back to article You didn't trust us with your ID, so we gave it to private biz

Earlier this year your correspondent was standing tantalisingly close to Matt Smith in the ACTUAL TARDIS - long story, not gonna Facebook it, never gonna tweet it. However, many Brits are happy to noisily ricochet chunks of their private lives across any number of websites and systems, in a year in which the British government …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ref. the last comment, i.e. Downing Street + common sense, i.e. dropping the plans to introduce default internet censorship (think of the children!) - this will be repackaged and tried again, same as Ms May's repackaging of labour snooping plan.

    1. Chet Mannly

      We had the same in Australia, but it was dropped 2 days before the USA announced sanctions against Iran based on their internet censorship (total coincidence of course).

      Hopefully it stays dead in both countries...

    2. LarsG

      Paranoid? I've every right to be.

      The State will use FEAR against the population, they welcome any news that generates fear in our communities, they emphasise crime, terrorism and anything else that can be put on the band wagon.

      Then they strike with legislation, dripping restrictions and surveillance into law. The population sleep walks into this until the Government has micro control over our lives.

      Of course all data will be kept safe, data on our children will be kept safe (their school record already follows them for the rest of their lives) and if you have NOTHING TO HIDE you have nothing to fear, except your liberty and freedom of speech. If you offend them you can be arrested, if you expose them you may die in prison (Putin, I'm pointing at you). There is not a country in the world that is not moving in this direction.

      In two years there will be a vote, sadly all the Parties are the same when it comes to manipulation of the population. Are we paranoid? We should be.

  2. frank ly

    ... eradicate terrorism and pedophilia.

    I don't have a problem with 'pedophilia' (love of feet). It's 'paedophilia' that bothers me and should be stamped on (with big feet - maybe that's where the confusion arises).

    1. The BigYin

      Re: ... eradicate terrorism and pedophilia.

      Define "terrorism". Setting a bomb on the public street? Sure, we can all agree that that is terrorism. But our state goes much further than that and the laws pass (potentially) from protection into oppression. Sometimes that person saying the thing you don't like and don't want to hear is saying the thing you need to hear.

      The Tories and Labour are cut from the same cloth; they want all the power for their rich Etonian friends, but none of the responsibility; is it any wonder the minor (and some rather repugnant) parties are gaining traction? The country is screwed because of Labour and Tory policies over the past 20 years (i.e. PFI), we know this; just be honest, swallow your party pride and fix the problem.

      1. WonkoTheSane

        Re: ... eradicate terrorism and pedophilia.

        "The Tories and Labour are cut from the same cloth"

        The problem is neither the Tories nor Labour. The actual problem is the un-elected (un)civil servants pushing this along.

        "Yes, Prime Minister" was a docudrama, not a sitcom!

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: ... eradicate terrorism and pedophilia.

        " The country is screwed because of Labour and Tory policies over the past 20 years (i.e. PFI), we know this; just be honest, swallow your party pride and fix the problem."

        Look at the civil servants.

        8 Home secretaries (or thereabouts)

        3 different governments

        1 Policy.

        You need to identify "The enemy within"

      3. Naughtyhorse

        Re: ... eradicate terrorism and pedophilia.

        Terrorism: Setting a bomb on the public street?

        I think you'll find that rather depends on the street, something with a W1 post code, most certainly, something with a Basra postcode, not so much.

        The word is _entirely_ subjective and malleable, that's why they love to use it so often.

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Frankly, I find May's positively hysterical 'think of the children' cry deeply disturbing. This is someone who will bear very close watching.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      If at first you don't succeed...

      She bears more than watching, but I suppose she has a safe seat so is unlikely to be voted out. The security community will try again and again for increased powers of surveillance and interference; it's their nature, they can't help it, and the people who end up as Home Secretary, Minister for Justice or whatever are the kind of people who fall for this (at least as a form of CYA).

      And the MPs think "legislation is needed as long as it is measured and proportionate." Wafflepiffle.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: If at first you don't succeed...

        "The security community will try again and again for increased powers of surveillance and interference; "

        Well the civil servants in charge of those groups will at any rate.

        It appears (as Winston Churchill put it) that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance against the security services.

        Thumbs up for the observation, not for the good news.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: If at first you don't succeed...

        "She bears more than watching, but I suppose she has a safe seat so is unlikely to be voted out. "

        The Speaker of the house has a majority of 26000. He fell to a Scottish Nationalist who now has a majority of somewhere north of 2000. That's a shift of 28000+.

