back to article Queen set to outlaw ID cards today

The bill abolishing the National Identity Scheme is expected to gain royal assent later today. The Home Office said that it expected the identity documents bill would be passed into law on 21 December. As a result, existing ID cards will be invalid for use in a month's time. Home office minister Damian Green said the bill's …


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  1. Glyn 2


    They need to get rid of all the fingerprint, pics and DNA they take of people that they arrest and release without charge and those found innocent straight away, not 6 months, 2 years or whatever random number they've picked for it today.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Government .....

    is finally rolling back the big brother state.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ID Cards

      Destroy them with fire.

      1. Luther Blissett

        Hot Home/Office action

        Fire does a slow drip drip?

    2. g e


      I love optimists.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't believe it.

      This is only a small setback in the ever present battle for the powers that be to know the inside leg measurement of everyone in the country. There will be an atrocity or crisis and the government will demand access to Facebook/Google/Private/ other databases to help resolve the criminal act. Presto, they have the data they need/want and more.

      "Why do they need it" is the question to be continually asked? And who will make money out of it?

      Don't get me wrong, it is a great step forward and I applaud it but do not run away with any idea that the powers that be have been beaten and will retire defeated. They haven't.

    4. carl 10

      I wish that was true.....

      ....but sadly based on recent nannying governMENTAL behaviour, i.e. "nudging" etc - meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Well aren't you as blind as a mole?

      If you really believe the government will ever give up on monitoring its citizens you're sadly mistaken. They'll just think of other more devious ways of doing the same thing.

      They've probably already passed the legislation as an addition to some other - unrelated - legislation when no-one was looking because that's how these things are actually achieved.

      Such as, for example, the requirement to have an Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

      1. Wayland Sothcott 1
        Big Brother

        Building trade ID cards

        In the building trade I believe that you have to have some sort of government certificate/id card to work on big sites. Working on big computer projects would most probably benefit from some government certification.

        Not having a standard ID card will be seen as an inconvenience. How long until people are demanding some sort of standardization for ID? In the computer industry we have seen many attempts at single signon. Instead of logging into each of your companies servers with a separate user name and password, these are all handled by the domain controller.

        Google is creating a single signon system for Google and Youtube and more. Instead of there being one ID system, expect a raft of currencies that are accepted. When I say accepted, I mean demanded. "I am sorry sir, company policy" becomes more strongly enforced.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a step in the right direction,

    Except you will have to register on a national database to see more flesh than a fashion catalogue.

  4. Loki 1


    Is this the start of sane government? Well, only until the next scare hits the headlines then it will be back to cries of "Protect us!!!"

    1. hplasm

      Oo- a new Oximoron!

      Sane Government!

    2. VancouverDave

      "Protect us!!!" ?

      Have you been yelling for protection? I haven't.

      In fact, I don't know anyone who ever did, apart, of course, from those who stand to make a career out of the protection racket.

  5. Isendel Steel

    Bonfire of the identities...

    see title

    1. hplasm
      Big Brother

      Bonfire of-

      the vanity projects.

  6. John Ford

    Cards for sorrow, cards for joy...

    I wish I'd got an ID card now, it would have been a valuable collectable in the future.

  7. Martyn 4

    title - what title?

    "Photographs, fingerprints and personal information that were submitted as part of the application process for an ID card will be destroyed within two months

    more like

    "Photographs, fingerprints and personal information that were submitted as part of the application process for an ID card will be copied to cd and lost within two months

    1. Glenn Amspaugh
      Big Brother

      Secure delete

      They can't just put the db on a laptop and leave it at the mall?

  8. starwhistle
    Black Helicopters

    One step forwards, one step back

    "I hope we have put the era of ever-increasing state intervention in our private lives behind us forever," says the nice government while planning to firewall the UK internet.

  9. Andy Fletcher

    Go the government!

    So, if I'm reading everything correctly, I have the right to decide whether my children should have their fingerprints recorded, regardless of what they might have done. Whereas I have no right to know if they have an abortion. At last, UK law is starting to make sense to me. In the sense that none of it applies to children. I wouldn't for the life of me wish to suggest that this simply encourages criminals to employ children to do their bidding.

    1. Glyn 2

      potatoe prints

      The kids fingerprints bit is to do with things like the school libraries and things like that I believe. I used to work for a company that used biometrics to identify kids in school libraries and when the parents found out that their kids fingerprints had been taken, they went ballistic and demanded the biometric details be removed.

