back to article UK ID card service mounts birth, marriage, death landgrab

The UK Identity & Passport Service (IPS) has staged an identity landgrab on birth, marriage and death records. From April 2008 the General Register Office, which is responsible for recording these matters and is currently a directorate of the Office of National Statistics, is to become part of IPS, meaning that IPS will be …


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  1. Michael

    thank god for devolution

    I have to say I wasn't a fan of the SNP. However, at least they have the balls to say no to the government and actually have the power to follow through.

    The UK parliament is a joke at the moment with an unhealthy majority for the government. We need a system which more or less guarantees a minority government or a power sharing government. This way it might be possible to get some fair voting to take place.

    I almost feel sorry for the English and Welsh now...

  2. Rich Silver badge

    Well, of course

    This is simply the next logical step in the REAL reason for wanting to introduce ID cards.

    It has nothing to do with illegal immigration. Nothing to do with terrorism (but everyone knew that anyway).

    It is, and always has been to do with tax and government revenue, and I'm amazed that this has never been pointed out before. This is the most valuable application of the ID card. The government want to keep tabs on everyone to help with the collection of tax, and the enforcement of the ever-increasingly complex and unreasonable tax laws that this country has. By linking-in more and more data and by making use of the ID card compulsory (either explicitly in law or effectively by making it too inconvenient not to use it), the tax man (or rather his bloody big computer) will be able to keep track of who you are, how old you are, who you work for, how much you earn, who you bank with (think about it), when you are in and out of the country, etc etc. It'll make his life much easier!

  3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Data pollution

    All birth certificates have a red warning on them saying "This certificate does not prove identity." If the IPS were to simply import the existing births database, they'd be importing data of unknown quality. Much of it is probably OK, but if they are to position themselves as a gold standard for identity then sucking mud isn't a good start.

    Besides which, as those who really care about identity (such as banks) already know, it doesn't matter who the person in front of you is, it only matters that it is the same person as last time.

  4. Nano nano

    All in the name

    Surely it should be "Identification" - my "identity" is my own: I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!

    Oops, got carried away there ...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    That could have been alot less word'y couldn't it !!!!!!!

    Your luck is with my patience.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Why are we letting this happen

    Why are the British people sleepwalking into this situation? As the "Register" points out we will finish up in the 1984 Orwellian state of big brother. We are now more regulated than at any time in our recorded history, even my parents during WW2 never faced this much state interference with their privacy. Wake up Britain - before it's too late.


  7. Cameron Colley

    Who serves who?

    I'd like my money back please, and to cancel my payments to the UK Government "fuck the people" fund.

    I didn't pay them my subscription fee for them to start compiling a database of everyone's income, TV habits and penis size (well, I pay it because they're extorting it from me, but that's another story). How the hell is this going to help anything?

    Ignoring the fact that nowadays you're probably more likely to be locked up for typing a slash in the wrong place in a URL, or shot by the stazi because you're running for a train -- how will this combat "the terrorist threat", or street crime for instance? We already know that a bloke called Ousma Bin Liner wants us all dead, and the brainwashed scum who crashed into the world trade centre had passports -- hell, I'm sure even some of the people who mug old ladies have some form of ID, how come we still have terrorism and crime?


    I feel better with that off my chest now, anyone know a country not run by power-mad, self-serving, egotistical, morons that allows immigration?

  8. Kevin Johnston

    Re: Why are we letting this happen

    The great British Public is not "letting this happen", they are not being given a chance to do anything about it. Laws about this sort of thing are never opened to public approval, and are never important enough for 'the other side' to repeal when they get into power assuming the great unwashed don't vote for more of the same again.

  9. John Mangan
    Thumb Down


    It's the only sensible response. But then, of course, any suggestions of such a thing makes you a terrorist. This may be my last post . . .

  10. Natalie Gritpants

    Dying isn't a way out

    Expect to see them take over the cemetaries too, then they'll be digging you up to get the latest bio-id data from your corpse.

  11. jon

    Rich has hit the nail on the head

    and contrary to what he said, the tax/control/track aspect has been raised numerous times by the anti-id fraternity and generally forms the crux of their argument against ID cards and the NIR.

    The problem is the populous at large are too blinkered to see the real reasons and happily accuse those who do see the true reason for the NIR/ID system as card carrying members of the tin foil hat brigade, which is unfortunate, and ultimately lazy thinking.