        The bigger they are the harder they fall. But note she's just another victim of the usual Home Office brainwashing briefings by their in house spy-on-everyone unit (whatever it's called this time).

        This will continue until the group involved are seriously dis-incentivised. I'll leave readers to imagine what would be an appropriate means of doing so.

    2. The BigYin

      Children are most at risk from relatives. Children should not have families. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

      May is a fool.

    3. Equitas

      "think of the children" indeed!

      It's a subject on which she's not really qualified to speak, not having had any children and therefore not experienced the rôle of parent. Her inexperience may or may not have been a matter of choice on her part, but her inexperience is undeniable.

      1. Hollerith 1

        Is that the criterion?

        If you need to have had a relevant experience before being able to speak about it, then lots of subjects will be herewith dropped, e.g. gay marriage by straight people, how to run a school by non-teachers, etc. On the other hand, you would have to bow to those with experience speaking within their field, e.g. bank executives deciding CEO bonuses.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The national ID debacle - round II coming up.

    There are simple, coherent ways in which national IDs can be handled by trusted 3rd parties, provided the coordination and controls actually work - and that's where the BIG problem lies.

    The previous ID scam scheme project was passed as A-OK by a NAO which was led by a former member of the organisation it was supposed to audit, with the audit done by mere school leavers. No conflict of interest there then.

    The "new" idea of handing ID verification out to third parties (which isn't new at all, I recall, for instance, Barclays proudly advertising its involvement many years ago) needs very careful coordination to prevent duplicate numbers being handed out, and I fear the enthusiasm for building big databases with as many personal details as possible including biometrics will only increase now the government has gotten chummy with Google, who no doubt would *love* to help and then export that data to the land of the free and the clueless, naturally applying Schmidt's famous, careful approach to your privacy which seems worryingly government compatible.

    The main problem here is that the transparency governments want from us only goes one way: you as voter are not entitled to see what the hell happens with your data - which begs that wonderful question: what do THEY have to hide?. If you make any plans for 2013, plan this: challenge any reference to "national security" and "it will help the terrorists" if it doesn't come with an automatic time release of information because that needs to happen.

    And so we enter 2013, with new opportunities for those who enthusiastically spend your tax to waste some more whilst pretending to "save" you money. Well, here is what is going to happen. The government may not tax you too much for an ID - but you can be damn sure the companies who supply this on the government's behalf will.

    You could call that outsourcing taxation. That, too, is far from a new idea.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: The national ID debacle - round II coming up.

      The system should be federated and public so that if I want to, I can host/provide my own ID verification system. I probably won't (I do have something that vaguely passes for a life), but the only way to keep the bastards honest is to ensure that at any time you can yank the rug from below them.

      I agree with the main thrust; if the state wants me to be open with it, then it must be open with me. That means that I can authenticate (via OpenID or whatever) and view all the information the government holds on me, and all MP/civili servant interests and expenses etc.

      I'm happy to accept some restrictions for national security (e.g. active police investigations) but not one heck of a lot. I said it below - I want to see my MPs and MEPS leads by example; not engage in hypocrisy,

    2. D Moss Esq

      Round II promises to be very busy

      Census – Francis Maude speaking at the ICO conference in March 2012 promised a new way of doing the census in 2021. There can be no suggestion that the census would constitute a single national identity register.

      Electoral roll – June 2011 Individual Electoral Registration Bill promises a new way of compiling the electoral roll, including data-sharing across government departments to check for completeness. Associated impact assessment notes that this data-sharing is illegal. Copies of the electoral rolls compiled constituency-by-constituency would all be stored unedited with the credit referencing agencies. There can be no suggestion that this electoral roll would constitute a single national identity register.

      Personal Data Stores (PDSs) – July 2012 midata review of midata and consultation introduces concept of everyone having one or more PDSs, files which identify you and include unlimited transaction data stored with a trusted third party in the cloud. The cloud isn't safe. The web isn't safe. Why trust the third parties? Why concentrate a lot of data about yourself in one place? Breaks all the rules of cybersecurity advocated by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). But BIS want you to have a PDS because it will "empower" you. The only supplier of PDSs they ever mention is Mydex, whose chairman sits on the midata advisory board at BIS. And the Government Digital Service (GDS) want you to have a PDS because it will allow you to verify your identity when you access public services. GDS have appointed seven "identity providers", one of them being Mydex. All part of GDS's Identity Assurance Programme (IDAP). GDS are part of the Cabinet Office. Another part of the Cabinet Office is responsible for cybersecurity. They warn individuals and businesses to beware of the web. £10 million of the £650 million cybersecurity budget was used to fund IDAP. No doubt it all makes sense and the suggestion of inconsistency is frivolous.

