back to article Thales wins first UK ID card contract

French defence provider Thales SA has won the first contract for the UK national ID card project. The Identity and Passport Service is paying Thales £18m over four years to design, build and test a National Identity Register to support the cards. The total cost of the project is disputed, but will run to several billion pounds …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So : £19,000,000,000

    No comment other than I will get mine from a bloke down the pub. It will be cheaper than my share of that.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Not going to happen.

    This is the contract that the Tories are going to can in a couple of years?

  3. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Would the last person to leave the UK please turn off the lights.

    Well, that's just about made my mind up as to how I vote in the next general election. It beggars belief that any department can have had this project approved without any public consultation or access to the full and detailed business case.

    But then we all know why that is.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What are the French doing, creating ID cards for the British?

    I can see us pouring French plonk away in the streets over this.

    You bail a country out twice in two world wars and this is the repayment, bunch of merde bags.

    And so, this is 19 billion pounds of tax payers money going out the country, plus all our identification information in the hands of a company that is not under UK law.

    This beggars belief, and borders on treason. I am actually quite shocked.

    Did the one hundred years war not teach us anything about the French, and what about the French Vichy which appears to be alive and well, if we are not going to learn from history we are destined to repeat it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    One can only assume that those in charge of the Identity and Passport Service are expecting good jobs at Thales then, otherwise what can explain their decison to give them our money for a scheme that isn't going to be accepted? Maybe, for once, justice will pevail and the bill, when it's all scrapped, will go to the individuals responsible for this waste.

  6. Nomen Publicus
    Dead Vulture

    Distorted priorities?

    So, with tax returns shrinking, a recession around the corner and the 2012 Olympics costs rocketing, this pathetic government is still prepared to waste £20 billion on ID cards?

  7. Claire Rand
    Dead Vulture

    primary legislation

    now the tories could announce they will cancel the contract, hence the current full steam ahead approach, get the contracts signed and it becomes expensive to cancel them, due to nasty clauses etc.

    of course the tories could state *now* they plan to introduce legislation to kill this, legislation that will state that current contracts are null and void, hence the pork stops with no liabilities on HM guv.

    should turn it into a 'cash up front' contract due to the risk of it being killed.

    of course these ID cards need a nice logo on from whatever consortium ends up running it, may I suggest a fluffy white elephant?

  8. Zmodem

    wont know where mine is

    after a month unless its actually with atm access to your criminal record/driving licence etc and ni number printed on it

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor Thales

    They've spent years developing a good name in the UK with their 'multi-domestic' strategy, only to commit the PR suicide of being involved with ID cards.

    This will not end well for them!

  10. John Macintyre
    Thumb Down


    who said we were facing economic gloom eh?

  11. Frederick Karno
    Paris Hilton

    Chicken Feed

    Are these the lot who rent Tony Blairs unused bristol flats ???

    Everything to do with the security of Britain should be done by British people if it needs to be done......i know we cant supply the hardware but the software and the manpower should be British.

    Not that i dont think it all a massive waste of time and money anyway and will fight it all the way.

    There are now so many people against our Government it will take them 10 years worth of inquiries to work out why people find themselves unable to vote for them.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    What happened to National Security?

    OK, so this project is supposedly vital to security.

    It's being outsourced.

    To a foreign country.

    I don't care how unlikely it is than anything other than blisful coexistence between France and UK will ever happen, national security issues should surely be assessed on a worst-case basis.

    What, by the way, are they spending all this money on? Even the supermarkets seem to be able to put pieces of plastic carrying identity information into our pockets, at very little cost.

    Couldn't somebody, somewhere in government, regardless of party and all that stuff, just stop for a reality check?

    I'd ask for the coat by the lightswitch, but I've already left.

  13. pctechxp


    Soaring food/fuel/energy prices along with record debt and the government wants to waste £10-15 billion more.

    We should have a whip round to purchase Gordo and family a one ticket to international spece station as at least up there he cant cause any more havoc down here.

  14. Ad Fundum

    If it's Thales, it won't work.

    I spent several years in the electronics industry working for a Thales contractor. I can say, from first-hand experience, that nothing that Thales ever does works properly, is delivered on time, is delivered within budget, or is even supplied with the correct paperwork.