    Public apathy will be key to the government introducing this system.

    I will leave this country before succumbing to state enforced registration of my biometrics.

  12. dpg

    RE: tax and government revenue

    "It is, and always has been to do with tax and government revenue,"

    If only it were that benign! If all the intention of the ID database was to have better and fairer taxation (after all, its not us working slobs who are dodging the tax man) I would be all for it. But I fear that is very far from the case.

  13. Dafydd Lawrence

    @Well, of course

    I can't see it being used to keep track for tax purposes. Your NI number is supposed to do that and anyone who, is honest, and has to fill out a self assessment form each year would love it if there was a large computer that could track it all automatically.

    I mean, they know how much you earn from any job you apply for, they should know how much interest you've paid through your bank accounts and have access to pension data. Why can't they work out how much tax you've paid and should've paid and automatically send you a refund?

    If this card allowed that it would be one positive for it.

  14. Dafydd Lawrence

    Personal Certificate

    Seeing as the ID card seems to be inevitible why not make it a lot more useful and store a type of public/private certificate on the card. Then you could have a small reader attached to a PC and with the help of a pin or password access all you bank accounts, vote in referendums, etc safe in the knowledge that viruses/keyboard loggers will not be successful.

    Surely in the 21st century online identity is the most important, not offline?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    It's not new data just consolidation of existing data.

    At the moment I am on the IPS list of people with a pasport, the DVLA driving licence database, local police register of gun owners, NHS database (twice with two diferent numbers because they issued me a new one when I lived in london, HMR&C list of people paying tax, National insurance contributors, TV licencing (even though I no longer have a TV but because I used to have one).

    So in reality if we moved all central govenrment information about me into one system what it would conceiveably meant to me is less different numbers to remember, and only one place to go to to check and correct it under the DPA.

    And maybe lower taxes if we made redundent all the civil servants and IT staff currently supprotin all those different processes and systems (have you seen the size of the DVLA building in Swansea!).

    What we should really be worried about is what processing is being done on this data both currently and in the future.

    Any government body suitably inclined to become "big Brother" probably already has the right under RIPA or other acts of parliament to seize and analyse this data with a simple cross reference table (one table, 6 columns 55 million rows, should to the trick for all UK citizens)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Re: Re:Why are we letting this happen

    @Kevin Johnston

    Actually the great British Public IS letting this happen.

    Far too many of them are of the "if you've nothing to hide" mentality and, frighteningly, actually support the ID of these ID cards.

  17. Ash


    "The Proletariat will never revolt", and there's nothing we can do about it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    just sharing a fairly reasonable idea i stumbled upon once

  19. M


    Quoted. "however, Hillier is "Home Office Minister responsible for Identity." Just identity, but all of it."

    Every time I read this article, it seem to register to me as "Hitler is..." ...ah well!

  20. The Other Steve
    Thumb Down

    Re: Why are we letting this happen

    Because the majority of voters are genuinely stupid/ignorant/misinformed enough to believe that Nothing To Hide == Nothing To Fear, and because they are constantly told that such draconian measures are taken to protect their "freedoms" and will combat three out out of the four things that they think they need to be scared of most, viz immigration, crime and terrorism. (Number four being kiddy fiddlers, naturally).

    Because the Conservative opposition are a bunch of old school fascists and secretly covet such measures, which they would have loved to be able to get away with when they were last in power, but couldn't, despite having actual active terrorists who actually did blow shit up and murdered rather a lot of people, oh and a shit load of citizens rioting in the streets, hurling petrol bombs and beating up on the fuzz.

    Because the majority of Labour MPs are so pussy whipped that do whatever the fucktards at Downing Street tell them to, and/or are dumb enough to fall into the first category.

    Because anyone who raises any objections based on civil liberties is shouted down by screaming hordes of tabloid readers demanding (thanks a fucking bunch John Reid, you baldy penis headed knob jockey) their "civil right to not be murdered by terrorists".

    Because the cabinet is stuffed full of sycophants desperate to hold on to their jobs.

    Because the police are in favour (obviously) of a police state.

    Because enabling legislation never gets a decent airing in parliament (not that it would make any difference, since the six back bench MPs bold enough to risk the wrath of the whips just aren't enough to make a difference).

