back to article ID minister promises virtual immortality for all Britons

The government has guaranteed virtual immortality for every British citizen - as long as they join the National Identity Register. In a Commons answer yesterday ID card minister Meg Hillier confirmed that once you're on the register, nothing will remove you - not even death. She was answering a question from Francis Maude MP …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    long term systems

    I am sure there are some old systems out there already, but has anyone given any thought to running and maintaining a system for more than 50 years, 100 years... we already have non-backwards compatibility in MS Word in less than 20 years... the problems may not be insurmountable but they will come!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      We've been doing that in Denmark for 42 years and it's still running smartly. Sure there's been conversions along the way and there'll be plenty ahead, but it's extremely solid.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    ID numbers on tombstones?

    Here lieth 72362352965W

    Loving Husband of Margery


    1. Gulfie

      No, no, no...

      Here lieth 72362352965W

      Loving Husband of 46347322897P

      Date of death withheld for security reasons

      1. MikeWW

        @ Gulfie

        "Here lieth 72362352965W

        Loving Husband of 46347322897P

        Date of death withheld for security reasons"

        WIth a footnote saying that this data can easily be obtained on the internet or by buying the entire database a DVD-ROM from a bloke at the local pub for a reasonable fee.

  3. Elmer Phud


    "In a Commons answer yesterday ID card minister Meg Hillier confirmed that once you're on the register, nothing will remove you - not even death."

    Not so much 'No2ID' as 'bollocks to ID'.

  4. ShaggyDoggy

    Old systems

    No problem, they'll simply upgrade to a more modern system and port the data over.

    What could possibly go wrong.

  5. Colin Critch
    Big Brother

    That suits me fine

    That suits me fine, an ID card over my dead body ( just not a live one)

  6. Kenno

    well well

    Well if the climate change systems are anything to go by they will 'lose' the data after 20 or so years.

  7. yoinkster

    is it me ...

    or does that woman's name look far too close to hitler?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No it's not just you

      At first glance I read it as Hitler replied: "Information will be retained for as long as is necessary,"

      Scary or what?

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Seriously, it's not just you

        But has anyone given any thought what sort of job Meg will be capable of after the election when she, her party and this ghastly project are finally put on the scrapheap.

        Hillier (check - yup typed it right) comes across as not quite the sharpest tool in a knife drawer filled with rolling pins.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Necromaniacs Wanted

    Job Title: Council Necro

    Pay: £75,000 PA

    Additional Benefits: £25K PA car allowance, 6 weeks holiday

    Description: In a wink & a nod to the Bliarite policies Gordon has chosen to implement we bring you this fine specimen of Council Necromaniac. In this exciting role you can be a star in a reasonably priced box to implement byzantine policies like:

    * Invasion of privacy: dig 'em up, photo them, provide useless information to a department of bloodthirsty privacy invaders.

    * generate useless information that can cause upsets in families by violating the deads' privacy

    * get jiggy with corpses to validate a ridiculous programme guaranteed to cause the living to loose the will to live

    * be the envy of no one and object of ridicule as the face of death to the I.D. card scam.

    * Finish the final piece of Gordon's Master plan to cow-tow to the EU.

    Experience: Must have completed trial and been sentenced to at least 10 trials for crimes against humanity. Also appreciated if the applicants can justify use of various garden tools, and the ways to not leave a track.

    Languages: Deaf-mutes will be given preference so you can't be held accountable, or speak on your work to CYA for the gubnmt

    You can see this coming RSN to a gravesite near you

  9. Anonymous John

    This could be a real moneymaker.

    Just think of all those £1000 fines when dead people fail to change their addresses to "The Cemetery, St John's Churchyard, Plumstead, London", or "The Urn, Mantelpiece, 13 Hill Avenue, Brighton", etc.

    1. Anonymous John


      Will your ID card have to be buried or put in the urn after cremation?

      Exhumations could be problematic too.

      "No, it's not Joe Bloggs. I can't match any of the fingerprints."

  10. Guy Herbert
    Big Brother

    "... only where it is consistent..."

    Classic Home Office boilerplate designed to suggest that there is somehow a legal limitation. The statutory purposes are so broadly drawn, however, as to include ANYTHING any future administration might want to do with the information:

    "s1 [...] (3) The statutory purposes are to facilitate, by the maintenance of a secure and reliable record of registrable facts about individuals in the United Kingdom— [...]

    (b) the provision of a secure and reliable method for registrable facts about such individuals to be ascertained or verified wherever that is necessary in the public interest.

