back to article The EU wants you to log into YouTube using your state-issued ID card

The EU’s enquiry into online plantations platforms will recommend a hands-off approach that will delight Silicon Valley. A draft of the enquiry was leaked this week. The study, part of the EU's Digital Single Market wheeze, also sneaks in one of the EU bureaucrats' top favourite obsessions: national ID cards. You shouldn't be …

  1. Andy Non Silver badge

    “for every consumer to have a multitude of username and password combinations is not only inconvenient but becomes a security risk.”

    Risk to who?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So when the single-point-of-failure ID gets compromised (and it probably will) you are fucked on every internet service you've ever been to.

      I've heard better ideas from people who said "hold my tequila and watch this..."

      1. PNGuinn
        FAIL

        "(and it probably will)"

        "and it inevitably, horribly, certainly will. BIG time"

        There - fixed it for you

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: Risk to who?

      Risk to the Government that one of it's citizens might be doing something on the Internet which can't be tracked?

      If every website in the world has to verify your ID with the database in Big Brother central whenever you visit it, then that is far better than just tracking IP addresses, and even makes Tor useless.

      1. Number6

        Re: Risk to who?

        You'll just create a market for stolen credentials - access the site and it'll show you for free the ID details for a well-known politician, so you can enter those to go further into the site 'legally', where you can go buy a bunch of other ID credentials. Then you can go surf happily.

        If all the websites are required to verify with a central database, then that's one hell of a scalability problem, not least a security one. If it doesn't have to verify then there's no onus on the individual to provide anything identifiable. Also, you can only verify the details provided, or are we all supposed to fit cryptographically-protected fingerprint or iris readers to our PCs, phones and tablets?

      2. John Hughes

        Re: Risk to who?

        Both wrong and right.

        Yes, it's a horrible idea.

        But no, it doesn't need websites to verify your id with a central dabase -- the just check that your certificate has been signed by the Estonian government.

    3. VinceH
      Facepalm

      They're assuming lowest common denominators. If people have multiple log-ins, less sensible ones will adopt the same details across multiple sites.

      Therefore, the obvious solution is to make everyone use the same details across multiple sites.

    4. Efros

      Risk

      That the intelligence services can't easily access your stuff.

    5. Lars Silver badge
      Coat

      "Why? Apparently, “for every consumer to have a multitude of username and password combinations is not only inconvenient but becomes a security risk.”

      I must admit I would like to see the source to that sentence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I must admit I would like to see the source to that sentence.

        I'd love to see him explain the reasoning on live TV. My guess would be something like "HURRR. DERP. More than one password is difficult to remember, innit?"

        On the subject of the near-inevitable compromise; just imagine that we all went over to this system and your account was compromised. You'd be effectively barred from the internet until it was sorted...which could be years.

  2. Chika
    Big Brother

    Suur Vend jälgib sind

    That is all.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair

    Estonia kept it's own culture and language during a long occupation. On the other hand the UK is increasingly happy to take a poor man's copy of what passes for culture in the US without even having to be asked!

    1. asdf

      Re: To be fair

      >Estonia kept it's own culture and language

      Good for them but exactly how did that make a bit of difference to western civilization? Yes perhaps American culture isn't Louis the Sun King but an awful lot of Brit posters on here have told me in the past they loved Family Guy, Bill Hicks etc. Yes the English speaking world culture has largely merged into a giant mass media blob but don't entirely blame us Americans. We did a lot to make your language the Lingua franca the world over (mostly because we can't learn other languages worth a damn lol).

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: To be fair

        We did a lot to make your language the Lingua franca the world over

        After World War II, yes, but the groundwork was laid globally over the previous century, with English replacing French as the language of diplomacy and replacing German as the language of science and technology.

        So, late to the fray again... ;-)

      2. cbars
        Meh

        Re: To be fair

        "We did a lot to make your language the Lingua franca the world over"

        Nothing to do with that empire thing then? Well, thank you America!

        ....

        1. asdf

          Re: To be fair

          >Nothing to do with that empire thing then? Well, thank you America!

          Hollywood and mass media did at least as much as the UK Navy. Point granted though.

        2. DropBear

          Re: To be fair

          "We did a lot to make your language the Lingua franca the world over"

          To be fair, he's right. They _did_ invent the internet - and then suddenly there was only _one_ international language everyone speaks for better or worse...

    2. FuzzyWuzzys
      Unhappy

      Re: To be fair

      Sadly generations have been brought up with it and don't know their own culture or haven't been given a chance to know their own culture, thus they will latch on to another. We have thousands of years of culture and heritage yet we latch on to one that barely 250 years old.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To be fair

        2500+ years. We're the latest incarnation of the Roman Empire... in spirit, anyway ;)

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: To be fair

        By now it is already a part of "our"* culture**. At least for the current generation and the one before that. And certainly the next.

        * and **: Whatever that means anyway... I understand definitionsdmay vary.