      The company had never thought of this and the only way to do this was by overwriting it with someone elses fingerprint :-)

    2. Alfred

      You don't own them. You're (supposed to be) looking out for them.

      You're responsible for your children, to the rest of the state (i.e. everyone else); you don't own them. If they reach the point of needing an abortion, you've quite clearly not met your responsibilities and I see no reason why personal medical information that, if it belongs to anyone belongs to them, should automatically be something you know.

    3. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit
      Thumb Down

      @Andy Fletcher

      "I wouldn't for the life of me wish to suggest that this simply encourages criminals to employ children to do their bidding."

      Yeah because if that happened it would so be HMGs fault and no blame whatever would lie with the criminals doing the employing or with the parent/guardian that had failed to adequately supervise and protect.

  10. Dave 15

    Small step on a long journey

    The long journey may be about to begin, I'm not overly hopeful.

    A lot of the data the government collects is not required except by the overly complex and stupid morass of taxes, fees and other charges invented over the years. Simplify this down to a single tax and you will be getting somewhere. Perhaps a single tax on all business transactions (from buying a shirt in a shop, buying something online or importing something - new or second hand). If we got rid of the BBC licence fee we wouldn't need to know what households have a TV or who bought a TV in a shop (as they do now), if we dropped the 'road fund licence' we wouldn't need to know about your car, if we got rid of council tax no need to know the size of your house, get shot of income tax and you don't need to know how much I earn or from whom (tax the spending of the money - whether in the shops or online and strangely you will encourage saving for old age as well).

    The government is unlikely to ever really get to as slim as it should be... perhaps now though it might just start to head in the right direction.

    To stop terrorism try bringing back police stations in towns and villages, the local bobby who knows people and what they are doing... To stop child molestation try prosecuting and locking up the offenders for a proper length of time... But please stop treating us all as a criminal who is waiting to be caught.

    1. Chris Dupont


      Without TV license there would only be privately owned news interests. Insert obligatory Murdock reference here. Without recording car details how do you know who to charge for road tax? Should pedestrians pay for the roads car owns use? Without income tax there would be even less fairness in taxation of rich and poor.

      Better use of resources and data (acquisition, usage and retention) are superior solutions. Less wastage, better value.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        If only it was that simple

        "tax the spending of the money - whether in the shops or online and strangely you will encourage saving for old age as well"

        Even more strangely, you will find out you have encouraged all your economy to switch to cash and move to the black market.

        Of course, this can be avoided by forcing everyone to pay electronically... only that would need identity checks, so you will have to register your house address... which will encourage the Government to come and look at it to see if the size of the house is commensurate with your taxable spendings... which will encourage you to keep track of your earnings so that you could defend against Government's claim that you spend less than you earn (hence evade tax)... until some bright head suggests that, maybe, it would be a good idea to tax people's earnings instead of what they spend...

        1. Tom 13

          If real thieves cost you less then the government,

          then the government are the true thieves and need to be put behind bars.

      2. Alan W. Rateliff, II
        Paris Hilton

        Which is worse, really?

        Actually, that is not quite correct. The government has become the surrogate action agency for those who are up in arms about $_thing but lack the wherewithal to take action of their own accord. In a seeming paradox, these people in turn demand laws which take action on the behalf of everyone, not just themselves, at the cost of everyone.

        If these people really want to be impressive, "make a difference," and leave a legacy, they should all put their money were their mouths are, and stop taking money away from others.

        To tie in to your media outlet statement, anyone who wants to counter the Big Bad Corporate News Outlet(tm) has the ability to do so. If one does not have the resources alone, then numerous can band together. Strength in numbers, David vs. Goliath, and all that.

        And what if pedestrians pay for the roads used by cars? Is that not the same as making everyone pay for services which others use but they themselves do not partake? This so-called "fairness" in the taxation of "rich" and "poor" is little more than the arbitrary progressive punishment of one arbitrary category for the expected benefit of another arbitrary category. I grow weary of hearing these arguments with vague place-holders used instead of real definitions and specifications: what exactly IS "rich," I ask, and please define it from top to bottom, in the minutest details so that I might better understand where the problem truly exists.

        It may be that to satisfy the craving for "fairness" might entail the use of a non-progressive national sales tax in the place of income tax. That tax is based upon consumption, of which the "rich" would do more and the "poor" less.

        Paris, please to define from top to bottom.