    (4) For the purposes of this Act something is necessary in the public interest if, and only if, it is—

    (a) in the interests of national security;

    (b) for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime;

    (c) for the purposes of the enforcement of immigration controls;

    (d) for the purposes of the enforcement of prohibitions on unauthorised working or employment; or

    (e) for the purpose of securing the efficient and effective provision of public services."

    Doncha just love that simultaneous redefinition of necessity and public interest as identical with official expediency?

  11. Vincent Ballard

    You have to tell them that you died

    My file of particularly interesting snippets from Hansard includes the following from the debate on the ID cards bill:

    Douglas Hogg: Will the Home Secretary help me on one point? Clause 1(6)(c) provides that the individual is apparently required, if he has died, to state the date of his death.

    CharlesClarke?: Under the Government's proposals, people will be able to live on after the point of death and do just that in every respect.

    Expect to see a queue of zombies outside the door of your nearest ID card office.

  12. Steve King

    Change of Address

    Since you must advise any change of address under penalty of a fine, do you have to notify them of your plot number in the cemetary?

    Even worse, what if your loved ones scatter the ashes at sea - a new form to fill in with every tide!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    ... these clowns have no fuckinig idea ..

    the false positives that will occur (and don't even start with the false *negatives*) would be bad enough in a 1:60,000,000 database.

    now 1:60,000,000 and growing at a rate of "x" a day !!!!!!!!!

    This is what happens when people who found science too hard at school get elected.

  14. Shonko Kid

    But what about clones?


    If I'm cloned in this dystopian future (two bodies, two income tax streams ;-) which one of me will be charged with identity theft? Have they even thought this through?

    What about all those re-animated heads buzzing around in the year 3000?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The gift that keeps on giving

    John Doe won't be able to name his son John lest he be denied a legal identity (``ID card'' with feature creep bonus) for being named after an already existing legal identity at the same address, no less. Obviously an impostor. Carry on government.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Light at the end of the tunnel

    ID card or higher education spending - which will gain most votes ?

    Now, I don't mind an ID card as I am subject to frequent searches (I'm asian - police and airport security officials automatically assume you're a muslim if you have brown skin). However, I'm worried about what's going to be held on the database and the security surrounding it.

    Mandelson is in charge and he's a clever (if devious) bloke even though he is like the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He's under lots of heat because of cutbacks on higher education spending. I'm sure the budget allocated to ID cards could be better utilised...

  17. N2 Silver badge

    Beggars belief

    Ill haunt the fuckers when I die

  18. Red Bren

    Handy for Reincarnation

    Surname: Lama

    Forenames: Dalai

    Born: 1391 Died: 1474

    Born: 1475 Died: 1542

    Born: 1543 Died: 1588

    Born: 1589 Died: 1617

    Born: 1617 Died: You get the idea...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has no one told them yet

    that their ID card system is just not wanted?

  20. Pandy06269
    Dead Vulture

    Data Protection Act?

    Where does the DPA come into play with this?

    One of the principles of the act is that data must only be held for as long as necessary to fulfil the purpose registered. After you die, surely there's no way the data can be useful?

    Or is the Gov't exempt from the DPA?

    1. Graham Marsden
      Big Brother

      "is the Gov't exempt from the DPA?"

      What do you think...?!

      # Section 28 - National security. Any processing for the purpose of safeguarding national security are exempt from all the data protection principles, as well as Part II (subject access rights), Part III (notification), Part V (enforcement), and Section 55 (Unlawful obtaining of personal data).

      # Section 29 - Crime and taxation. Data processed for the prevention or detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, or the assessment or collection of taxes are exempt from the first data protection principle.

  21. Guy Herbert

    And possibly vice versa...

    Good luck when your "date of death" field gets filled in by accident.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Terry Gilliam

      Really should have sued New Labour for nicking all their policies from 'Brazil'.

  22. D Moss Esq

    Shades of Dr Frankenstein

    Not only do IPS have the power to maintain your electronic ID forever. They also control it while you are alive. And they may refuse to create it in the first place:

    This electronic ID of yours on the NIR, by the way, will take on a life of its own. It already has done for Lorraine Elliott. She was fired by IPS for suspected forgery. Everyone knows that she didn't forge anything. But her electronic ID records that she was once maliciously accused of it. Her electronic ID is guilty. She's innocent. But she's been fired:

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was going to rush out and get an ID card

    Then I noticed it was virtual immortality not virtual immorality.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think we can all sort out our

    own virtual immortality, not hard to do. But, you really shouldn't believe everything you see written down should you.

    This Labour government are going to end up with their own special brand of immortality and go down in history as possibly the most inept, arrogant, corrupt and shifty little shits this Island has ever had the displeasure of accommodating.