  4. Bronek Kozicki

    “for every consumer to have a multitude of username and password combinations is not only inconvenient but becomes a security risk.”

    That's a good one. Presumably using single set of credentials for many unrelated purposes is not a security risk?

  5. Cynical Observer
    Mushroom

    Oh give me strength!

    Actually no - not strength for I might hurt some one! Give me patience!

    “for every consumer to have a multitude of username and password combinations is not only inconvenient but becomes a security risk.”

    He can take my PseudoIdentity when he pries it from my cold dea...

    Actually fuck it - he can have that one I'll have a new one now - and perhaps another tomorrow. It would appear that big bruv does not like the fact that we still crave anonymity and privacy.

    In one breath the EU bashes the US about privacy shields and in the next they try to throw everything wide open.

    Is there any chance that we could possibly have EU bureaucrats who know a little about their allocated area of responsibility - or failing that some who know to keep their mouths shut when burdened with a desire to spout such utter shite.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Oh give me strength!

      In one breath the EU bashes the US about privacy shields and in the next they try to throw everything wide open."

      Use a state ID for everything? Including voting records?

      How many Mexicans does it take to change a state ID?

  6. Paul 164

    This is getting a bit too much like China's "Real Name" internet policy. If we continue to exist within the EU, we'll have this sort of crap forced upon us in the future without being able to object to it.

    The reach of Big Brother might just be about to take a huge step too far.

    “For every consumer to have a multitude of username and password combinations is not only inconvenient but becomes a security risk.” The irony here being that instead of having multitudes of logins that the government might not possibly be able to get hold of, your ID details will probably be all accessible to them, so any data in any account linked to the ID is easily snooped on, with a high chance of it being automated!

    The other thing about it is that once a criminal has your ID details, they have ALL of your online accounts!

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Faecebook have been demanding ID such as passports and driving license / ID cards. They have started with obvious pseudonyms but will eventually get round to everyone. Having verified IDs on their users increases the value of their snoop haul.

      Nobody with any intelligence has succumbed to their demands as far as I know.

      It is ridiculous that a website that deals in fatuous crap is taking itself so seriously that it thinks it can do this.

      1. PNGuinn
        Mushroom

        Faecebook have been demanding ....

        Not having any desire to lurk within the lower bowels of t'interwebs I wasn't aware of that.

        Once again, farcebook can go farce itself.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Faecebook have been demanding ....

          I lurk in the bowels of t'interwebs as this is quite an easy way of keeping in touch with friends however should they ask for any useful id data from me I shall be buying a lot of raspberrypi zeros and configuring diaspora on them and handing them out to people I wish to communicate with.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Faecebook have been demanding ID such as passports and driving license / ID cards."

        Do they?

        I wouldn't know & don't care. If you imagine you need it then you I wouldn't be surprised if you fall for that sort of stuff.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Paul (already a number) 164

      "If we continue to exist within the EU, we'll have this sort of crap forced upon us in the future without being able to object to it." And if we leave wel will get the same thing only faster and politician's will ignore our objections.

      Brextremist's offer us a utopia that doesn't exist.

    3. Tommy Pock

      You might have it forced on you, but how are websites going to prove I'm accessing from Europe?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        If you're in Europe, I would guess that you'll need the ID just to get Internet Access. Sort of like logging in at work just to get network access. Once you've done they, they own your ass since even VPN won't protect you.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        VPN's/proxy servers will be black listed at ISP's sooner or later.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "This is getting a bit too much like China's "Real Name" internet policy. If we continue to exist within the EU, we'll have this sort of crap forced upon us in the future without being able to object to it."

      I doubt it. There are enough ex-iron curtain countries who will object to it. The unified Germany being one. They are actually quite strong on privacy in many respects.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't even be bothered to login for stuff like Youtube. If I was forced to create a Google account and login, I'd simply abandon using it.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      I'm afraid Google are ahead of you. The latest trick is to stick a popup in front of youtube telling you to agree to their privacy policy. This will apparently come up every time you use the site unless you log in (when it can remember that you agreed).

  8. davenewman

    Estonian ID cards tell you who is snooping

    When someone looks up your data connected to your ID card in the Estonian government, it generates a record you can read of who looked it up, and for what purpose.

    1. asdf

      Re: Estonian ID cards tell you who is snooping

      While transparency is very good (but probably easy overridden in the name of state security) I would rather they didn't have the ability at all at least in regards to internet thank you. Yet more reason to use Tor no matter where you live.

    2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Estonian ID cards tell you who is snooping

      Hmm, just think of the recursive fun you could have look at your own records of viewing your own records. Especially if you automate it with a little scripting... :-)

    3. hplasm
      Big Brother

      Re: Estonian ID cards tell you who is snooping

      "Hmm, all of my records have been accessed by Redacted.T.T Redacted.

      Fancy that!"