    Because protesting where any MPs might actually hear it is now illegal (yes, our elected representatives voted to ban protests within a kilometre of parliament because the protests disturbed them when they were busy in their offices and they found it hard to get on with their jobs. This is not a joke.)

    And basically, because we're already used to being the most surveilled nation on earth now that the Stasi are out of business. Britain doesn't just take it up the Gary Glitter, we actually bring our own Vaseline.

    No one even blinked when Blair rolled tanks out on the streets.

    Welcome To Britain.

  21. Captain Planet
    Jobs Horns

    The British people don't have the intelligence or spine to stop it, sadly

    People just dont seem to care, the Governemt will tell them it is for terrorism, they accept it, next stage is when we already have epassports etc we may a well hand over some more information on us, and it would make sense to link our medical records to the big database, and if that is on it would also make sense to 'streamline' the state's databases and add everything to it thus reducing costs and helping departments communicate with each other more efficiently so terrorists can be better tracked, and they will say "if you are not a crimial what have you go to hide anyway"

    I give it ten years until EVREYTING in our lives in known by the governemnt, by then we might even have a more totalitarian government that the current one, and in twenty years time who knows what crackpot government could be ruling the country with almost complete access to our lives. If you think that couldn't happen you are just plain wrong, it happens all the time around the world, there is nothing about being British that makes us somehow amune to letting the next Hitler in, and the best way to do it is to sleepwalk into it, just like we are doing now.

  22. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    @Dafydd Lawrence

    "Seeing as the ID card seems to be inevitible..."

    No they are not - if we all vote for Tories.

  23. john mann

    @The British people don't have the intelligence or spine to stop it, sadly

    Well within the lifetimes of a lot of ppl on this forum, oil production will start to fail.

    Hence the need to be tooled up with Trident and have all sorts of controls and monitoring on the British public.

    Then we'll see the _real_ purpose of all these anti-terrorist laws. The establishment will need to preserve their lifestyles at all costs.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    May I draw your attention to...

    V for Vendetta. I dont think the Authors were far wrong and its not a distant future either.

  25. Cameron Colley
    Gates Horns

    So what _is_ the answer?

    I see some comments suggesting that "we, the people" can do something about this, yet I've never heard anyone mention what.

    We don't have to wait for a totalitarian police-state to arrive -- it's already here, as evidenced by such things as people being searched for "looking at police" and this being in accordance with the law -- amongst other things.

    So, I ask again, what are we expected to do about it?

    *is still waiting for suggestions of an actual democracy to emigrate to*

  26. Jeff Deacon

    Escape to where?

    Jon said <i>"I will leave this country before succumbing to state enforced registration of my biometrics."</i>

    From what I can see, though, there won't be too many places to go where the population will not be required to do so.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am not a number

    I am a free guinea pig

  28. Justabloke

    Everytime I read..

    an article like this, it simply proves my decision to quit this shabby, second rate soviet wannabe of a country, was the correct.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Would have liked the chance to vote

    ... mind you it's 100% Tory where I live anyway.

  30. Chewie

    @Vladimir Plouzhnikov where is it i sign up for my id card?

  31. Chewie

    vote for the tories?

    with dna in hand i head down to the polling station to leave a mark on my ballot paper. lol

  32. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    @ Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    > if we all vote for Tories.

    Then we'll just get another bunch of Control Freaks who think it's a good idea to lock someone up for three years for looking at "Dangerous Pictures".

  33. Lloyd

    What everyone seems to be forgetting is

    This is a government IT project and as such it will be abandoned after it hits the 800% over budget mark or they'll carry on throwing money at it and it'll never be finished within our lifetime.

  34. James Pickett


    "biographical footprint data"

    Fingerprints not enough now, then..?

  35. Joe Stalin

    End of Goverment

    Great news! Once we all have cast-iron IDs we won't need MPs. As everyone will have a verified ID we can all sit at home with our remote controls or mobile phones and vote on each and every issue we want to. That's true democracy

  36. Andy Enderby
    Thumb Down


    >>At the moment I am on the IPS list of people with a pasport, the DVLA driving licence database, local police register of gun owners, NHS database (twice with two diferent numbers because they issued me a new one when I lived in london, HMR&C list of people paying tax, National insurance contributors, TV licencing (even though I no longer have a TV but because I used to have one).<<

    Yes, but if any one of these systems is subverted there is a limit on the immediate usefulness of the information that can be gained in the majority of cases.