        1. Luther Blissett

          Worse than that

          Actually, that is not quite correct either, if your opening para is read as "those who are up in arms... but lack the wherewithal" being a reference to ordinary people. There are plenty of things people would like laws against, such as gorm-free public servants or over-compensated banksters or air-head talking heads, that will not happen. However, it is correct if the reference is taken to such unelected rent-seeking busy-bodies such as the United Nations Organization, which with its Agenda 21 and its Citizen 2000 and its Milennium Development Goals not to mention Catastrophic Anthropogenic Glib Warning, is the source of faux socialistic carousel propaganda, much of which has already been implemented at cost to us, with more to come. The UNO - and as an aside, why is it always UN and not UNO? - would be better called the United Depredations Organization.

      3. tony

        @Chris Dupont

        Maybe he is naive, but their argument is to drop the road tax and charge a general consumption tax to replace it so recording car details wouldn't be needed for that. (Car details would probably need to be recorded for prosecution but thats a different argument).

        Why would their be only privately owned news interests if the tv licence was abolished and the bbc took it's money from the general consumption tax?

        Also depending on how it's done it could possibly rebalance things fairly. But the problem with using 'fairness' as an argument everybody has a differing viewpoint on whats fair.

        Can't see it ever happening though, but probably could do with some consideration without the typical dailymail knee jerk reaction to change.

        It also reminds me of a report from 1996 ish where they looked at removing all taxes except a flat income tax (above a higher zero rate band) and a consumption tax. Whether it would have worked without all the nice things politicians like to meddle with to alter behaviour is another thing entirely....

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "who to charge for road tax"

        Don't have road tax. Raise the equivalent ( and only the equivalent) by raising fuel duty. Those whose cars use the most -actually rather than theoretically - and those who drive the most will pay more.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          But who will pay the fuel duty when we are all driving those

          new fangled electric cars?

        2. Wayland Sothcott 1

          Fuel duty

          The problem with taxing fuel is that fuel can't tell you where the person has been or where they are going. If at a future date they turn out to be a pedophile of terrorist then obviously we should have been tracking them. It's not fair to only select some people for tracking, we should all be prepared to be tracked in this day and age. I know that I could be a terrorist, so I am prepared to hand myself in just in case I am tempted to blow something up.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Its been a long time since the road fund licence existed - Its Vehicle Excise duty now and motorists pay way more for the roads by way of the various taxations (and tax on that tax) than are actually spent on them, on the basis of your reasoning - maybe all those smug pedestrians should be paying more tax to cover the cost of the pavements they use.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        Ah, a good socialist. Bless, how quaint.

        Let me counter some of your points - With TV license, you fund a badly run (as is common across anything managed by state bureaucrats - they're only good at spending your money, badly), state sponsored media outlet that pretends to be impartial, but is driven by it's own agenda (or that of the political clique in favour, usually the Labour left).

        Road tax is an inefficient way of shafting road users that is often (and easily) avoided. If you must screw road users to fund the collapsing benefit system etc, or on some misguided eco crusade, surely simply increasing the fuel levy is harder to dodge while also eliminating a sizable portion of the DVLA and it's costs.

        The last points I agree with. Income tax is a necessary evil, though only insofar as money has to come from somewhere, unless you want VAT to go to say silly levels.

        The better use of data is a double edged sword. The most efficient would be a single pool that all departments would use - cheap to run, common platform, less operational overheads etc etc. Downside - open to corruption and misuse, either privately or by the state. Give someone the wrong access and you could have an issue that makes wikileaks look amateur.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Tax on goods only? Nice idea, but flawed...

      So the price of goods goes up by 40% to cover the required taxes. The less well-off can't afford to eat or clothe themselves, they become destitute and throw themselves on the mercy of the state who has to pay to support them OR you get a nasty black-market economy developing with no safety nets, no security and no support when deals turn bad and people get ripped off.

      Nice idea, but flawed. By speading the taxation in different areas you have a "choice" how to pay taxes. Don't drive? No need to pay road tax. Don't earn much? Pay a little less in taxes on earnings. Don't need a TV? Another bit saved. The current system at least gives some limited "choices" on where you pay tax into the system, it's not great but better than simply doubling or trippling the cost of a "the Friday big-shop".

      Last point I do 100% agree with, we need more local and understanding support from the Met, not policed by some station 10 miles away who only send a "jam-sandwich" round when some local busy-body calls to report 3 kids hanging around on a street corner!