    4. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Estonian ID cards tell you who is snooping

      "it generates a record you can read of who looked it up, and for what purpose"

      Do you really believe that the state security apparatus would allow a system where all of their snoop requests leave a user-visible audit trail?

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. Havin_it

      Re: Estonian ID cards tell you who is snooping

      Wow. That's unexpected to say the least. I'm not sure whether I think it's the greatest bit of transparency and open governance ever, or a recipe for abuse of some kind that I haven't identified yet. Probably moot as our gov wouldn't give such an idea the time of day, but interesting. Must learn more about this...

    7. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Estonian ID cards tell you who is snooping

      It's not a quality of ID cards as such (which are mostly 2-factor authentication systems and bugger else), but a quality of related services, and most importantly, a quality of legislative framework. If there are laws stating that citizen is entitled to see who's been accessing his/her private records, and on what grounds, it should be a good thing. Provided that these laws are actually followed and enforced. That there are not too many "special" and secret exceptions to the rule. Heh. Getting on the swampy ground already.

      Undergoing criminal investigation/surveillance is obviously one of those exceptions - it's a bit daft to reveal data queries in realtime, as it may tip off the perpetrator. On the other hand it is very dangerous to provide an authority to hide the queries. That'll get abused in no time. Maybe there's a middle ground available. Like delaying their publication for the period of investigation (strictly under judicial oversight) and updating the record afterwards. Just like it's done with the phone tapping - third parties who happen to converse with a person under surveillance will eventually get a notification that their phonecalls from period /.../ were being recorded in connection with a criminal investigation of /.../, and they are entitled to review these materials if they so desire.

      And of course the elephant in the room - secret services and their covert operations. I would be mightily surprised if there was a country under the sun where citizens would be informed of being a 'person of interest' for local spycatchers, even if the interest happened to be erroneous.

      Interestingly, for Estonian ID card it is not mandatory to activate its digital certificates. Or using it for anything else than scraping the ice off the windshield. But it is mandatory to have the card.

      Ref:

      eesti.ee

      id.ee

      1. Havin_it
        Joke

        Re: Estonian ID cards tell you who is snooping

        >id.ee

        How this wasn't already bought up by a disruptive French hot-desking startup, je ne saura jamais.

    8. AndrewDu

      Re: Estonian ID cards tell you who is snooping

      Really? EVERY time it's checked? Even if it's the state snoopers doing the checking?

      If you'll believe that you'll believe anything.

      For instance, you probably think all this stuff is being done for your own good.

      Lenin's phrase about "useful idiots" comes to mind yet again.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Risk

    "for every consumer to have a multitude of username and password combinations is not only inconvenient but becomes a security risk."

    And keeping a database of all these details on websites isn't an even bigger risk?

    I look forward to the day when it's possible to administer a slap round the head via the internet every time a bureaucrat proposes something particularly stupid.

    1. PNGuinn
      Thumb Up

      Re: Risk

      "I look forward to the day when it's possible to administer a slap round the head via the internet every time a bureaucrat proposes something particularly stupid."

      If you can that useful facility added, why stop at a slap round the head? Think of what fun we could all have with the adslingers et al.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Risk

      "I look forward to the day when it's possible to administer a slap round the head via the internet every time a bureaucrat proposes something particularly stupid."

      An "Internet of Things" robot arm with webcam on every bureaucrats desk!

  10. asdf

    You let Estonia in?

    >Estonian robo-commissioner Andrus Ansip

    Estonia is the Mississippi of the EU (Hungary is the Alabama, geographical distance aside). Just took a look at the median income of that country and they are not first world. Scraping the bottom of the barrel letting them in and now paying the price.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: You let Estonia in?

      Ask yourself (and Orlowski) why the NATO cyber centre is in Tallin... Probably the donkey has a smartcard and knows how to use it, unlike the US were getting rid of magstripes looks an hard task...

      That said it's ok for me to use an electronic id to access government services (Italy has something alike in its National Services Card), but I would never use it to access Gmail...

  11. From the States

    1984, anyone?

    Stuff like this would make me vote for BREXIT in a heartbeat (but I don't live in the UK).. That business of the United Nations hinting that they might want to control the oceans is along these same lines.

    1. asdf

      Re: 1984, anyone?

      >That business of the United Nations hinting that they might want to control the oceans

      All talk. The UN can't even go into Haiti and not make it worse (ie give them yet new 3rd world diseases). They will never get their shit together enough to do anything but give 3rd world dictators a reason to vacation in New York.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: 1984, anyone?

      Sadly, the Brexit bunch are just as likely to come up with stuff like this. I'm following the debate and trying desparately to find way that both sides can lose but I fear that the referendum question has been phrased so that at least one side wins. (I think a narrow victory for exit would probably be treated as a victory by both sides, because such a result would then be followed by years of agonising (to watch) politicking over the exact terms of exit, caused by both sides believing that they had sufficient votes to be entitled to a say.)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1984, anyone?