      1. The BigYin

        Re: Round II promises to be very busy

        "Copies of the electoral rolls compiled constituency-by-constituency would all be stored unedited with the credit referencing agencies."

        This is my data, that I have provided under threat of legal sanction. Do I now have to pay these private companies £10+ a month to be able to check the veracity of my data? Screw that.

        "GDS have appointed seven "identity providers", one of them being Mydex."

        So we need to ensure compatibility, security and reliability by demanding that the data and protocols used be 100% open (and I mean, free & open; not the MS patent-infested idea of "open") up-to and including a private individual being able to host their own, personal identify service (this is perfectly feasible by going down to, say, a post office and submitting the various keys along with primary ID). A failure to provide this is to disempower the public and have them held hostage to private concerns.

        Want to check you data? Pay up or shut up, bitch.

        Oh and one last thing; should any of these private companies be compromised, I want to see the executives held personally and infinitely liable for all losses suffered by persons breached and all fines levied. In the exact same way banking professionals are not. Why so stringent? Simple. These people only understand money, so the only way to make them behave and not profiteer is to put their wallets on the firing line.

        But wait! No business will agree to those terms and the service won't be provided! Well, I have no problem with that either. We truck along right now quite happily.

        1. sjs298

          Re: Round II promises to be very busy

          "the data and protocols used be 100% open"

          Free and Open will definitely happen, as to quote the OJEU Tender [1] - "DWP is building interfaces to its systems for Identity Assurance that currently use standard SAML 2 profiles". SAML is an Open Standard [2].

          As to whether Citizens will be able to run their own IdP as per SAML, I'm not convinced that is going to happen.

          It would be quite feasible for groups of people to band together and run an IdP (I would guess subject to some minimum size limit), but smaller than that limit and the costs to the Government to perform all the due diligence would make the cost prohibitive. (Someone has to check that you are not a bad guy who is complying with all the standards).



  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Teresa May wants personal data...

    ...can't she just buy it from the DVLC like everyone else? Can't say that the government's data-handling has been very impressive so far.

  6. ACx


    I have a solution to the national ID problem.

    Let Facebook handle it.

    Almost every one is quite happy to share all sorts of intimate details with Facebook for Facebooks's profitable exploitation, so let them do it. That way, every one's happy.

    P122 taking aside, couldn't the government nazis just demonstrate that they want much less data than facebook to show how benign their case is? No, I would buy that either, but I'm pretty sure the majority of zombie plebs would happily lap that up. "Hey, look at all the info you give FB, we just want an incy wincy bit of that. Not so bad, aye?". Er.... deeerrrrrr...... OK.

    In fact, how much must it annoy the gov that we happily give all these details to the stupid web sites, but don't like our own dear gov having it?

    1. The BigYin

      Re: ID

      Godwin. You ruin an otherwise good point.

      A public action can still be private (I go to the toilet, that is public knowledge, the action remains private) and it is often by acting in public that we are at our most free and anonymous. The state wishes to remove this - why?

      Not for the children; that is the systematic failure of outdated, superstitious organisations that (for whatever reason) still get special treatment. Also, if our own MPs and MEPs divulged their information publicly (you know, to their employers) then I would have more sympathy. Until then, in the words of that great philosopher, "eat my shorts".

  7. The BigYin

    Bite my...

    ...asymmetric crypto, VPS, VPN and multiple accounts; bitch.

    The government can handle my data in via the private sector the same day they engage in full disclosure of all expenses, all gratuities, all benefits, all share-holdings/directorships etc. In other words, the day they lead by example is the day I follow.

    Until then the government will be treated like the clear and present danger they are and get the minimum information they require to function.

    What is worse for children? The (small) risk of being interfered with physically or the very real risk of their state regime systematically mining their personal information. And every regime that follows. The state is elected to obey and to serve the people, not the other way around. We forget this at our peril.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: Bite my...

      I forgot one thing; all hail the DarkNet. Let me see you put that genie back in the bottle; bitch.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Bite my...

      The state is elected to obey and to serve the people, not the other way around. We forget this at our peril. .... The BigYin Posted Saturday 29th December 2012 16:09 GMT

      The fascist state has forgotten that, The BigYin, and so now exists constantly in peril of catastrophic smarter mattered attacks and virtual assaults upon its credibility which would question leading individuals intellectual fitness for future greater governance purpose in a Brave New Orderly World Mega Program ..........with Mined Alternate Reality States and Mind Altered Reality States.