    Labour's contempt for the British people is despicable, downright treacherous and wholly unpatriotic. Labour's hatred of this fine country and its people is only matched by their greed and avarice.

    The first ten years of this Millennium should act as a warning to future generations demonstrating just how badly life can go when liberty is sacrificed to the paranoid delusional rantings of a group of mad megalomanic nutters, such as the Labour party.

    When Labour gets booted out of power, they should be marked as an extremist party, made illegal and all Labour party members rounded up and placed into re-education camps for their care and rehabilitation. Labour represents a clear and present danger to themselves and to society as a whole.

  25. Luther Blissett

    Nothing will remove you?

    I can think of a few things, ranging from rust at one end to Act of God at another, with EMPs and MoABs in between. The narcissistic hubris of the lieboring sociopaths is breath-taking.

  26. Richard 120

    I'd buy one

    If the immortality wasn't virtual.

  27. StooMonster
    Black Helicopters

    Is it just me, but...

    Every time I see this woman's name in print my brain reads it as Meg Hitler.

  28. Is it me?

    Here's a thought

    If you have a national ID system (wanted or not) and you were a criminal, faking your death would be a good way to vanish from the system, and then you could create a whole new ID, gold standard. However, if you retain the old identity on the register, then as soon as you register your biometrics the system will detect the fact you already exist.

    If you are going to have an ID system, you don't want one that's full of holes, and certainly not blindingly obvious ones, like removing people who are dead when they die, far more logical to retain a record until their physical age has passed say 120, or however the oldest person has lived to plus a margin.

    You have to do this because there is no single register that contains the birth, death, adoption, naturalization and deed pole records that contains details of all the living and dead who could apply for a card if they hadn't died prematurely.

  29. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    any one factored in the data growth on this

    Say daily birth rate x 365 * 120 x stupidly large amount of data per person wanted by insane HO staff = Huge data base.

    Not forgetting the multiple index files they'll be wanting so they can slice and dice the data.

  30. lukewarmdog

    Impossible to take seriously

    Sure Hitler.. scary.

    Meg.. Family Guy.


    As for data retention, let Europe sort it out before we go bankrupt(er) trying to fund the database-that-never-stops. Look at the mess we ended up with the NHS.

  31. Ponmyword
    Big Brother


    "(I'm asian - police and airport security officials automatically assume you're a muslim if you have brown skin)"

    It will only take one mistake by some under-educated government lacky to accidentally put "muslim" on your ID database entry and you'll have 10 times the grief you get already.

  32. Jon Green

    Don't see the problem

    Under normal circumstances, I'm not an apologist for ID cards, but...

    Doesn't it make sense to retain the data after death, to put a damper on the current thriving industry of adopting identities of recently-dead individuals? If the biometrics, etc., aren't retained, there's no way of checking someone's ("borrowed") ID.

  33. Graham Wilson

    Control freaks and Megalomaniacs Inc. UK, you should have lost the Battle of Britain!

    They're control freaks and megalomaniacs.

    What on earth has happened to the UK?

    I'm beginning to think the UK should have lost the Battle of Britain, as Fascism would be over by now. If invasion had happened in '42 it'd be like pulling teeth--agonising but short.

    However, watching fascism overtake the UK now is like experiencing a form of creeping paralysis: debilitating, inexorable and agonizingly slow.

    For fuck's sake Britain, you didn't win Trafalgar, Waterloo, WW-I and WW-II just to be screwed into the ground by the trolls and control-freak Cretins of Westminster!

    Reclaim your Democracy whilst you still know what the word means!


    P.S.: Britons, you've moral duty to do so; if not for yourselves then for the soldiers who fought in those wars to protect your freedom. If they were around today they'd be disgusted with Blighty--and with the inaction of its citizens in the face of advancing tyranny.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Muse this...

    Paranoia is in bloom,

    The PR transmissions will resume,

    They'll try to push drugs that keep us all dumbed down,

    And hope that we will never see the truth around

    (So come on)

    Another promise, another scene,

    Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed,

    And all the green belts wrapped around our minds,

    And endless red tape to keep the truth confined

    Rise up and take the power back,

    It's time the fat cats had a heart attack,

    You know that their time's coming to an end,

    We have to unify and watch our flag ascend

    They will not force us,

    They will stop degrading us,

    They will not control us,

    We will be victorious

    So come on

  35. Wize

    No point trying to hide the data from us

    The whole database will be downloaded to a laptop and left on a train.

    Retina and fingertip transplants all round.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eye transplants

    Will the scans think you are someone new or will the system keep telling you that you are already dead?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And people say the government never listen...

    This is proof that the government listen to us, right? All those people who said "over my dead body" appear to have had their wish granted...

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