    Given the goverments and its employees record of general slackness, if this new model is subverted then some jolly type can become effectively legally you, in every way imaginable (apart from being you that is).

    Further, I find the whole pretence an egregious abomination. The whole project will be outsourced opening further opportunities for the biggest database in Britain to be abused and sold on. Anyone willing to bet that the likes of Crapita will end up with the contract ? That they will directly, or dodgy employees will sell the data to anyone willing to pay ?

    Get on to and give your MP both barrels. Brush aside the crap about "nothing to hide", that the majority of these <sarcasm/> fine examples of democratic accountability </sarcasm> will trot out and give 'em a roasting - before your goverment starts selling your data to the penis pill purveyors/

  37. Andy Enderby
    Thumb Down

    @ Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    >>"Seeing as the ID card seems to be inevitible..."

    No they are not - if we all vote for Tories.


    You have to f*cking joking.....

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Don't forget..

    When they bring the pay per mile boxes and install them into your car, they'll know when you left for work when you finished work. Where you go at the weekends. Add that to total control over your finaces, health records and ability to travel. Scary stuff...

    How long before you have to apply for a travel permit to travel around the country????

    And once the goverment has band all fun before and after work and your monitored on the amount of fun you have ie going down the pub after work the only way to meet people will be through a goverment run social network there evil plan will be complete. YOU WILL MARRY HER/HIM.

    Labour the working mans party....the only diffrnce between all the UK politicians and there parties is the colour of there tie....

  39. The Other Steve

    RE What everyone seems to be forgetting is

    Sadly Lloyd, the fact that it will no doubt be a tremendous clusterfuck in the ways you describe will not stop it from actually being implemented, with all the attendant dysfunction we would reasonably expect.

    And once the project has a bit of momentum behind it, it won't matter how messed up or over budget it becomes, because the argument will be made that it would still cost *more* to revert to separate departments and systems, and/or that to do so would represent a colossall waste of the taxpayers money already invested, etc.

    Sound familiar ?

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. John Latham
    Thumb Up

    @The Other Steve

    That, Sir, is a first class rant, and no mistake.

    Will it fit on a t-shirt?


  42. The Cossak

    Looking for true democracy

    "I feel better with that off my chest now, anyone know a country not run by power-mad, self-serving, egotistical, morons that allows immigration?"

    Switzerland. The meaning of the word democracy is ill-defined in common use because our masters like us to think that elections == democracy. Anyone with half a brain is able to figure out that popular sovereignty is the only guarantee of true democracy, regardless whether we elect a parliament, or have a soviet of deputies, or just randomly choose punters off the street by lot. A mechanism for achieving popular sovereignty has been in place in Switzerland for over 100 years, it is the Right of Initiative & Referendum. It means nothing more than that the people are ultimately in charge in a meaningful way (not through elections) and can reject or introduce specific elements of government policy and legislation. This is sometimes referred to as Direct Democracy which confuses the hell out of those with no imagination (no it doesn't mean you have to vote on everything).

    Sadly the subject of popular sovereignty is taboo in mainstream news media and this is why the majority of the British public (also in other 'representative democracies') continues to think that democracy is a popularity contest. Somehow they do not notice that in fact it's more often than not about choosing the least unpopular 'leaders', all of whom in any case believe that the people need to be protected from their own stupidity. If you wish to understand the role of the media in our 'democracy' you could do a lot worse than to start with Chomsky & Herman's analysis (no, not a conspiracy theory but a falsifiable theory in a scientific sense).


  43. Chris

    Devolved ?

    Michael - you have heard of the National Entitlement Card, no ? Today free bus travel, tomorrow - who knows...

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Times change

    I never expected that people in this country would be expected to show their passport to get a job.

    There's a paranoia about illegal immigrants. I wonder if I should change my name to Josef Švejk.

  45. Brutus
    Dead Vulture

    If you can't beat 'em...

    I think I'm going to apply for a job with whichever vast sucky solutions provider (EDS or crapita or whoever) gets the contract and help code the bloody database!

    I'll be accepting donations of £5000 or more per individual for permanent losing within the database (permanent loosing on the DB will not be allowed - security, you know). As a bonus, I'll incorrectly cross-reference the mp/celeb/chief constable of your choice with the kiddy fiddlers' list, the no-fly list, anything I can find for Mossad and the Readers Digest.

