back to article Home Office planning to brick version 1 ID cards in 2012?

The current generation of UK ID card is, apparently, the wrong kind of ID card, and is likely to be upgraded to incorporate new features by 2012. These are likely to include chip and pin for online transactions and ID verification, both of which have been spoken of in the past by ID minister Meg Hillier. The upgrade, however, …


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  1. MinionZero

    @The current generation of UK ID card is, apparently, the wrong kind of ID card

    oO ?!

    I think thats all we need to say! *shakes head*

    I guess by about Version 3 they will be laser scanning bar codes onto our heads. :(

    1. cannon


      they, the central banks and illuminate want to rid the world of cash so every purchase can be audited.

  2. Gordon is not a Moron

    Just when you thought that..

    the ID card program couldn't get more stupid; get more costly or be more bungled. Along comes the Government and proves you wrong.

  3. hplasm

    The continued outpourings of this 'government'

    Remind me of those 5 minute plays that junior school kids used to have to do in English lessons for the rest of the class- you know, the ones that made you scratch your head and wonder 'what the fook is that all about- it makes no sense whatsoever!'

  4. Anonymous Coward


    ... from a "vital aid to combat terrorism" to a handy thing to have to make shopping easier.

    Hmmmm, is that the scent of desperation I smell?

    1. dervheid


      It's the scent of "Fuckup!" by Homme Orifice

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Rob
    Paris Hilton


    Aren't they being a little optimistic about the high volume roll out and having 17mil cards in circulation by 2017. Are their calendars displaying the wrong year, 2011/12 is pretty much here and we've still only got nigh on 10k cards running.

    Dear Gubberment,

    In the interests of being humane can you please stop flogging this dead horse, it's dead, pushing up the daisies, this scheme is no more. Flog it much more and you'll need a replacement whip.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the scum

    "It's also possible that this has been the plan for some time, and that the only point of shipping version one was to get a few of them in people's hands prior to the general election."

    The scum in charge would never think of doing something that immoral now would they?

    It's a sad state of affairs and sadder still to think this group of immoral parasites will likely be back in charge before the end of the year.

  7. Richard Taylor 2

    Sir Bonar

    "At a recent brainstorm we decided to rebrand them as iD Cards with lower case "i", to give a more contempory feel."

    From the data czar himself. One can not decide whether to laugh or cry

    1. Elmer Phud


      I wonder how much it cost us to have the little 'i'.

      Rebranding - it's not just the idea but relabelling everything else that costs a fortune.

      So, they've done bugger all but manage to con a few thousand in to getting a card then decide to change the name?

      huge big massive fail

      1. Jimmy 1

        Re: cost?

        Yesterday Edward Leigh, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said:

        "Designers of logos and makers of nameplates have had much to be grateful for central government's passion for constantly reorganising and renaming its departments.This is all costing a lot of money without any cost-benefit analysis in advance or means of tracking any eventual benefits."

        At least £200 million is quoted as an overall figure, but sadly no breakdown of costs for the hapless Ms Hillier's ifantasy.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    A replacement whip ?

    Why, nothing to worry about good sir ! We have a storage shed full of those. And we have about £100 million budgeted for their replacement.

    In your friendly government institutions, the one thing we shall not brook is missing whips. It is what makes the day bearable, you see. So, when one is broken, you just call up the Stationary department and ask for a new one, which is dropped off in a priority procedure within the next ten minutes.

    So you see, you needn't worry about our whips, dear Sir, we are taking very good care of those.

    Very good care, indeed.

  9. NB

    gee thanks

    Ms Hitler, I have just broken my desk with a high velocity impact from my skull. You owe me a new desk and a general election, bitch.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Third time is a charm

    I've heard it said that the US military CAC "smart card" never really worked until the third generation.

    1. Nebulo

      CAC, eh?

      Just add a 'K' for the perfect description of the whole scheme.

  11. Mark McC

    Reminds me...

    of the old Demotivational poster that used to hang in our office, with the truism:

    Government - If you think the problem is bad, wait until you see our solution.

  12. Captain Hogwash

    Says all anyone really needs to know

    "Hillier has recently been calling for businesses to come up with applications and ideas for using ID cards..."

    1. John Bailey


      So they can remain optional to use.. Like breathing.

  13. Ad Fundum

    ID gag ...

    Do you remember that old Lenny Henry sketch?

    "A policeman pulls me over, walks up to the car and puts his head through the window, which is a shame because it was closed at the time. He says, "can you identify yourself please sir?"

    So I looked in the mirror and said, 'yeah, that's me'"

    No obvious reason for typing that, just something that came to mind as being another joke associated with IDs ...

