back to article NO2ID beats off ad complaint

The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint about a NO2ID advertisement which warned of the likelihood of personal information leaking from the proposed National Identity Register. The ad showed a man's face with an apparent boast of how he can access what he wants on the register and sell information on it to …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Grease Monkey

    Just One Question

    When making a complaint to the ASA does the complainant have to declare any interest they may have?

    Thought not. Of course it wouldn't be at all significant if the complainant worked for the civil service anyway.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The advert has run since 2005"

    It has? Then it's about time they got some of this kind of publicity for it.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    y00 d0g! 4 db I @m t3h 7337 [email protected]

    h0\/\/ d0 I g3tz @ j0b 0n t3h ID dB?

    L00kz b3tt3r th3n t3h \/\/@r3z & t3h pr0n 4 the ££££!

    I'll get my coat.

  4. Ad Fundum

    @Grease Monkey

    While I agree wholly with NO2ID's principles, whether or not the complainant works for the civil service or not is irrelevant. An adevrt that contravenes the ASA's guidelines does so regardless of who the complainant is and what their motives may be. An advert cannot be simultaneously within guidelines if a member of the public complains and outside guidelines if someone with a vested interest complains.

    And if you say otherwise, then you probably work for the Government :)

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The National Identity register won't hold that much at all just pointers, so to get any detailed information you would have to subvert more than just an IPS official, there are much easier ways to find out someone's name and address you know. I'd worry more about clampers. Experian and Equifax will hold far more data about you than IPS ever will, and they are much better at selling it that anyone else.

    Also if you want a really detailed National ID Scheme try a few countries south east of Europe. I can think of one that's a real doozie.

    Most of the idea's proposed initially have been found to be non-starters because of the DPA, and the fact that getting one government department to porvide information to another is impossible.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    would you honestly put your face on such a advert?

    with the likelihood that your gonna get your lights punched out if anyone recognises you walking down the street.

    muggings too good for him

    oh is this your jacket sir, suits me very nice, now where's your wallet i wanna go shopping....

  8. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    The evidence back No2ID

    I'm sure I remember reading a story, probably here on el'Reg that a whole load people working on Australia's ID database were done for selling the information it contained.

    How often does data leak from the Government?

  9. Eponymous Cowherd

    @ Grease Monkey

    ***"When making a complaint to the ASA does the complainant have to declare any interest they may have?"***

    They often do. Sky and Virgin Media are *always* having pops at each other courtesy of the ASA.

  10. Dave Bell

    And the Police?

    I'm sure I've seen stories about Police Officers abusing their access to the Police database.

  11. daniel 27

    Me thinks....

    The complainant had a vested interest. Interesting also that they tried to push the right buttons so to speak. Discrimination etc. For once I'm with the ASA on this one.

    A pint to the person who told the whinging villainous scum where to get off.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Mosh Jahan

    >YES2ID #

    >Typical scaremongering by privacy nuts.

    Typical pointless comment from someone who either stands to make money from the ID scheme, or has not understood the issues.

    It's not often I'd wholeheartedly back an organisation like NO2ID, and I'm not even sure that my stance on the privacy principles matches theirs. But the ID schemes that have been proposed are not acceptable, and NO2ID are making all the correct noises.

    And if you trust our governmental organisations to handle the data securely and professionally, then you're an idiot.

  13. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    @Dazed and Confused

    Ask the train conductors, they'll know.

  14. Muscleguy Silver badge

    It's happened

    Remember the protests by animal rights loonies over that guinea pig farm? They intimidated anyone visiting or doing business with it, how did they find out? They noted the license numbers of all vehicles visiting the farm then asked a DVLA worker they had suborned to look up their details from the license numbers. His trial and sentence was just a minor, but significant, bit of fallout from the clampdown that ensued.

    After I left the National Institute for Medical Research in NW London a group of said loonies began to hang around outside and were seen noting vehicle numbers. We had already been warned before I left to check under our cars in the morning. Not pleasant people, and someone happily sold them the data.

    Now some of you are telling me that the NO2ID poster is over the top? Access to the DB will be in hands of people, probably not paid all that much at that. Sale of material is not just likely it is inevitable.