    As a side-line, I think I might make the entire database available to russian fraudsters via the Bangalore-based enquiry center.

  46. Luther Blissett

    Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party

    The solution to this disaster is to obtain and publish the data contained on as many ID cards as possible as and when they are introduced, starting with oneself. As long as the police are not instructed to drag grannies from their beds at 4.00am to be enrolled, then a compromised ID per se cannot serve as a basis for refusing a person's normal rights and entitlements.

    The consequence is that the UK Govt will be looking for at least 2 Luther Blissetts, the real one, me of course, and my namesake, in order to collect taxes from. (They already know that the self-eomployed understate their receipts by 50%, and an increasing number of ad hoc taxes will be introduced, as "fines"). Not for their own good, of course, as they didn't own the money they spent to start with, and in any case if their self-determined salaries are inadequate there are well-established venal or immoral means to supplement it (e.g. joining the Carlyle Group). No, the UK Govt collects for the banking cabal who printed it, and who decide if they will allow the UK Govt to "borrow" it, just as they decide how much to mortgage you for, and at what rate of "interest". Just as they decided they didn't need a change of government at this particular moment in time, so as to implement the new EU constitution which is not a constitution.

    Remember Red Ken trying to raise money on the open market to improve the Tube? Remember PFI (aka PPI under the Tories)?

    "Interesting" don't you think?

  47. The Other Steve
    Dead Vulture

    @John Latham

    "That, Sir, is a first class rant, and no mistake."


    "Will it fit on a t-shirt?"

    It might, if the letters were made quite small, or you are American.

    But don't forget that wearing offensive T-Shirts is now an offence in parts of the UK (well, in Peterborough, anyway)

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Anonymous Cowards?

    What with ID theft 'an all, 'tis mere prudence, but don't call us mere prudes!

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Anonymous Coward

    The problem is not even the system..

    If you look at other nations, they have the same log from cradle to grave. The difference there is that there is (a) audit and control on access, (b) proper enforcement of the rules and (c) nobody above the law.

    The challenge for the UK is to stop failing on all those 3 points. Given the cosy relationship with the US I suspect that will never happen, and no sheep will bleat/step out of line - it will happen, supported by the man who has turned a surplus into a deficit and destroyed most pensions, he NEEDS the tax money the IDcard scheme may find to plug the hole. Call it a sort of Nick Leeson-ish attempt to stave off the inevitable admission..

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Those with nothing to hide

    Maybe they would like a camera put in their bathroom and the contents broadcasted live on the internet. That way anyone who is remotely interested can see. The previous sentence is their defence, though. They assume that *no-one* is actually interested; sites such as You Tube prove otherwise.

  52. Snafu

    I forget who it was who said this:

    'Because enabling legislation never gets a decent airing in parliament (not that it would make any difference, since the six back bench MPs bold enough to risk the wrath of the whips just aren't enough to make a difference)'

    ..but did you take a look at 'The Ministry of Truth' this evening on BBC2? ISTM to be an excellent expose of how 'this sort of thing' works..

  53. Adrian Esdaile
    Dead Vulture

    The Australia Card - we did it first.

    The Australia Card (our home grown version of the ID card) was propsed in 1988, and was rapidly shouted down by the usual suspects. Unfortunately, the goody-two-shoes peanut gallery didn't grasp the underlying reason - T-A-X.

    So we didn't get a little bit of plastic, but we DID get a TFN (Tax File Number), sideways, up the clacka.

    To do ANYTHING you have to hand over your TFN - bank account? TFN. Job? TFN. Medical insurance? TFN. Injury of any kind needing doctor / hospital? TFN. No TFN: no bank, job, hospital. It all links to the Great Big Tax Database held in Gareth's Gazebo (DFAT - Canberra. It's bigger than Parliament, and armoured to all buggery). Exceptions granted for media magnates, and all round good blokes (read - rich white men).

    Needless to say, Australia now has the most complex taxation system in the world, complete with special loopholes (the more you earn the less you pay, special rebates for landed gentry, tax free bonus for 'Packer' surname!).

    Looks like the UK is trying to catch up, and they're copying Little Johnie!

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Yes, the Tories are a bunch of incompetent no-hopers. Yes, they will completely fuck up the country if they get into power.