      European Commision is the mouth piece of the national governments (unlike the Parliament which is elected), which governments do you think would really like this idea. Brexit would just make it happen quicker.

  12. Bloodbeastterror

    Brexit?

    Rant mode on. Damn' stupid name... Call it what it is, you lazy sods - British exit from Europe. Bit of a mouthful, but at least it doesn't make people sound like slow schoolchildren. Rant mode off...

    But it's exactly things like this id card nonsense that drive people to want to get out of Europe.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Brexit?

      "But it's exactly things like this id card nonsense that drive people to want to get out of Europe"

      So we can just get it shoved down our orifices by our own Gov instead? Remember Labour's obsession with it, on the current Conservative attempts to get our human rights removed to something they decide upon?

      Are you seriously suggesting that the EU is somehow the source of this?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit?

      "But it's exactly things like this id card nonsense that drive people to want to get out of Europe."

      Unfortunately UK politicians of all flavours - apart from some minor parties - have shown a penchant for totalitarian surveillance of the people whom they are supposed to serve. Successive Home Secretaries have complained about the way that human rights conventions get in the way of their pet schemes. Getting rid of the constraints of human rights in the UK is a stated aim of several Leave (..and Remain) politicians.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit?

      @Bloodbeastterror

      "But it's exactly things like this id card nonsense that drive people to want to get out of Europe."

      Really, as no UK party tries to foist ID cards on us at every opotunity? Until they manage it, they're just using other identifiers like car reg numbers, face recog, IP addresses or Internet Connection Records. Maybe you should spend less time oggling the Internet and more time thinking about the bigger picture.

      1. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: Brexit?

        Perhaps my communication skills aren't as good as I thought. I never intended to imply that the UK government is any better than the rest of Europe, but since the message of the article is that a Euro nation is trying to introduce cards, which many of the Euro countries already have, then by remaining in Europe it strengthens the hand of UK politicians who do want to impose them on us.

        Is that clearer?

        1. Yes Me Silver badge

          Re: Brexit?

          > Is that clearer?

          Yes. From the time I've spent in EU meetings, a surprising fraction of the bad ideas come from British officials, because they know that bad ideas can occasionally be implemented via Brussels even if they've already failed the laugh test in Westminster. Brexit wouldn't protect you from the bad ideas, you'd just have to fight them off at home instead. I don't think that an occasional bad idea from Tallinn is going to make much of a difference (at least when compared to the economic suicide of Brexit).

    4. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Brexit?

      @From the States.

      In case you take offence at me mentioning Brexit, I promise you it wasn't in response to your post - it's honestly pure coincidence that our posts are close to each other. The whole stupid proposal made me think of "Get out of Europe" and then on to the stupidity of "Brexit".

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Brexit?

      "But it's exactly things like this id card nonsense that drive people to want to get out of Europe."

      You think the alternative wouldn't lead to worse? As things stand the European courts can slap down UK surveillance attempts and if we go through the legislate/slap down/legislate cycle enough times even governments might start to get embarrassed.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Brexit?

        >As things stand the European courts can slap down UK surveillance attempts

        So you're giving up on making the UK democracy work and hoping someone else will over-rule our democracy.

        What happens when they turn against you?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Brexit?

          "So you're giving up on making the UK democracy work and hoping someone else will over-rule our democracy."

          A strong court system is the best counter to government over-reach.

          Both major parties have been quite keen on surveillance. Had the other David got the leadership of the Tories it might have been different but they went for a Blair-alike. The opportunity of voting a non-surveillance party into government under current circumstances is pretty-well non-existent so until that changes we need the court's protection.

    6. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Brexit?

      Call it what it is, you lazy sods - British exit from Europe.

      Really? I'm pretty sure that Britain and Europe will remain in exactly the same relative positions. "Brexit" is simply British exit from the political organizations of the European Union. Think of it as jumping from a moving train before it hits the "bridge out" sign, probably painful but not half as bad as staying on board hoping someone will fix the bridge before you get there.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit?

      Firstly, I am English and Pro-European, yes we do exist. There is so much bluster 'n nonsense written about the EU that it is impossible to have a rational debate. However, being a glutton for punishment, I will once again attempt to add some sense.

      The key issues in England (not UK) are 2-fold, fuzzy identity politics and fear of immigration. Putting aside national/regional/racial identity, rightly or wrongly it is the immigration issue that is the main source of anti-EU feeling. If as a state you want to control inward migration and ensure that those who are supposed to leave do so, then identity cards for your population are pretty much the only option, which is why they have been proposed a number of times. Naturally though they should only be used when interacting with the state to prove you are who you say you are, you can of course extend this to usage in the finance sector where again proof of identity is vital.

      We are all aware of the expansion of internet services provided by government, local councils, police forces, health service .... For some of these it is important that the interaction/transaction is digitally signed and the data is encrypted, biometric ID cards might offer a way to do this.