      1. Tom 13

        The price of goods, especially food, won't go up 40%

        Data show that sales taxes can't realistically increase beyond 13%. Up to that point while black markets are a nuisance they aren't a major problem. Beyond 13% sales tax black markets an other non-taxed trading do overwhelm the system. Net income tax revenues rarely exceed 23% regardless of how high any marginal rate of income tax is. In fact, the only way found so far to support the 40%+ tax rates of most European countries is the VAT.

        This question is much debated in the US, and I am firmly of the belief that the best way to protect everyone's interests is a flat income tax. I'd make an exclusion at the level below which it would cost the government more to process the tax claim than they receive in taxes. I understand the economic engine aspects of the fair or highish flat sales tax. But I believe there is a more important moral question that can only be addressed by the income tax. Right now there is too much greed and ency in the system masquerading as "fairness." These evils will only fade when the poor man's money is as much at risk as the rich man's money.

  11. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    "ever-increasing state intervention"

    So an adult content filter on the Internet isn't "ever-increasing state intervention"?

    The best argument I've seen against Internet filters.

  12. FIA Silver badge

    Oh noes!

    "...As a result, existing ID cards will be invalid for use in a month's time."

    Oh no! Does this mean I'll stop being me?!?

    Who will I become?

    1. maclovinz


      You, Sarah Palin, moved to the UK?!

      HE might be real after all!!!!

    2. Blofeld's Cat

      Who will I become?


  13. maclovinz


    Any chance of rational thinking coming across the pond to The States?

    (yawn) "Ahhhkaay, I'll wait."

    1. g e

      Repel the tide

      I think we need to repel the tide of chod flooding Europe-wards from the US before that can happen.

      Too much like swimming upstream for anything sane to ever get there.

      Maybe when the UK becomes the gateway to Europe from the USA instead of the gateway to the USA from Europe...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wheres the punch-line?

    This has got to be a joke right?

    Its not the 1st of April is it, I've not slept the last 4 months away?

    My Name isnt Alice... well I'm pretty sure it isnt!

    This has to be some sort of government mind f@#K!

    1. Just Thinking

      Here's the catch

      You are still going to need to show your id card before you can vote.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    because kids are innocent

    "outlaw the fingerprinting of children without parental consent"

    Unfortunately, there are a number of kids who cause trouble all the time and some of the time they are from parents who might also cause trouble so they aint going to give permission here. In fact most parents probably wouldn't give permission for this as they love their kids.

    So the trouble making kids are likely to just get away with their crimes more as a result. At the end of the day, if you've done nothing wrong, there's nothing to be afraid of.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That would be for circumstances not related to crime

      eg as another poster noted School libraries and registers.

      it will not change the current procedures which tell the plod what they can and can't do when they have the local scallywag/urchin/ruffian/yob down the station.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      "So the trouble making kids are likely to just get away with their crimes more as a result. At the end of the day, if you've done nothing wrong, there's nothing to be afraid of."

      Ah, thanks for that. Very insightful. Obviously nothing could go wrong with the goverment fingerprinting every child in the country for 'library access'. The goverment can be trusted after all right? They wouldn't do anything bad with the data, like burn it on an un-encrypted CD, post it via royal mail, lose it and then say nothing.

      But hey, the kids didn't do anything wrong so that's ok. Who cares if every goverment employee has access to every citizen's fingerprints (kids grow up you know..). No bad goverment employes after all right? Wouldn't do anything bad with that kind of data. No sir.

      Nor would it escalate to 'we already have this fingerprint data so why not require it for mass transport/everything else'. No chance.

    3. web_bod

      'ey up it's the Daily Mail!

      Shouldn't you be warning people about the Cancer risk posed by Christmas trees or something?

      I have a right to my privacy regardless of my actions or intents.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    In this solemn moment what can one say....






  17. Tigra 07

    No title required

    "Queen set to outlaw ID cards today"

    I read the article and this is all well and good, but what does Elton John have to do with this?

    1. Isendel Steel


      Has he joined up with Brian May and Roger Taylor then ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      he certainly

      has much more power to outlaw ID cards than the actual queen, who has no power to interfere in law, and government, whatsoever.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Slightly OT, but what happened to those ...

    that actually *paid* for the damn things. I know the decision not to refund them was challenged ... did it win ? Because AFAIAC, unless you were required to get an ID card (we never quite got to that stage did we) then your loss should be regarded as a "stupid tax".