    Their procedures are long-winded and ineffective, the staff operate strictly to a CYA policy and no-one within a million miles of a Thales logo will make a decision more complex than choosing something from a vending machine.

    The scheme, as the country, is doomed.

  15. Steve

    Re: If it's Thales, it won't work.

    "nothing that Thales ever does works properly, is delivered on time, is delivered within budget, or is even supplied with the correct paperwork."

    So they have a lot of experience of government IT projects then.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not just refund the tax?

    300 quid for every man women and child is a lot, why not just refund it? Let people decide where the money is best spent?

    I'm pretty sure a shiny card with all their private details and a big database, so incompetent assholes like Smith can take a peek wouldn't be top of the list.

    You know, in a democracy, if the public don't want it, then it's electoral suicide to do it.

  17. W
    Black Helicopters

    £316.67 per person!!!

    Based on £19bn (£93.33 per person at the £5.6bn figure), using a pop'n of 60m.

    As has been mentioned, Tesco will gladly print the cards and maintain the database.

    £316.67 would cover a return Train journey for everyone in the country to go to the ID HQ and personally check the record themselves!

    WTF are they planning to spend the dosh on? Digestive biscuits and nazi^H^H^H^H hookers?

  18. Chris G

    Why worry?

    19 billion is only 24 millenium domes! It's not as if the UK needs to build hospitals , schools or affordable housing is it ? Also the French are our nearest euro neighbours it is only right that we should be nice to them. After saving their arses twice in the twentieth century and kicking their arses in most of the preceding centuries it's a nice gesture to give them enough money to buy a small country.

  19. Beelzeebub

    1 Question

    Which is worse?

    ID cards or the poll tax?

    We rioted over the latter.

  20. Lord Nikon

    Strike a pose!

    What's going on here? French firm will buy British power. French Firm is going to implement ID cards. Britain ratifying the Lisbon Treaty... What's the nationality of the current Euro President?

    We can all use that fighting talk! But we all know ID cards are coming in. The mainstream media doesn't shine enough light on these types of subjects, so the public will be mobilized too late when they want to fight this move by the gov.

  21. Gnomalarta

    Vive La France?

    This announcement puts an end to all that rubbish about us being the 51st State - the Mercans would not let this go to the French. No, what with the French eventually building all our nuclear powers stations not to mention the bridge to the Channel Islands, I for one welcome our French overlords.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Go to the Thales site and do their survey - be critical - be very critical.

  23. Zmodem


    none of you would moan when you get pulled in the middle of nowhere and all you got is you memorized ni number

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Tell me....

    ....exactly why ID cards are necessary? I've never bought this anti-terrorism malarky. If anything it will make the terrorists job easier. The guys who carried out 911 weren't hiding being an identity which couldn't be easily traced, and now we intend to hand these guys the means of being swept thru customs checks "because they have ID cards".

    What exactly is in it for the government who are so dedicated to ID cards? Are they running out of data to lose maybe?

    Or maybe this is part of some master plan to fsck up the Tories in their early years of administration, in the same way that the dome became a problem for Labour.

    We should be told. But I'll settle for an election right now to get rid of the tossers who are currently clinging onto power.

    Paris because I'd like to check her ID.

  25. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Wake up people!

    Folks, the fact that this has gone to a French company is a VERY GOOD THING. For one, your personal data will be handled in Europe, by a company that is firmly bound by EU privacy laws. I believe there were several US companies in the tender process and if one of them had got it that would have been a disaster.

    Second, @W: "Tesco will gladly print the cards and maintain the database". Are you fucking insane? Just because they're British doesn't make them good - Tesco would have been data mining faster than you can say "Do you have a Tesco Clubcard?".

    This project should not be going ahead, but if it has to it should be done by a company with no ulterior motive in acquiring your data.

    And I am the only one that think £18m is pretty cheap? I realise it's just a database, but for a government contract of this scale it's not a lot of pork at all.

  26. Zmodem

    then theres £19b

    of implimentation for a card that will have no other use then just another card,

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £18 million

    £18 million to build a database that is going to hold 66 million records?

    I used to managed a database holding 100 million; I would offer to do it for 5 million and become a multimillionare over night.

    Jeesh, this government has no idea when they're being ripped off.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to kill it

    There's an easy way to kill the ID card project stone dead, all it needs is a few million of us to refuse to apply and carry the ID card.