      If facetwattertube.com demand an ID verification and you don't like it, then don't use it (it's all codswallop anyway).

      Lastly, some of the comments about Estonia are pretty insulting, the Baltic states have come a long way since the Soviet occupation and suffered again post 2008, give them a break please.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Brexit?

        rhtly or wrongly it is the immigration issue that is the main source of anti-EU feeling.?

        I strongly disagree with that. Anti-EU (and anti-EC) feeling long predates the current immigration/migrant problems, and England had immigration concerns long before it joined the EU (cf "rivers of blood"). The two issues are separate, it's only populist politicians like Farage who mix them together (as in other EU countries like France, Austria, the Netherlands, etc.)

        I'd say that the main reasons that so many Britrish people are anti EU are:

        - Economic, the EU dances to Germany's tune and most other countries in the eurozone are economic basket cases. The UK wants to stay well apart from that, able to set its own economic policy and direction.

        - Political, the EU political establishment is seen as undemocratic and unaccountable, it's so huge that everything is bodge, compromise and mediocrity, and elections are pointless since you get the same thing no matter which way you vote.

        I really think the anti-EU feeling is closer to that which drives the Scottish desire for independence, a general feeling that it's time to abandon a failed experiment where one has no control over the outcome, and to stand (maybe a bit wobbly) on our own two feet.

        1. Slx

          Re: Brexit?

          What's confusing though is that often "Brussels proposes that X,Y,Z.." comes down to a single MEP or commissioner shooting their mouth off or flying a kite about a particular issue.

          As far as I'm aware this isn't EU policy, it hasn't been debated, it hasn't been formally proposed.

          The Commission doesn't really have collective responsibility and secrecy like the British cabinets and individual commissioners can shoot their mouths off about their pet topics at times, without those issues ever getting beyond that.

          I find sometimes the media (especially in Britain) has a habit of just not doing any analysis of European politics at all or even understanding how the system works. I know it's dull, tedious, boring and makes people glaze over but it is a massive disservice to the public to just treat the whole thing with contempt / sneering and not provide facts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brexit?

        <blockquote>If as a state you want to control inward migration and ensure that those who are supposed to leave do so, then identity cards for your population are pretty much the only option</blockquote>

        Not at all. You need a piece of paper/evidence of being allowed in the country. You don't need ID cards at all.

        All the ID cards thing does is allows the police to stop anyone they like and demand to see identification. This look up of information can then be a pretence to check a range of other details about you - outstanding parking ticket, membership of a proscribed group, attendance at a demonstration, failure to fill a tax form in correctly, etc etc. The way things are going it will include being a climate denier, trolling, and micro-aggressions. So basically it shifts power completely to the police and authorities. Which might just about be fine if you trusted the police and institutions 100%...

        They then say it's about beating terrorism. But Spain has had ID cards for donkeys years, and still had ETA and Madrid Atochoa. The French and Belgians have ID cards. How did ID cards help in Paris or Brussels? The push for ID cards comes from the inverted notion that citizens need to be adequately controlled (herded, indoctrinated, nannied, managed, nudged) by the government. This is upside-down - the government needs to be better controlled by its citizens.

      3. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Brexit?

        I'm pretty much pro Europe, being an English immigrant living and working in Spain, I agree wtih some of what you say but have a down vote for even considering Biometric ID cards or any other form of mandatory biometric ID. I don't trust any government with my digitalised biometrics or anyone else for that matter.

        As for the Baltic states, my wifes natural father is Lithuanian and like the Baltic states has some pretty weird political ideas that at best are 20th century and lean towards totalitarianism.

        They do however have a lot of trees, which it often seems is why they got into Europe, as a natural resource to be exploited by the likes of large European businesses like IKEA and other large timber consumers.

        If you should want a custom built ready to assemble house shipped anywhere for peanuts the Balticstates should be your go to fora quote.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh Boy !

    "In certain cases, where efficient online platform-markets have become the benchmark, the central role played by a limited number of established online platforms can lead to adverse effects for their users – by they businesses or consumers – through imbalanced relationships and the potential for unfair treatment. They may also potentially limit competitors’ innovation capabilities."

    This one really has it all, hasn't it !

    - efficient

    - benchmark

    - online platforms

    - potential for unfair treatment

    - innovation

    I haven't a clue what the the blazes he's on about, but I'm pretty sure he just scored big in the bullsh*t bingo stakes.

    Good thing the article explains things somewhat.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Oh Boy !

      You missed the hyphenated "platform-markets", "adverse effects" and "imbalanced relationships".

      1. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: Oh Boy !

        + "central role"

  14. Chas
    Unhappy

    Seriously?

    Over my fucking dead body, you arseholes!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coincidentally

    I finally watched 'Donnie Darko' last night, and now, today, someone appears who can shove their <draft> up their arse!

    It's almost spooky!