  19. Tigra 07

    No title required

    "Queen set to outlaw ID cards today"

    THE queen? or any random one?

    Sitting in a Soho pub, waiting for the call...

  20. Rogerborg

    Jobs for the New Old Boys

    Don't get your hopes up - it's just shifting contracts to a different lot of Friends and Family.

    Mind you, if they're looking for populist ideas then burning the DVLA to the ground and salting the earth would guarantee a landslide win.


      Throw the ICO on the fire

      to keep the warm glow going.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical government

    Not that I particularly care about whether I have to carry an ID card to go with my driving licence and nectar cards, Tescos Clubcard tracks me far more than an ID card would, not that I care whether my fingerprints are on a database, prolly cuts the risk of being falsely picked up for a crime if they can tell in a flash my fingerprints weren't there.

    What I'm against is these projects getting kicked off under one government, billions spent over the years, adding to the national debt, the next government get in, rubbish the idea and scrap it. We've spent billions trying to achieve nothing and the taxpayer is the only place the government can fund these lucrative contracts.

    Either carry a project through or don't start it in the first place, getting half way there and scrapping it is neither an investment or a saving. It's plain old pouring money down the bog.

    1. JimC

      > pouring money

      You're a believer in throwing good money after bad then?

      Yes, it would be nice if no government (or any other organisation) started dumb projects, but its still better to scrap them if they turn out to be dumb than carry on throwing more good money at them.

    2. IsJustabloke

      I refuse to enoble a simple forum post....

      This kind of stuff wouldn't happen if government (of any colour) actually listened. As far as I can tell the only people in favour of this whole sorry mess were, Blunkett, wacky jacque and a shitload of IT firms.

      So let's not start blaming the curent mob for this mess, they said all along what they were gonna do.

      Besides I'm sure they have their own "ID card Scheme" to waste new billions on.

      1. Starkadder

        Or even ennoble

        Oh they do, they do. It's called HS2.

    3. dogged
      Thumb Down

      oi, sunshine

      you have a choice about whether to use a Tesco Clubcard. I don't use one.

      Labour weren't planning to leave ID cards optional. And they were expecting us to pay 80 quid for the privilege of being a number.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up


        "Labour weren't planning to leave ID cards optional. "

        Not quite true. One of the small concessions they got out of NuLabor's government were that would never happen. Her Wackiness pointed out that it would only take a 1 clause law to change this anyway.

        They felt that would be *coercive*.

        It would always be optional.

        Like breathing.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Big Brother

          2 Down votes?

          That thumbs up was for it going in the *bin* of history.

          My brief re-cap of NuLabour's policy was just a *reminder * of how quickly history gets "mis-remembered. "

          And how downright deceptive their policy (Oh no it *will* be optional. Just as long as you don't want to open a bank account, enter a club, buy a drink, buy a train or plane ticket etc) was.

          BB because while the surface parts have gone the design documents are still on file and the senior civil service vermin who started this are still *mostly* dug in.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      I appreciate your sentiment

      ... but in case it escaped you, we have had a change of regime, since the ID card scheme was initiated. Hence the u-turn.

      What makes me incandescent with fury is the the fact that when ID cards were first mooted, no one wanted them. NuLab cooked up a stew of FUD to try and engage the public, which failed spectacularly. Then they tried the bully boy approach. All the while the scheme became more unworkable, and was clearly going to be scrapped by any non-labour government. The Home Office should have factored this into the planning and contracting, so that when the inevitable came, either politically (as happened) or technically (when they realised the scheme would never ever work) they could gracefully cancel contracts and not lose too much.

      Instead we had a piece of pure political posturing where nuLab *deliberately* signed lock-in contracts to demonstrate how committed they were to the process.

      I'm not a big ConDem fan, but the blame for this mess lies squarely at NuLabs door.

    5. Alpha Tony


      "not that I care whether my fingerprints are on a database, prolly cuts the risk of being falsely picked up for a crime if they can tell in a flash my fingerprints weren't there"

      Um, no. It would increase your risk of being wrongly identified even though you weren't there as comparing to millions of unrelated samples would produce numerous false positives. Even if you are able to prove your innocence by having an alibi it still wastes police time (and good luck if you are wrongly accused of something like child rape buddy, as your life will be f*cked either way by the time it comes out you are innocent).