    What's the government going to do? Arrest and prosecute millions of people?

    They then realise how unpopular it is and that it's not workable. They'll have no choice but to give it up.

  29. Nev

    @AC "French?? "

    Ta gueule.

    Try complaining about the real issue (introduction of ID cards) rather than creating smoke about who's actually wining the contracts.

  30. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down


    "What are the French doing, creating ID cards for the British?"

    ID cards are being foisted on you by your very own British imbecile government, not by the French.

    So fermez la bouche, douche

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Tesco maintaining the database?

    If it's anything like their self service tills you'll have to skim the things at least 4 times before you're bipped through. Still, I suppose you could always use the virtual keypad effort. Tesco ID has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. I'm sorry the ID doofer is broken, just go through.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    childs play

    create user...

    create tablespace..

    create table Names(....)

    create tables addresses...

    How hard is it to design and construct a relational database to store 60 million records? This is childs play. And they're getting 4 years and 18 million quid.

    F**K me!

  33. pctechxp

    they can wrench the money...

    out of my cold, dead hands!

    They might spend my tax on it but if they are expecting me to pay again for issue of the card I will refuse and am even happy to be carted off to chokey by the Rozzers if needs be.

    Get the message Gordo/Smith, this one will not pay, now if we all refuse then it will be crash and burn.

    We should do the same with the stupid TV licence.

  34. Zmodem

    more to do with

    integration of all the systems, add a criminal record would stop other peoples being added to yours, and the db would logicaly use your ni/ss number to access your info,

    most news headlines are about the biotype to use if any, then most would settle for a retiner scan over dna and fingerprints

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    They have ID cards in China

    The police check them all the time.

    300,000 new surveillance cameras in Beijing for the Olympics too. Sound familiar?

    Maybe that's why Gordon Brown is not looking too uneasy despite being unpopular with the electorate, the pollsters and his own M.P.s

    Does anyone else remember the end of "A Very British Coup"?

    The Peoples Republic of the United Kingdom would like to welcome you within its borders and remind you that all actions are observed and that illegal dissent activities are punishable by immediate ID card revocation and deportation.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steen Hive @Nev

    Typical of the French not to understand things.

    The ID card in France during WWII was used by the Vichy to deport many thousands of people for holocaust processing. To be involved in ID cards for other countries is something the French should never be allowed to do.

    Currently France is trying to bring in compulsory biometric ID cards, which I note are also being disputed.

    Quite simple, your government could just get a UK company to do it - wonder if you will be blocking the ports then.

  37. Danny

    ID Cards are not about security

    As we all know ID cards have nothing to do with security. The security experts all say its about control. And a big fat gravy train for Herr Brown and chums.

    'A National ID Card Wouldn't Make Us Safer'

    'Ex-MI5 Chief Calls ID Cards "Useless"'

    and many others...

  38. Roger Heathcote

    Oh stoppit you jingoistic bastards!

    I don't want ID cards. I think they're a pretty blunt instrument for obtaining their objectives (cutting dole fraud not terrorism) but that's no excuse for this racism... vive le france!

    PS: @childs play, ROFL, well put! I'll do it for 5 large :-)

    Roger Heathcote.

  39. Dennis Healey
    Paris Hilton

    Best news yet

    Don't you lot realise this the best news yet - to get the scheme sunk all we have do do is the get the Sun whipped up into its normal anti frog rage - you know the sort of thing "Frogs try to Fuck us with straight bananas" - and it will be dropped like a hot Croissant.

    Paris - for those who want it the French way

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The point is

    Texco don't charge us Three hundred quid for a club card.

    The point is, not that Tesco should do it, but that if they can government, it seems, can't.

    The further point is, why is such a program being given to a foreign company?

    Still, they own the gas supply, the water supply, the trains...

    Oh yes, and, ok, the whole idea is misguided twaddle that nobody wants. And yes, maybe that point ought to come first!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get your priorities rght

    Before any one can crimp the budget lets make sure we have a datbase to hold the inaccurate data we're going to sell about the serfs.

    The present government regards the population as untrustworthy scum. Going to bite them if and when they go for a re-election.

  42. Russ Moore

    Restating the Obvious

    OK I'll conceed the point that this unnecessary database is better in French hands than an USA.