  16. Frumious Bandersnatch

    Credential Systems

    What's really needed is a credential system that doesn't open the user up to being tracked across all their activities. An anonymous or pseudonymous identity system is the ideal. There are a bunch of different crypto techniques and technologies that might point a way to how such a system might work, such as:

    • zero-knowledge cryptosystems, based on being able to prove knowledge of some secret without revealing anything about it
    • Bitcoin-like blockchain and proof-of-work (and probably also the monetary aspect, where participants accrue credits for proving transactions' bona fides),
    • Kerberos-like ticket granting, with ability to delegate and create signed permissions that prove the ticket is valid without unmasking the holder's identity

    Unfortunately, neither governments, intelligence agencies nor big business (advertisers and the advertising companies) have any interest in providing (or even allowing) this concept of identity to flourish. On the other hand, though, if Bitcoin showed us anything, it's that you can start off with the logic of everyone only being in it for themselves and actually create something that is useful for everyone. Of course, it's not free, given that it only works because proof-of-work (and the speculative/adversarial nature of the game) has costs in hardware and electricity, but since it's kind of like free-market economics in microcosm, perhaps such an identity system could work in a parasitic/symbiotic relationship with various systems that need strong identity proofs, but are agnostic about who you are?

  17. FuzzyWuzzys
    Facepalm

    So why do they collect our info then?!

    So they spend millions ( billions?! ) on systems that will sit at the bridge-heads of the internet where we connect and they syphon off tons of info about us but then they insist they don't know anything about us and we should prove who we say we are by way of ID cards!

  18. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Needing an ID card would have been a problem for Nicolas Bourbaki

    A lot of 20th century mathematics wouldn't have got published if it had needed ID.

    If you're wondering what I'm talking about, take a look here.

  19. Triggerfish

    How about

    No

    Yeah I know I should add something to justify my reason, but I'm bored of saying it, so here it is just a flat

    No*.

    *oh alright you can have a "fuck off" added if you like.

  20. heyrick Silver badge

    Dear goddamn dumbasses

    Can we PLEASE find an alternative method to using a proper national identity document for online identification. What else would you morons like, my IBAN on Facebook?

    One fixed, unchangeable, important in the real world document for Internet companies to lose, leak, or get hacked. Really, what could possibly go wrong right?

  21. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    ....only four per cent of the most used internet platforms come from the EU.

    ....and they're planning to mandate the capture of EU ID by these how exactly?

    The EU. The governmental system of the USSR coupled with the delusions of global jurisdiction of the USA.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this a Spanish idea...? Have you seen Spanish bureaucracy...

    So first they organise the EU VAT fiasco imposing ludicrous bureaucracy onto previously exempt micro-businesses and now he wants ID cards so every business and government can track your every move online. Tell you what, why don't we apply it to politicians and civil servants as a test run first, then we can see what xxxx sites they're visiting and let the big corporations know exactly who to lobby to stop this stupid idea.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Is this a Spanish idea...? Have you seen Spanish bureaucracy...

      If anyone has seen the Spanish e-ID card it's the biggest pile of fail that a consultancy has had the pleasure of knocking together. Windows, approved card reader, this version of drivers, that version of Firefox, the other version of Java, download and install the root certificates from the Spanish Mint, a 16-digit PIN to verify it's you (only changeable at a machine down at the police station), and a crappy file signing program. You need the patience of a saint and to be familiar with IT to get the thing working in the first place. If this is the future for YouTube then YouTube will go bankrupt in a week.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ID Card for YouTube?

    This will fail not only because we don't want an ID Card but I am proud to have no logins for any of the Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc).

    Anyone pretending to be me on any of these cesspits is a fraud and deserves to be hung, drawn and quartered.

  24. Pseu Donyme

    From a privacy point of view the idea of using national id cards for logging on to the likes of Google (=Youtube) or Facebook is remarkably clueless. Instead there ought to be an explicit ban against letting them anywhere near the real identity of their users, or, actually, any information which could possibly be used to deduce the same by them or a third party (possibly with a narrow exception to enable investigation of serious crime by allowing IPs to be kept for a limited time for that sole purpose, only to be disclosed by a court order).

  25. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Big Brother

    Estona, a country of 10m and virtually no IT infrastructure to speak of pre ID cards

    About as close to an IT "Green field" site as you can get.

    Former UK Home Secretary Clarke's favorite ID card example.

    Yes, it's all in the details of how that system is implemented. .

    The real question is do you trust your government? Because you're going to have to.

    And do you trust the next one after that? And the next?

  26. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    no id cards in the UK but the nudge people are working the passport / driving licence thing very effectively. airbnb are on the bandwagon as well. had a snotty building society clerk wanting to see my papers recently!

    gemalto (those people that got well and truly hacked) are big on the Estonia / id card thing, worth keeping an eye on their twitter just to see what the bastards are getting up to. they're super keen on iot as well...