    But they will scrap ID cards, so they get my vote. The threat these cards pose to our freedoms and rights is so extreme that all other considerations are secondary.

  55. Roger Paul

    A question of choice

    I think the most annoying part of all this is that we're not being given a choice. I'm on the DVLA database, MOD Personnell database and a pile of others. I chose to be entered on each and every one, partly on the understanding that they were indeed seperate databases unable to be accessed by the same people.

    Rather than repeating what everyone else has said I'll lower the tone. They can fuck off. The lot of them. Bastards.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sort sighted paranoia by Am I Blind ?

    Do you know what, it seems there is as much paranoia being shown here as what is used in America to keep Bush in power.

    It seems having an ID card is something to fight against and hold off from as somehow we are going to lose some freedom.

    So here's an alternative, I really hope they join up all the seperate databases I'm registered on into one enourmous database thats got my Driving licence, Insurance and MOT, my Passport, Healthcare entitlement+records, criminal records, social security payment records and finally details of who I am, sod it, give them my fingerprints as well.

    Maybe thats imaginary and there are really several databases all using my unique ID, a great big fat number in the range of 1 to 60'000'000.

    I personally like the ID of it being compulsory, that way if I'm uncounscious after a car accident they know my blood type and medical records. If the Police stop me I don't get a 14 day producer, they can see immediatley if I'm legal. It means we stop "Holiday Healthcare" where people who have never paid an NI contribution in their life come to the UK and get free treatment.

    Forgive me on the last one but while I'm chucking £20 a month @ Oxfam I'm also against paying for the world to get free healthcare out of my tax payments. I pay too bloody much as it is.

    So I'll duck as the flames come my way but I have to say I don't give a damm if ID cards are compulsory. I don't see our European neighbors being repressed the 'State' by having to carry ID around with Italy, Czech, Switzerland, Germany etc.

    Am I blind ?

  57. Anonymous Coward

    EMP at regular intervals or jump ship ?

    Or both ?

    Residency applications in progress as EMP project is woefully behind schedule.

  58. Slimer Dude

    Re: The Cossack

    I'm all for the Cossack who believes that the state is subject to the will of its people (Popular Sovereignty) as oppose to how it is now; the people at the mercy of the state.

    So the question is, how do we bring about such a Direct Democracy in Britain???

  59. Ian Rogers

    What can we do...

    ...except sign up to perhaps. Although they also seem to be running out of ideas of what to *actually do*.

    My MP is already vocal against ID cards - apart from that what else is there?

    On an individual basis perhaps read "'I've Got Nothing to Hide' and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy" by Daniel Solove so you're fully armed for the pub conversation :-)

    And the obvious idea of a "National Cross-Reference" isn't new either

    Ps. Can the El Reg webmaster add a Stasi Boot icon for comments :-)

  60. Ted Treen
    Dead Vulture

    @Cameron Colley

    "anyone know a country not run by power-mad, self-serving, egotistical, morons that allows immigration?"

    My Dear Cameron,

    It appears that being a power-mad, self-serving, egotistical, moron is a veritable prerequisite for holding political office in virtually ANY country.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some misconceptions:

    These fellows live in a bit of a rosy haze I think:

    "We are now an educated thinking society fully capable of sharing in deciding these 'weighty issues'..."

    they say, when in fact we are an educated unthinking society manipulated by pigopolists to "think" what they want us to, if at all, about these 'weighty issues'. The proportion of people in this country who even know what a critical faculty is, let alone have the ability to exercise one is, frankly, pitiful.

    A fellow Anonymous Coward said:

    "I personally like the ID of it being compulsory, that way if I'm uncounscious after a car accident they know my blood type and medical records. If the Police stop me I don't get a 14 day producer, they can see immediatley if I'm legal."

    All lovely, and mostly, you're right, that's what will happen. I, personally, do not want to run the risk of the idiot computer spitting out the wrong blood type and informing the police that I am a wanted mass murderer because of either system or human failings. I don't even want to run the very real risk of that happening to other people. There's such a thing as relying too much on automation.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    annonimity = cowardice ?

    So voting is only for the terminally terrified eh ?

    Please can I have a tin-foil hat icon, and while your at it 2 pints of Old P and some pork scratchings.