    If we must have a card,and I'm not convinced we do, then why can't the data be on the card ?

    Can yoiu imagine how long it is going to take you to get passed the Border Agency ( or what ever their lates name is) on your way back from holdays as they insist on checking your ID card agiaist a remote (32Mbit dial up connnecion0 database.

    Bes t you allow an extra 2 days to the annual summer vacation. OOO sudden thought maybe this is a Green thing to cut down on people flying.

    £18MILLION for a database !!!!!!!!! exactly what whistles and bells are they getting for that ?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Not going to happen

    History is littered with legislation that was vehemently opposed by the party in opposition (which you could argue is their sole purpose) only to remain once said party got into power. One example is the poll tax.

    However if you literally mean they will can the contract then you might be correct, they will can it and award it to one of their donors.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Read the article

    >to design, build and test a National Identity Register to support the cards

    It seems that a combination of ID cards and French in the same article has resulted in temporary blindness and mass hysteria.

    At the moment no data will be going offshore, the contract is merely what it says on the first line of this comment, basically create a schema and test it. I would suspect that the contract to administer the db would be worth hell of a lot more than 18m.

    As for the overall idea of ID cards, I don't see what you're all complaining about. The terrorist angle is mute but they are useful for other reasons. Where I live you need to show one to pay for anything by credit card, it's not infallible but it's only bettered by my own solution of not having a card. One time I was almost stranded in the UK when the girl at an airline check-in desk wouldn't accept my UK passport simply because it was rather tatty. Fortunately I had an ID card from another country and was allowed to check-in using that. UK passport 0 - Johnny foreigner id card 1.

    Do they create a false sense of security? I don't think so. The argument that a forged card will allow people to pass through security checks is not really valid. If the majority of contributors here think so then let them get a false ID card and try it. They'll find that border control agents are a little sharper than what they give them credit for.

    Also, I would like to know from the "once it's implemented I'll be out of here" crowd exactly where they would go, where is this ID cardless utopia? I've asked this many times but I've never had an answer. Oh, and I won't accept the USA because although AFAIK they don't have an official ID card just try living there without a drivers license.

  45. David Webb

    Not compulsary?

    Have i missed something or are ID cards now compulsary? I can't imagine them swapping it for paper passports, lots of countries wouldn't be able to handle a bespoke ID card, nor for driving licence, so as far as I remember we won't be "forced" to have one (just yet).

    if they do become compulsary, I'll go to the local police station and hand myself in for arrest. I'll be a pirate!

  46. fords
    Dead Vulture

    Choices choices..

    I don't want or need an ID card - I have a passport and a driver's licence and don't have to prove who I am to anyone, thank you very much. However, if I get carted off to jail for my principles they'll take my fingerprints and a DNA swab....still trying to figure out which of them I will mind the least!

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr. Mr

    Regradless of what you think to the ID card scheme the project is being handled by a good company.

    No this project isn't in French hands as such, yes maybe Thales is a French based company but it has sites all over the UK which will handle this project, its only the upper management that is French as Thales has bought out several UK IT firms such as Thomson and what used to be known as Ferranti and it is the British side of Thales that will most probably handle this project.

    I think that its a brave move to be making but its better that it stays away from American hands becuase they'll f**k it up and still take the money.

    Good luck!

  48. bobbles31

    Previous form....

    They were probably chosen as the French at least have experience of documenting every British citizen.

    Admitidly this was nearly 1000 years ago, but with the straws the Gov are clutching at to Justify the system...

    Looks like I will be off to prison soon enough.

    Non 2 ID!!

  49. b

    I don't see what you're all complaining about.

    moot not mute

  50. Jax

    I love typing in titles for one sentance posts. Now it is three sentances, w00t!

    I hope Thale is reading up on

  51. Al
    Black Helicopters

    Didn't Thales do the ID card sytem for China?

    I used to work for them and vaguely recall that being in one of the issues of the staff newsletter. So at least they'll have experience, anyway.

  52. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    Eh ?

    @ RotaCyclic

    They won't need to arrest people and take them to court - this is another example of how they are bringing in "no courts needed" penalties. You refuse to get a card when told, you get slapped with a £1000 "civil penalty" - no legal action required. Refuse to pay the £1000 ? No problem, they just slap on another "civil penalty" until you either pay up and submit, or they declare you bankrupt.