  15. lukewarmdog


    Firm supporter of both sensible and loony opposition to anything the Government wants to do with my data. In the case of No2Id I'll happily admit to being a big fan of Mark Thomas and my sensibilities lie with him in this direction.

    But if a giant cauliflower came up with a ridiculous notion that gathered masses of media support and got the issue quashed then I'd be right behind that large vegetable as well.

    I don't want (at the very least THIS but maybe not any) Government having an enormous database with my information on it. We all know the first thing they'll do is stick it on a USB drive which they'll promptly lose.

  16. Duncan Hothersall

    @Five Hats

    My thoughts entirely. If they were thinking sensibly, and they generally do, they may even have made the complaint themselves - a lot more eyeballs on their advert now.

    More power to the collective elbows at No2ID. I've signed the pledge. Have you?

  17. Francis Fish


    I've not only signed the pledge but make a monthly contribution ...

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Beats off, indeed.

    it's hard to believe that normal intercourse wouldn't get the job done.

  19. David 45


    To Mosh Jahan: Privacy nuts? I take great exception to the term it and makes me extremely angry to think that it's people like you who are allowing the UK to sleepwalk into a surveillance society. You may be interested to read a letter I wrote to the UK Web User magazine (who rated it as a "star" letter and gave me 25 quid for my trouble) in reply to a similar "nothing to hide" exponent, who also seemed to think there was nothing wrong with a private company "obtaining" private mobile phone numbers for a directory and that schemes like Phorm were perfectly OK. He also seemed to believe that people, in general, were getting paranoid about privacy. Quite likely. Couldn't agree more, and rightly so, in my opinion! The mag. also published several other letters in the same vein :

    Re. "privacy panic" star mail in issue 219.

    I really must take issue with the comments from Mr.Fletcher. Over-reaction? Paranoid sheep? Not at all. The word (which he has used himself) is PRIVACY! Some of us much prefer to have our personal details kept as just that - personal. The more information that is disseminated around the web, the more chance there is of it falling into the wrong hands. That is why I am also vehemently opposed to the government's misguided (in my opinion) ID card scheme. As has been admirably demonstrated in recent times, they just cannot be trusted to safeguard the public's personal information and I guess that, even now, the bad guys are already rubbing their hands together in glee with the prospect of rich pickings from every person in the UK when (not "if") the huge database is hacked - a prospect that fills me full of dread.

    Everyone has a choice and, personally, I find the concept of "social networking" (as mentioned in the letter) a little weird. The idea of it leaves me stone cold, but if other folk are prone to laying their soul bare on these sites, so be it.

    I would submit that the so-called "knee jerk" effect against such things as Phorm is perfectly justified, otherwise such undesirable schemes could end up being the thin end of a very thick wedge. The UK is already under siege from CCTV, car number plate readers, heavy-handed police intimidating hobbyist photographers, daft "political correctness" and illegal (according to the EU) DNA databases, not to mention the proposed routine eavesdropping on web traffic. I wonder where it will all end. My policy is not to give "them" any more ammunition to squirrel away for future use.

    Incidentally, I presume that if a pay-as-you-go phone is purchased, there is no information to link a name with the number, so it follows that that there should be no need to "opt-out" of an on-line directory, as the information shouldn't be there in the first place. Also, avoid "registering" with your mobile phone service provider if you can. I had a problem with persistent gibberish text messages appearing on my phone that didn't appear to have originated from anybody and Vodaphone wouldn't help unless I registered my details with them. No thanks. The problem eventually went away.

    The company that instigated the mobile directory scheme seems a little guarded about how they obtained the numbers, which should ring alarm bells.

    Speaking personally, I instruct any companies I deal with that my personal details are NOT to be passed on to any third parties, and I take every measure I possibly can to ensure that they comply.

    It was reported recently that: "The UK is sleep-walking into a surveillance society" and, sadly, that does appear to be the case. I would welcome anything that would reverse that trend.

  20. Armus Squelprom

    @ Francis

    I've signed the pledge, made a monthly contribution *and* fellated the Chair on a quarterly basis.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good but there are better ways

    It's an okay advert, but if they really want to get their point across they should list the number of times government owned laptops filled with unsecured personal and/or security information have been left in taxis or airport departure gates over the last couple years.