  14. Andy Moreton

    ID cards are the answer ...

    now, what was the question?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The question is:

      "What is the only thing that can fix whatever issue it is that the tabloids are currently using to sell more papers"

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Seriously, is there any doubt that it will be the bearers who will have to pay for their upgraded cards? Just like they have to pay to update their own details on the database, or face fines and prison.

  16. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Stick and Carrot

    I absolutely don't agree with ID Cards but the government made just one huge mistake - Not convincing punters that it was in their best interests in having one. Instead of forcing Big Brother down our throats and insisting we pay for it they could have easily conned many people into thinking it was a good idea and mop up the rest when momentum had taken over.

    It really shows supreme government incompetence that they were unable to do this. I am sure most would think ID Cards were the best thing since Sliced iBread if they came with a £500 tax-free cash back payment if signed-up within three months, £250 if later.

    Would you grab one as soon as you could, procrastinate and lose £250 'free money', stand up for your rights, lose out on £500 and be forced to have one anyway when a law makes it compulsory plus you have to pay £100 to register?

    If it's ultimately inevitable, which would you prefer; to be up £500 or down £100 and possibly going to prison?

    Mine's the one with "An Idiot's Guide to Fascist Dictatorships" in the pocket.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd

      Ah, but.......

      ID cards and, more importantly, the NIR, have *nothing* to do with preventing terrorism, crime, illegal immigration or even making it easier to buy booze.


      The purpose of the NIR is to make money. If they had to pay you then there'd be less profit when they sell your intimate details details to anyone willing to pay for them.

      They'll already sell your address to parking enforcement scum, so you can be sure the much more valuable info on the NIR will go the same way.

  17. Brent Longborough

    Don't worry, you can buy another one

    Brilliant. I can't wait to buy Version 2. And keep going till they brand my number on my forehead.

  18. dervheid

    Uses for ID Cards...

    How about a handy, pocket-sized car windscreen scraper, emergency beer-mat (I was going to suggest coaster, but that's so fuckin' lah-de-dah!), applicator for ipod anti-scratch film, hotel room lightswitch card, pizza cutter, survival tool (lichen scraper, latrine digger). the list of possibilities is endless.

    Well, OK, it's not.

  19. Mike Bird 1


    Make it the required and ONLY permissable card for proof of age (ie. buying cigarettes and alcohol) .. you'll have the teens queueing up to buy the thing.

    Make it the only way to get a Driving Licence (you have to proove who you are first) so all the new drivers will need one.

    Finally make it so that anyone who wants to claim benefits needs one.

    That will put a final clamp on it .. as the benefits include Tax Credits this catches a good portion of the working population.

    Personally I'd sign up for one right now (even though I'm 40, don't drive and don't claim any tax credits).

    1. The Islander
      Thumb Down

      Re Simplicity

      Or combine it on credit / debit cards or ... make it mandatory for access Government buildings or ... make it a pre-req in doctor's surgeries or ...

      Where could a regime go in it's efforts to make such a scheme widespread? Scary stuff. I'm glad I live in a jurisdiction that has not yet gone down this road but it's only a matter of time.

    2. Jim Morrow

      Fuck me! An ID card fanboi

      >> Personally I'd sign up for one right now (even though I'm 40, don't drive and don't claim any tax credits).

      You are either a troll or the world's biggest idiot. Or both.

      If you want an ID card, go and fucking well get one. The ZanuLab arseholes responsible for these will be ecstatic to find another gullible moron to add to the number of gullible morons willing to sign up for the lunatic, unworkable and downright dangerous scheme. Don't come crying to us when you find that the guvmint has lost your personal data. Or sold it to the anyone who asks. Or when the ID card database says you're a tax-dodging, welfare scrounging, kiddy-fiddler. Or Osama bin-Laden.

  20. Richard Porter

    It's the No IDea Card

    They haven't got a clucking fue what to do with them.

    Look out for the 'buy one get one free' offer.

    Version 3? They chip dogs don't they?

  21. smudge

    Are you telling me...

    ... that the current ID cards CAN'T be used for online verification of ID?

    Isn't that the whole point of them?

    OK, so I never read much about them because I'm opposed to the whole idea, but I never realised they were actually useless.

  22. Jonathan

    Revelations. 13:16-17

    Mark of commerce

    Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or on the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

    i've never liked Gordon but I also never thought of him as one of the horsemen of the apocalypse before.

  23. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    As hwer Wackiness explained the plan

    "We won't make it compulsory in the bill or leave it to the discretion of a minister."

    "But we have the 1 clause "Make ID Carriage Compulsory Bill" on file.

    If would seem that unlike the IRA and UDA weapons caches the idea of the NIR and ID cards cannot be put beyond use.

  24. Guy Herbert
    Big Brother

    @ Jason Bloomberg

    "...they could have easily conned many people into thinking it was a good idea and mop up the rest when momentum had taken over."