      The reality of the situation is that whatever TV series like CSI tell us, fingerprint and DNA matching are not exact sciences. Comparing a print to a dozen or even a hundred samples from people identified as suspects is a good way to narrow it down and in combination with other evidence should be enough to convict. Comparing it to 60 million people on a random fishing trip would actually waste everyone's time.

  22. Peter Clarke 1

    @Tigra 07

    Maybe Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor (and Paul Rodgers) will be playing Hammer To Fall whilst they work?

    Coat please, it's bloody cold outside

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Can we get the queen to outlaw Phorm at the same time

    Can we get the queen to outlaw Phorm at the same time

  24. bexley

    thank god

    I am pleased with this anoucement.

    The cynic in me thinks that the security services will be making backups of it all as we speak for future use but hey.

    I'm also suprised that the right wing party have chosen to be more liberal than labour as well. Thought the tories would be worse but this is great, if they could do something about the absurd volume of cctv cameras next that would be great.

    The UK firewall thing that people are worried about, dont worry about it, they cant afford it anyway and it wont work, it's just an MP saying something for the sake of saying something, he does not understand how it works, one of his minions will set him straight.

    1. Greemble
      Big Brother

      The UK firewall thing

      The security services no doubt have several backups already - although they're not going to be interested in the vast majority of those on it. These are the people who are volunteering to be watched, after all.

      I certainly hope you're right about the firewall, though I'd not pin too much hope on any underling setting their minister straight - Remember the Digital Economy Bill? Look how well that turned out...

      BB - He knows the value of data backups

  25. Anonymous Coward


    Oi! 50 posts?

    Are you lot on holiday?

    Haven't you owt better to do to do?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Queen set to outlaw ID cards today


    not very catchy, that.

    never be as big as bohemian rhapsody.

  27. Brian Davies
    Thumb Down

    I mourn its loss...

    Bugger! I was an early adopter of the card. I waited ages to get one and mourn its demise. Still, here in Spain it still looks a genuine ID an I will continue using it for as long as possible. The Spanish and expat residents must carry an ID and the card is far more compact than carrying a passport. What's your problem the naysayers? The new passport will carry all sorts of personal info too.

    1. Captain Mainwaring
      Thumb Up

      Fits Most Pockets

      Having travelled and lived abroad over many years, I can't say that I ever had a problem in transporting my passport around on my person. It seems to fit in most trouser/jacket/shirt pockets quite comfortably and is generally less obtrusive than a wallet or purse.

      The new passport, although coming with enhanced security features, carries no more personal information on it than the previous model did. Speaking as a naysayer, I am quite happy that this Nu Labour Stasi card has been abolished from these Islands, even if it means our expat friends abroad have to walk around with a slightly fuller pocket than they might like.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Hi Jacqui, how's excile working out for you?


    3. The Jase


      "The Spanish and expat residents must carry an ID"

      Even when going for a swim down la playa? Or crossing the carretera to go to the local Supersol?

      Hmmm, is Franco still about then?

    4. Anonymous Coward


      that Spanish authorities recognise the UK ID card. UK authorities didn't. (El Reg passim)

    5. Doctor_Wibble

      silly governments and stupid projects

      I can understand why you see the thing as useful, but in its current form (far beyond a simple card) it had to go.

      If the government at the time had had any sense they would have gone for a 'plastic passport' card which would have been fine for your needs and without all the extra record-everything nonsense. Chances are if they had gone that way we would have had them years earlier.

      But they didn't because there were too many advisers and assorted chums of people in/on/around the proposals who had lots of super whizzy machinery and services that they wanted to sell. A simple card would have been useful to you but would not represent the golden opportunity that people were drooling over.

  28. Tim Elphick

    If they're destroying the data...

    I don't suppose this means my passport will be any cheaper when I renew it next year, does it?

  29. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Not like they ever did mean anything!

    "As a result, existing ID cards will be invalid for use in a month's time"

    From what I gather most of the organisations that were supposed accept these things, 9 times out of 10 refused and asked for the more traditional passport or driving license, so were they ever valid as forms of ID?!

  30. codemonkey


    "Small set back for gov"..."large step forward"..."the move is great"'s great for one thing..and one thing only; PROFIT.

    They tax you.

    They give that money to large "boys club" companies.

    Who pay you

    They tax you

    It is *NO* problem for this system to create tech that it "doesn't use", in any the usefulness of the project has already been realised...until next time...

    Get off now you know :)

  31. Anonymous Coward

    "Being watched"? Are you folks serious?