    The danger they highlight is no doubt real enough but even if it was supposed to reference low paid monkeys that fill in government databases, saying one might be corrupt is hardly a slur on all. They could reasonably argue that if you take any slice of any workforce in any industry you'll have the statistically same number of potential terrorists, murderers, child molesters, rapists and data thieves as anywhere else. Security checks? Funnily enough being willing to sell data to anyone isn't something that pops up unless you've been caught and were unlucky enough to have your prosecution data sent to someone who knew how correctly to enter your crime into the relevant databases.

  22. Neoc

    Re: The evidence back No2ID

    @Dazed and Confused, Wednesday 16th September 2009 13:00 GMT

    "I'm sure I remember reading a story, probably here on el'Reg that a whole load people working on Australia's ID database were done for selling the information it contained."

    Last I checked, we haven't got a National ID in Oz - Driver's Licence/18+ card and Passport, yes, but no ID (and, technically, no requirement to have one - but try to do anything financial without one of the above). There *was* a proposal for one back in the late 80s, but it was pretty much laughed out of existence when the proponents stated it would be "secure". (yep, that was all it took)

  23. Anonymous Coward

    All your data are belong to us

    Suck it down, hard!

  24. Clint Sharp

    @Mosh Jahan

    Of course, you're right, there's never been a recorded case of the government losing unencrypted personal data on, let's pretend here, two CDs with no password, civil servants have never lost unencrypted laptops on trains, taxis, buses, airports or coffee shops. Police officers have never used their database to look up people for 'friends' and nobody in public service has ever taken a bribe. Members of the armed forces haven't ever lost laptops with personal and financial details of serving and prospective soldiers/airmen/sailors.

    So you're obviously right, it's just scaremongering by privacy nuts who have this mad, crazy idea that they don't trust the government to keep their details private, never mind the ramifications of a database state where a mis-entered record could result in you being regularly investigated for being a tax evader or rapist or burglar etc.

    I wouldn't worry though, the baying mob smearing dog shit on your door and pouring petrol through your letterbox after painting 'peedo scum' on your house will believe you when you tell them it's all a mistake on the database. They'll probably invite you out for a drink with them and there'll be hearty back slapping fun with your new friends.

    You go right ahead mate, register and get your idiot card.

  25. Saucerhead Tharpe

    To all the over-sensitive types at the top

    As I read it, NO2ID wasn't saying the complainant worked on the IDDatabase and should shove off.

    The Complainant brought up the topic of working on the Database

    NO2ID's point was that the Poster depicts someone who works on the creation/maintenance of the database and therefor has privileged access, not a bog standard user fo the system, so that the complaint that it was unrealistic wasn't the case.

    Doesn't anyone read anymore?

  26. ShaggyDoggy

    memory stick

    why bother selling the info, just look around on the 5:15 from paddington

  27. Not Fred31

    privacy nuts

    <>Typical scaremongering by privacy nuts.

    <Homer> Mmmm privacy nuts</homer>

  28. John Sturdy
    Black Helicopters

    Lost data

    And of course there could never be a case of certain government departments planting false information on a laptop and leaving it on a train, then making sure the press publicize it to make sure the targetted recipients hunt around to buy it from whoever found it. Such things would never happen in a civilized society.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Nice advert

    Pity no-one seems to have ever seen it, though.

  30. Wize

    How safe is the database?

    It doesn't need someone on the inside to sell of the data.

    Just takes a dozy prat leaving his laptop on a train or posting out unencrypted CDs for it to fall into the wrong hands.

    As Frankie Boyle said, when you loose this data, its harder to change it than a pin number. "I'll need new fingers and a retina transplant"

  31. Guy Herbert

    Re: Nice Advert

    Thanks. Kindly created by a volunteer. You'll only have seen it before, in all likelihood, if you read the political weeklies, where we have been chipping away at support for the scheme among the great and the good as we can afford it. Give me £100,000 for space and I could probably get it in front of every national newspaper reader three times - though they still might not actually register it.

    Anyone worried about the chap in the picture should be reassured that he is a Brazilian model, safely resident in Brazil , and is unlikely to be troubled by all the angry mobs aroused by seeing his pic in the New Statesman or Spectator.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020