    - Believe it or not, that is the plan. That *is* what they think they are doing now. Unfortunately for them they have been lying to everyone else for so long, they have ended up deceiving themselves.

    Won't stop them trying for ever, though.

    That's Buttle. With a B.

  25. Captain DaFt

    Feel free to use this in conversation:

    iD Card,: A cure for no known disease, and much more malevolent than most known diseases.

  26. John Tserkezis
    Thumb Down

    Added functionality

    "the more popular the Home Office makes ID cards"

    Popular? Who's kidding who? The only way they're going to make them popular is to get Apple to do their marketing for them. I mean, they're good at taking a fairly ordinary product and dressing it up to the point that the users get rabid about them.

    That should work for the ID card shouldn't it?

  27. madisv

    Strange card

    Strange ID card you have there if its not useful for signing electronic documents / identification to banks. This should be point of having such card, but it's also good replacement passport for traveling around Europe. In EU we dont need any more paper book form of passport.

    Take a look at Estonian ID card:

    In Finland they have modeled their own card also after it.

    Only trouble - Linux/BSD support of software and many card readers is bad. Some card readers work fine, some wont work or may need tweaking from command prompt. With too much of work has gone into making it nice working on Windows.

  28. Guy Herbert
    Big Brother

    @ John Tserkezis

    I think they are there before you... "ID Card" -> "iD". It's got a little i in front of it. It'll sell millions as a fashion item.

  29. asiaseen

    Is it any use

    for opening Yale locks?

  30. dreamingspire

    The EC will soon have us by the proverbials...

    ...because they want true eID, with digital cert, etc. And they want it by 2014 (wanted it by 2009, fully interoperable across the EU, but 2003 eEurope Smart Cards work showed that was over-optimistic).

    Didn't we hear yesterday that most transactions with govt will be on-line by 2014? That needs eID, not CnP. But does HO listen? Meg, however, knows.

  31. Boring Bob
    Thumb Down

    Bad Idea

    Asking for suggestions for applications of ID cards is a very bad idea.

    Here in France people have thought of loads of applications resulting a constant and pointless requirement for your ID card.

    Application 1. I want to go to the local swimming baths? I need my ID card. Why? That way they see where I live and if I can vote for the local mayor. Those who can vote for the mayor pay a reasonable entry price while those who cannot are ripped off.

    Application 2. I want to take some rubbish to the local tip. I need my ID card and a recent utility bill ! I need the ID card to prove who I am but some bright spark figured that maybe I may have moved house and not updated my ID card, hence the added requirement for a recent utility bill. This helps to prevent the clearly widespread fraud of people moving house but not updating their ID cards so that they can drive an extra 20 miles to put their rubbish in another city's tip???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Next time

      don't vote for a dwarf.

  32. Boring Bob

    Not a hope

    ID card with banking application on it??? Should be about as successful as NFC

  33. John Smith 19 Gold badge


    Please note 4 things

    Both Estonia ( a favorite of Charles Clarke IIRC) and Finland are both (by comparison with the UK) *tiny*. Rolling out updated software for their systems, which probably have not been evolving at least since the founding of the Welfare State in 1946.

    It is *not* the card which UK readers are appalled by but the *huge* National Identity Register hanging off the back. with the built in *lifetime* tracking feature at plenty of extra cost designed by the outfit that cut its teeth offering data management for the 3rd Reich. Not to mention the UK government less than stellar reputation for delivering massive IT projects on time and budget.

    The UK has a tradition of *not* requiring a subject of the Crown (they are *not* citizens) to carry *any* form of official document *confirming* who they say they are.

    The UK government has failed to demonstrate anything like an attitude that makes anyone who knows *anything* about government's ability to store and use the data they are asking for safely. It has little to do with making any UK subjects life easier, but a great deal with allowing *permanent* surveillance of *every* aspect of their lives, literally from cradle to well *past* death. Expert advice is that it is more extensive even than the Chinese system, generally viewed as a benchmark in authoritarian regimes.

    No, you can't sign documents electronically with it. You can't open a bank account with it. You can't cross borders with it . But it will act as proof of age so you can buy alcohol and tobacco (and yes there are proof of age schemes already available in the UK). From "Essential to the fight against terrorism" 2001 to "Stopping underage drinking" 2010.

    I need a drink.

  34. Winkypop Silver badge

    I think I'll wait until....

    iD 7

  35. Argus Tuft
    Jobs Horns

    looking forward to the law suit

    when Apple decides iD is too close to iEveryThingElseInTheWorldBelongsToUs

  36. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down


    Saw a news report that indicated they had a *big* Russian sponsored cyber attack in 2007 which brought the whole system to its knees.

    Eggs, meet (nonexistent) basket.


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