  27. nilfs2
    Windows

    I'm not affraid of my government snooping on me

    I know the type of incompetent clowns that work on IT on lots of our government branches, first, they don't have the knowledge to come up with such thing, then, even if they did, they are so damn lazy that they wouldn't give a damn to come up with something like that, let alone keeping it online with a decent SLA.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @nilfs2 - Re: I'm not affraid of my government snooping on me

      And Google will be more than happy to help them.

      Like in: http://mobilesyrup.com/2016/04/27/city-of-montreal-and-waze-sign-partnership-to-help-deal-with-traffic-congestion-in-real-time/

      See how easy it is ?

  28. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    And all well within a single lifetime

    I remember the days when having a telephone was uncommon, being in the phone book was a status symbol. Otherwise you were generally "unfound".

    Now we have politicians scrambling to know everything we are doing and with whom.

    All inside a single lifetime. I shudder to think what the next generations will be forced into.

  29. Gwaptiva

    This is going to be so easy to sabotage

    Just use the I'm Spartacus principle. Just takes one person to share his ID card details and then the rest of the world can use that. Suddenly Mr Joe Bloggs will appear to have a bandwidth of a few exabits and the whole system comes tumbling down.

  30. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    ID cards can be an opt-in convenience, for those who like that sort of thing.

    To make it mandatory goes against all human rights ideas, IMO.

    People used to being immersed in a certain "state does all thinking for you"-culture are more susceptible to accept this type of infringement of their natural human rights.

    It's not gonna fly in most of Europe though. So Brexiters can forget about using this particular scare crow.

  31. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Dumber than a Congress critter

    Another one who appears to be running for Congress, certainly dumb enough. As my nickname implies I am in the US and we do not have a true national ID but 50 local ones (your state driver's license/state ID card); if you bother to have one. Neither are absolutely mandatory

  32. Chris Fox

    No ID cards in the UK? Tried to get a job recently, or rent property?

    It's a bit disengenious to maintain that we have no ID-cards in the UK. While No2ID and the like might have won the battle against UK ID cards as such, they lost the war. Essentially passports now play the role of "voluntary ID-cards" in all but name. Indeed it is becoming hard to argue that they are even voluntary.

    If you want to work in the UK, or rent property, or open a bank account, as a UK citizen you will almost invariably be required to produce a valid UK passport. Other documents are not given the same status. Unless you happen to have your full, original, birth certificate, you will de facto find yourself having to fork out for a passport, and have your details and biometric photo lodged with the Passport Office, even if you have no intention of travelling.

    Perhaps this was the real plan, and the scrapped scheme was just a decoy to distract attention away from the Passport Office, as it was effectively given a role that lies outside the remit of its Royal Perogative. It would also help to explain why the *ID-card* scheme was funded by an increase in the *passport* fee, and why the increased fees remained in place after the ID-card scheme was supposedly abandoned.

    1. Slx

      Re: No ID cards in the UK? Tried to get a job recently, or rent property?

      I agree, it's a similar setup up in the Republic of Ireland where there is also no official form of compulsory ID card and no requirement to carry ID. You will have various organisations demanding your driving licence, passport and at least one (if not several) utility bills in your name. Often its impossible to open a bank account without a utility bill and it's impossible to get a utility bill without a bank account.

      That being said, it's not like the state doesn't attempt to track things. We have the infamous PPSN (Personalised Public Service Number) which originally started life as a tax and social welfare ID number. It has now managed, through function creep, to become the de facto ID number for pretty much all interactions with the state and public services. You need it for tax, social welfare, healthcare, university registration, primary / secondary school registration, even applying for a public body job on their recruitment system requires it!

      Then in 2012 they introduced a Public Service Card (PSC) which replaced a bunch of other cards and transit cards. It contains facial scan biometrics, a photograph, electronic signature and an RFID chip. Registration has to be done in person using SAFE (Standard Authentication Framework Environment). Basically you have to bring evidence of address, passport or birth/adoption certs (if Irish or British), Passport or ID card (if EU non UK/IE) or passport if non-EU a long with verifiable proof of address (one of : utility bills, lease agreement, deeds, etc etc) and "any other documents or cards that might help to establish your identity" e.g. student ID, medical card, drugs payment card etc.

      It's been rolled out to pensioners, social welfare recipients and gradually to everyone else on a kind of 'as needed' basis.

      Literally it operates as ID for everything from collection your pension, dole payments etc etc pensioners with free-travel paying on the bus (by tapping it).

      On top of that the Irish Passport Office introduced a Passport Card. This is an optional extra which you register for using their mobile phone app (take a selfie) and input your passport details. They then send you a secure card with passport style RFID and various other security features (holographic photo etc) which can be used within the EU / EEA in place of an Irish passport.

      The logic of it was that so many Irish passports get lost/stolen on holidays due to other EU states' requirements to carry ID that we would just have to issue optional card-type ID anyway.