    @ David Webb

    ID cards have never, ever, been intended to be anything other than compulsory. They will be compulsory in that over time you will find it harder and harder to do anything without one - but it will still be optional. Optional as long as you don't want to drive (ID card to get driving licence), work (ID card required as proof of being a UK citizen, so employer won't take chance of prosecution for employing you without proof), catch a bus, get treatment for illness, .... You only have to look at their current plans to see how ID cards are intended to become compulsory in everything but name.

  53. brimful

    Don't blame the company, blame the employees.

    It would be nice to find out how many Thales employees resign in protest of the work they're being made to do. If none then they are no better than the f*ck wits who thought about this scheme in the first place.

  54. David

    @Chris W

    "The argument that a forged card will allow people to pass through security checks is not really valid"

    You may have a point, we don't really have a way of testing how easy they are to forge at the moment. I think the idea that they may lead to a false sense of security is that they don't provide a safeguard against home grown terrorists (As I think most of the 7/7 and 21/7 bombers were). These people would already have ID cards beacuse they were British. So plod would see them, see they've got ID cards and wave them on their way. This means that ID cards would serve no benefit, but people would believe they were safer. So if they serve no benefit, why bring them in? Why spend £19bn on a scheme that most commentators agree will not achieve the stated aims? Because there are obviously unstated aims that it WILL achieve. Alternatively they're going to start coding religion/political preference on the card and using that as a basis for arrests

  55. sam

    The Cost

    £316.67 per person based on £19bil?

    Nope - how many people will get them for free or reduced price eh? Everyone who can pay will be paying for them too!

    That includes OAP's, Kids, Unemployed, Those on Benefits, maybe another £200 each sound about right?

  56. Guy Herbert

    @ Anomalous Cowherd, Rotacyclic et al.

    "£18 million to build a database that is going to hold 66 million records?"

    No; not to build it. That's someone else's contract: one of the Big 5's. Though this being the IPS/Home Office, all is unnecessarily obscure and mysterious in order to discourage TV journalists from taking an interest. It appears Thales are going to be paid to write the missing basic spec for the system.

    Oh yes, we're more than 4 years in and there's still no actual spec. And they claim to know that its it is all going to cost slightly less than the number they thought of in 2005.

  57. Nev

    @AC "@Steen Hive @Nev "

    I'm not French, connaise.

  58. Zorro

    I will refuse an ID card and I know that thousands if not millions will do so as well.

    SImon Hobson, you think the Govt will be able to get away with Bankrupting a fairly large percentage of the working population who WILL refuse to have this piece of shit?

  59. Lord Nikon

    on a break

    @ SImon Hobson

    haha! You pretty much said was I was going to post before I got distracted. A system like this should not be in place because it will be open to abuse!

    Many years ago I used to work on a helpdesk and they introduced a system called HiPath. The team leaders loved the new system because they could check in real-time how long you spent doing tasks and the reasons you where not taking calls by the codes you selected. There would be times that I would be on a break or about finish my long shift and my phone would magacally go into available status. The new system gave them power, and they abused it to suit their needs. Sometimes it was to make the figures look good to please their masters, and sometimes it was to get personal. The sad thing is that I know what it was like before and during it's installation, the generations after me will just go along with the status quo and be subject to it and the people that run it.

    We (the people) should accept a system like this with society the way it is. At the end of the day people are still people and society still has not evolved very much, current media shows us that.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Something Silly in the Air

    quote Brimful : "It would be nice to find out how many Thales employees resign in protest of the work they're being made to do. If none then they are no better than the f*ck wits who thought about this scheme in the first place."

    Bit stupid to be honest Brimful, sounds like you've not thought this through. May be the scheme isn't a good one but its got nothing to do with the employee's at Thales.

    Infact I actually work at Thales. Its got nothing to do with the people working on the project. In the long run they need to get paid. I'm sure people will have to work on many different projects throughout their careers that they don't agree with. End of the day a jobs a job and you've got to take pride in what you do and accept that. If the government wants the project to go ahead i'm sure it will even if people at Thales protest, the only thing that will happen then is it will go to a crap American company who doesn't care about the project, isn't based in the UK and they'll take the money and balls it up.