    Ladies and gentlemen, I laughed off the floor reading most of the opinions on the matter of "privacy", "Big Brother", "government control" and other such gems.

    Now look, I hate to break this to you, but most of you bathing in this eau-de-"Hooray,-we're-free!-The-Evil-Government-(TM)-can't-control-us-now!" most probably have one or more of the following with you at this very moment:

    - driver's license

    - credit card(s)

    - debit card(s)

    - library card(s)

    - passport

    - membership card(s)

    - cellphone/smartphone/PDA/tablet-doohickey/laptop (with or without Internet connection)

    - magnetic/RFID access cards

    - student's booking card (I don't know if this applies to the UK, where I live, it applies)

    - military drafting card/ID/whatever applies

    So, believe me, if the government really wants to track you down, they will in a far more efficient way than with a simple paper+plastic card with your name, picture and some (approximately) private data written on it.

    And regarding storing fingerprints and DNA, I have always been unable to understand why people are so afraid of having them stored. It's not like police can't get to them if they really need, and it's not like people can't find a way to frame you, if that's what you fear (think about how many plastic cups/bottles one discards every day, with a sufficiently full set of fingerprints on each of them).

    Speaking of database storing, I've got a really good laugh when I got to this chap's comment:

    "It would increase your risk of being wrongly identified even though you weren't there as comparing to millions of unrelated samples would produce numerous false positives. Even if you are able to prove your innocence by having an alibi it still wastes police time (and good luck if you are wrongly accused of something like child rape buddy, as your life will be f*cked either way by the time it comes out you are innocent)."

    What world are you living in, my friend? You seem to have watched too many movies about how difficult lives of those ever prosecuted are. I have an acquaintance accused of 3 accounts of rape and murder (a whole family, in fact, and grisly murders they were, too). He became a suspect, and then was initially charged based on fingerprints stored in a database from a previous retention (alcohol+driving), but was released after being able to prove beyond doubt that he wasn't in town at that time, and the fingerprints were there because he admittedly worked for the victims (he is an electrician). He was released and, contrary to all the low-grade tear-inducing-drama-wannabe Hollywood movies, he was recognized as innocent by the community. The real criminal was only identified and apprehended about two years later. I know this is anecdotal, but here's another thought of mine: if you, as a person part of a community, aren't able to shake off the thought that someone was, at a certain point in time, accused of something, even after it is proven that that person is innocent beyond a shadow of doubt, then perhaps that person deserves better than to be forced to live in the same community with you. Here's the truth: it's how police works, and it's about as good as it can work. We won't need policemen if we knew exactly who did what right from the start without occasionally making mistakes.

    As for:

    "Comparing a print to a dozen or even a hundred samples from people identified as suspects is a good way to narrow it down and in combination with other evidence should be enough to convict. Comparing it to 60 million people on a random fishing trip would actually waste everyone's time."

    I can just now imagine a bloke from London police going "Oh, bugger, I wish I could figure out whether this perfect sample of DNA we found at the scene matches a serial rapist and murderer from Glasgow who has been doing this for a while and only recently moved in order to foil our plans, now if only I had a database to look into." (by the way, apologies for using London and Glasgow as examples, any similarity to reality is purely coincidental). What would you choose: wasting time on a fingerprint/DNA fishing trip that MIGHT offer you a suspect and wasting the corresponding amount of time, or not having a suspect at all and saving all that money? I'm sorry, but I think most rational people would choose the former.

    So a big FAIL for all you who think that you've gained something in way of freedom. You gained nothing. Just the illusion that: A. somehow the evil government who wanted to control you more has failed and B. you're more free than before. When government controls, it does so through methods that remain ingrained in your mind (indoctrination schooling, religion, "moral and patriotic" duty - note the quotation marks, etc.), not through a darn piece of plastic.

    As for this whole thing being a huge waste of money, that I can't and won't argue against.

  32. JaitcH

    RIP Blunkett, Blair & Brown - Authors of British Excess

    At one point in time the British government was covert in it's data collection. Then along come Blunkett, Blair & Brown and force all manner of data collection down British throats with hardly a murmur of complaint from the public.

    Finally the public is becoming aware of what it does to it's citizens.

    Many countries have ID systems but very, very few fingerprint children, or include them on yet another BBB database.

    There is one benefit from ID cards: good forgeries are frequently accepted by systems/people not using electronic verification.

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