  63. Steve Browne

    With the cost of passports too

    My passport is up for renewal shortly, and if gordon thinks I am handing over £110+ to his barmy army he has another thing coming. I shant renew the British one, but shall renew the Irish one, save a few quid and avoid being an early contributor to the NIR.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't really see a problem with such a system.

    In central europe, after world war two the hungarian government made a system, called the 'Office of National Population Registry'. This database assigns a number, the so called 'Personal Identification Code' to everyone upon birth. This code is guaranteed to be globally unique and can be used to match various databases together. The registry contains the birth and death certificates, the identity card info, passport info, health insurance info, residential and voters list info. This way, the government knows all important data about everyone. It works, because they rarely loose someone from the system and everyone stopped on the street can be identified if (s)he is hungarian or not. The same registry handles drivers licenses and other official documents. First it was paper based, then they switched to mainframes in the 70ies and now it runs on standard servers. (mixed unix/windows environment)

    The system works. There are no real data leaks, because they officially sell information, but only those that are public, like name, sex, birthdate and address. The data protection law is actually part of the current constitution, so this is legal.

    The system works so well, that they had to officially turn off the automated voters list checking to cheat during the last elections. (but at least the current prime minister and leader of the currently ruling national socialist party publicly admitted it later along with various other crimes, for more info on the people's reactions see 2006 oktober 23. in the news archives)

  65. The Other Steve
    Black Helicopters

    In a way, yes

    The various posters who have said unified ID is good have some valid points, but sadly, I don't hear the scheme being sold using these.

    While continues to tell me that ID cards will prevent crime and protect me from terrorists, their motives must remain suspect.

    This is a bit like the whole Iraq Invasion problem. Knocking off Saddam might well have been an acceptable reason to go to war, but hostilities were initiated on the basis of some big porkies about non existent WMD. Curiously enough, this really pissed people off, and lost the gov the trust of the populace (what little remained, anyway)

    So given the WMD lies, the entirely suspect and pretty much discredited reasons given for having ID cards, and adding in all the other totalitarian state bolt ons we keep seeing lately such as the removal of a right to trial, the removal of Habeas Corpus, the ability of the state to place you under house arrest even if a court finds you innocent of any charges, the removal of the right to legal representation, the ability of the police to detain you for long periods of time without even charging you, and so on, there remains a huge question of trust, or the reasonable lack thereof.

    Additionally, the "wouldn't it be nice if..." crowd are missing the perhaps more central point that there is precisely zero possibility of being able to manage a project of this size. without fucking it up really, really badly.

    And as for this :

    "The system works. There are no real data leaks, because they officially sell information, but only those that are public, like name, sex, birthdate and address. The data protection law is actually part of the current constitution, so this is legal."

    I don't regard most of that information as being 'public', or being suitable for sale by the government to any interested third party.

    (Although I am aware that it's to late to prevent it, see Experian et al.)

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you have nothing to hide.....

    I think the biggest concern about this ID database is that it will be hacked in 1 day. The result will be all the personal info about the pollies who voted for it reliesed to every man and his dog.

    They don't need to worry though. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

  67. John A Blackley

    @Anonymous Coward

    "The system works. There are no real data leaks, because they officially sell information, but only those that are public, like name, sex, birthdate and address. The data protection law is actually part of the current constitution, so this is legal."

    Ummm, in the enterprise that employs me, name, sex, birthdate and address are specifically called-out as protected information for customers - not to be released or removed from a protected environment (i.e., not to be used for testing).

  68. M Gale


    "It means we stop "Holiday Healthcare" where people who have never paid an NI contribution in their life come to the UK and get free treatment."

    Haha. Hahahaha. No.

    What will happen is the NHS will continue to be free at the point of delivery to ALL people, like it always has been. Even if some poncy bloody pointyhead up in the clouds decides it's not, I don't see many doctors breaking the hippocratic oath and just sitting there watching someone bleed to death in A&E because they aren't on the NIR.

    As for them damned evil dark-skinned people coming here and stealing our jobs, I imagine that will happen as well. The difference is, you or I will have to pay through the nose for this anal reaming that poses as a convenience, whereas Johnny Foreigner will get his stretching for free after six months, with the state providing a nice amount of lube to help. IE: immigrants will get ID cards given to them.

    So, the ID card will help precisely bugger all apart from making some Home Office prats feel better about themselves.

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