    I think you've got to think about all the benefits of the project, no ones forcing you to get an ID card yet so calm down I can't see what your problem is i'm sure it'll be tested well and I personally think its gonna be a good thing for the average citizen unless you've got something to hide.

  61. Zmodem

    Not exactly hard

    Not exactly hard to creat a spec, chip on the card with ni/ss number and country code, atm network with a authorization id for each which returns allowed tabs/pages, on top global info page with your pic etc

  62. Lord Nikon

    nothing to hide, nothing to gain!

    @ Anonymous Coward

    I've got nothing to hide, but what am I gaining from this? This card will not grant me access to anything that I can already get now. Before you know it they'll have your whole life on the card with no benifits.

    Apparently CCTV makes people feel safer, but it does not stop crimes if the the person is serious about it. I could say this would protect/stop terrorists, but we all know that's a joke. And it won't stop random frenzied attacks, which happen to the poor young man on the greyhound in canada.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Waat ees theese you are say-eeeng?

    Given a choice of having a French company create the database - and having the job factored out to a British one, or an Indian one... Vive La France - tout la jour. Anyway - I'm Scottish... we never had a problem with France - well, not one that can't be fixed with a small razor... or a large gillotine.

  64. Chris

    I'm voting tory

    They've promised to scrap ID cards, therefore they get my vote. I can cry myself to sleep over the CJA another time.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just disadvantages

    it will cost the country, and further serve oppression.

    Thales employees should be resigning over this, not harping on about the advantages of identification and posting as anonymous cowards - worried about being ID'd?

    At the very least we should build in penalty clauses to the contract such that financial penalties will be incurred directly by the participants both the company and the person, if any information is lost in anyway, or the system is in anyway compromised or misused, throughout its entire lifespan.

    That should make life at Thales an interesting one, heavy vetting of the employees who work on the project, and the pressure of actually producing a secure system, well if they have nothing to hide and they are up to the job that should be a stroll down l'avenue, shouldn't it now.

  66. Georges

    £19,000,000,000? well ...

    give this to the police and law enforcement, fire the political correctness brigade, withdraw from the European Human Rights agreement (and the Union), and crime and terrorism in UK will be irradicated, pensioners will have money to pay for their fuel, our armed forces will afford bullet proof bras, schools will have a etter standard of education, and parent can smack their children etc.. etc.. o the list is long

  67. Zmodem

    i dont get it

    your life is already on aload of cards, a id card would make life easier, if the police want to know who you are they will out sooner or later, only real impact would be on benefit fraud

  68. El Regular

    Of course

    It would make a great impact on fraud, makes it easier, with all you information IN ONE BASKET, er, I mean CARD. And it's proven that it's not that hard to crack and copy those things only a few years ago.

    New Labour = Not Labour and I've had enough for one.

  69. Zmodem

    wouldnt impact on much

    theres no point having your home address printed on the card, most people wouldnt update everytime you move unless your working or claiming benefits with a new card having to be issued every time.

    i pay a bill and put it in the trash, with a online automated service for registered company numbers that emails them a pdf, you wouldnt have to take a suit case of bills and cards to every new job.

  70. Lord Nikon

    Got Your Number?

    Numbers are easier to type than combos of letters and numbers. And in a decade or so, they'll advise that chips need to be injected into the body for ease and loss prevention.

    I can see people being denied health care because they have misplaced their ID cards.

  71. Chris

    @ Zmodem

    You *really* need to read this;

  72. Zmodem

    A system of many layers

    Yup, sure does sound scary, or just an integrated network of public gov sector files deep in a silo somewhere

  73. Anonymous Coward

    ID card should be renamed "Benefits Card"

    ..and only used for benefits, coz thats where multiples of 19mil quid is being frittered away every year. Born & bred overseas, but in UK 16 years, I've observed that the primary root of malaise is all to do with the amount of money that is squandered on social services - oh yes - you Poms are so limp-wristed when it comes to tough love... every one with a sob story (illegal immigrants, and lazy locals alike) is the poor fluffy puppy with the sore paw that needs a benefit package i.e. money thrown at them...

    curtail duff SocServ payments by 100%...

    As for Thales doing the spec for 19mil, well hats off to them... OTOH, with so much bitching about a foreign company doing it, what UK owned company would be better? Why not Reed Elsevier, who run LexisNexis to look over the shoulder of every US citizen?

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