      ---

      There's absolutely no question of ID being required for internet access, mobile phones or anything like that though. You can still buy a mobile phone / SIM without ID and you aren't required to provide anything to setup an ISP account and hopefully, long may it continue that way!

      A few of the mobile providers will try and encourage you to give them ID, largely for their own marketing purposes though.

      We also have one MVNO network reportedly cutting people off for 'unusual activity' (such as going on holidays to more than one country) and demanding copies of passports to reactivate service due to some bizarre internal policy.

      ....

      So, all in all, I think we are just implementing sort of 'opt in' ID cards via the backdoor.

      Same in Britain? I'm not sure as I haven't lived there.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: No ID cards in the UK? Tried to get a job recently, or rent property?

      "Unless you happen to have your full, original, birth certificate"

      The birth certificate remains with the Registrar General. All you have is a certified copy which does not prove identity.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ID as ID

    EU ID card as on line ID is only acceptable IF its a part of a Multi factor authentication process and the actual data never leaves the system making the request, only a one time token is sent.

    still not overly happy with that solution though having over 60 unique usernames and password combinations. and No online or connected password manager, (Keepass on an android device running marshmallow with no SIM or WIFI connection.) also have but not set up a Mooltipass. https://hackaday.io/project/86-mooltipass-offline-password-keeper/

    so with the EU solution not only do you potentially loose access to internet services if your ID is stolen but to government services across the whole EU and the risk of Jail if that ID is miss used accessing Govt services as the computer said its was definitely YOU its YOUR ID. :-(

  34. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    It's not "The EU" - it's one guy from a little known baltic country who obviuosly thinks he doesn"t get the publicity he deserves. And it's working.

  35. MatsSvensson

    Step 1.) The government starts to treat its citizens as its enemy.

    Step 2.) The government becomes the enemy.

    Step 3.) The enemy is destroyed

  36. Asterix the Gaul

    UK 'Englishman & women' are NOT EU 'citizens',we are subjects of England,our rights are not commutable to any EU laws.

    We ARE 'subjects' , our historic\current rights are NOT amenable to either EU rules or even 'Parliamentary' curtailment,our 'common' rights are outside of any legislature moderation.

    Under our common law, virtually ALL law made is 'illegal' because it violates the settlement at Runnymeade which gave the people a 'contract' outside of parliament(which did not exist back then)between the Monarchy,the Lords spiritual & Temporal,the Barons & the 'Commoners'

    The EU is smothering a blanket of power & deceit over our constitutional rights aided & abetted by a corrupted Westminster parliament.

    The diktats of Brussels should be challenged or avoided by our withdrawl from that corrupt institution of BIG BUSINESS & THE INCESTUOUS RELATIONSHIP THAT IT HAS BOUGHT WITH CONSUMERS MONEY, the so-called E.U.

    WTF are they,or our government, to control our everyday lives by acting like the the former East German State's STASI,in monitoring every activity that we undertake in our lives.

    We need a 'revolution' to cut out the vermin that are eliminating our freedoms at every opportunity.

  37. Slx

    Google et al would LOVE this. I mean, an ID card would basically be an unerrasable, personally attached, state-enforced cookie!

    I mean imagine the data mining possibilities? I'd say quite a few online marketing firms would be having wet dreams about this idea.

  38. Tubz
    Big Brother

    Two words for the EU and it's supporters, F....... no I'm too polite !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Two words for the EU and it's supporters,"

      Easily agitated?

      Lacking a certain ability to see nuance?

      Or perhaps just being generally ignorant?

      An idea tool for any populist one-cause movement...

  39. captain veg

    not that I want to spoil the party, but...

    Where are the links to any kind of evidence supporting this story? There are none in the article itself, and I can't find anything at all putting key phrases into search engines. It's almost like Orlowski just made the whole thing up.

    -A.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: not that I want to spoil the party, but...

      "Where are the links to any kind of evidence supporting this story?"

      It's from a draft report that was leaked. I've linked to a copy of the dossier from the article.

      HTH,

      C.

      1. captain veg

        Re: not that I want to spoil the party, but...

        Thanks for that.

        In the linked document it specifically demands that "consumers should be able to choose the credentials by which they may wish to identify or authenticate themselves". [ My emphases.]

        Now, I'm the most anti-ID person I know, but the headline "The EU wants you to log into YouTube using your state-issued ID card" does not seem to be supported much by the document claimed as its source.

        -A.

  40. Alan Edwards

    Why not do it properly

    Bake the ID Card logon into the (gov sanctified) OS, and do single sign-on to any and all websites.

    You then tie the OS logon to your fingerprint, facial rec, ID card chip or NFC, depending on the technology the computer has.

    Anyone not using GovOS is a terrorist, hack at will.

    Most of this already exists, we do auto logon to ServiceNow using your Windows domain credentials now, all it needs is legislation and a bit of infrastructure to validate the ID and do the SSO.

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