. Gordon Brown has called yet another review of the proposed ID. Card system. This follows other unpublished reviews carried out by the treasury. It is believed that those reviews were not published because they were highly critical of the system. The Guardian newspaper is trying to get the information released, but the government are fighting tooth and nail to keep the bad reports secret.

8. The Government introduced paper ID cards during WW2, it was planned for the information to be used for 3 purposes. To Identity you to the police, to use for food rationing and to receive medical care. When it was abolished in 1952 it was found government was using that information for 157 different purposes. (Ref Ian Parker of the PJC Journal)

9. Not all biometrics will work for all people. Plenty are missing digits, or eyes, or have physical conditions that render one or more biometrics unstable or hard to read. All systems have error. Deployment on a vast scale, with variably trained operators and variably maintained and calibrated equipment, will produce vast numbers of mismatches, leading to potentially gross inconvenience to millions. (Ref NO 2 ID)

10. I repeat: The government cannot be trusted to protect our personal information.

"It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed." Lenin.

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