      The military though appear to have IT covered and have recognised it as a work in progress to be more fully also engaged with in the civilian cybersphere. .......

      It appears (as Winston Churchill put it) that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance against the security services. .... John Smith 19 Posted Saturday 29th December 2012 23:34 GMT

      Eternal vigilance with the security services would slash the cost of freedom and be a price worth paying at whatever costs and expenses. Or do y'all expect Peace and Freedom to be Provided For with Nothing to Give. What do you think QE funds are for if not for purchasing future assets which generate interest and power in command and control of cyber operations. Is that not what the UK Green Investment Bank is invented for to fund, or is the UKGIB a more exclusive Cabinet Office slush fund/private tap?

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  9. Anonymous Coward

    National Pupil Database

    This really shows the ICO at it's most disgustingly supine.

    The schools didn't obtain proper consent in the first place; now we see a massive exercise in bad faith where the data thus gained is to be sold off. Can't someone tell these twats about reindentification?

  10. Captain DaFt

    " eradicate terrorism and pedophilia"

    To paraphrase Star Wars: "The more you tighten your grip, the more they will slip through your fingers."

    The only end result ever increasing intrusiveness is a society that fears and distrusts the police and government, which ends up shielding the criminals, because the average person will be to afraid to point them out for fear of being arrested.

    "You DARE impugn that such atrocities still exist in our perfect state? Obviously you are a malcontent and a danger to the State! Arrest him!"

  11. mhoulden
    Big Brother

    How about the new child protection database they quietly sneaked out the day after Boxing day? Very suspicious timing and I think there must be better ways to protect vulnerable children than just "let's have another database".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: The Child Protection Database

      "The £9m Child Protection Information System will alert doctors and nurses in accident and emergency departments if children are known to be at risk or had urgent treatment at other hospitals".

      How would such a database have protected Victoria Climbie as none of the doctors doing the examination noticed her 128 separate injuries and scars.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: re: The Child Protection Database

        Did they really call it Child PIS?

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Big Brother

    Your childrens data safe in *their* hands

    I think not.

    And still no explanation of how Farr'sMay's CCDP plan will save£5Bn over its first 10 years of operation.

  13. MachDiamond Silver badge


    "beyond the likes of Facebook, Google and other well-known free-content ad networks"

    beyond the likes of Facebook, Google and other well-known content-free ad networks.

    There, I fixed it.

  14. bag o' spanners

    Does this mean that I won't be able to fiddle my exes unless I become an MP?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Page 2 is one of the most epic works of trolling I have read in a while.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    gordon brown wants to stick his fingers in your

    this is a very terrible situation i am going to suicide now

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You guys are arriving late in this nightmare...

    Here in Canada we are being monitored officially since November 1st after the fascist Harper government passed the bill in the parliament in June. ISPs are required to keep data for 6 months and any government department or the Police can request the data at any time WITHOUT a court order.

    1984, but ten times worse.

    The police on the streets are also extremely dangerous to deal with and they break the law constantly when it comes to citizen rights. There are so many Youtube videos about how truculent they've become it is not even funny anymore. We are under a very stupid dictatorship and cannot change the rules. I plan to move out of this country as soon as I can.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No doubt the nice people running the ID card assurance scheme will go to prison rather than hand my data over to the local dog catcher on demand?

  19. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Brazil - coming to your neighborhood soon

    And I don't mean the country ... go watch the movie

    In many ways I live a digital life ... not FB or any of the other craptastic "social" sites but I'm out there in places like this - this has never worried me too much because I'm generally law-abiding, if not socially approved in these things. But looking down the road, to my children's future (good bloody luck to them) I do wonder where we're going ... younger, we all thought that the Global Village would be a good thing but now it seems that it will be run by village idiots - I gotta watch Brazil again I think ,,,, hell, it;s a Christmas movie isn't it?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The photo on page 1

    Should be captioned, "It Was Only This Big."

  21. crayon

    @Chet Mannly

    As long as Australia stays a faithful poodle to the US then there is little chance of being on the receiving end of sanctions.


    "The word is _entirely_ subjective and malleable, that's why they love to use it so often."

    The word has been abused so much by the Israelis that real, god fearing terrorists wouldn't be seen dead associating with the likes that Israel calls "terrorists".

    The abuse of the word has reached new depths when after the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of upgrading the State of Palestine's status to non-member state, a former Israeli FM called it a "strategic terror attack".

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    You know when someone's using a downvote bot

    When even AMFM1 gets it.

    You also know you're dealing with the US Gov when they list a 194 page document as a "pamphlet"

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