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U-Turn On UK ID Cards

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the from-bad-to-worse dept.

Security 143

An anonymous reader writes "The UK appears to be watering down its national ID card system, with the revelation by the government that it will now only check the cards against a central biometric database in a minority of cases. Critics are saying it not only renders the whole scheme pointless, but will pose a security risk by making it far easier to use copied or cloned cards. 'But an Identity and Passport Service spokesman denied the system would be vulnerable to fraud: 'The majority of instances where people use their identity cards will be day-to-day situations where the cards offer a convenient method of proving identity such as a young person proving their age to buy alcohol,' he said.'"

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143 comments

What a waste (5, Insightful)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709567)

Ha, it said this system cost 150 million pounds to the gov't, and now their purpose is for a

convenient method of proving identity such as a young person proving their age to buy alcohol

Re:What a waste (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710149)

No, the purpose is selective enforcement [wikipedia.org].

Re:What a waste (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711679)

I know what you mean. Tinker Toys were great out of the tube, but it only took a few hours of active building before the tangs started breaking off or getting "smooshed". Some of the other sets were much more robust.

Re:What a waste (4, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710187)

The funny/tragic thing about that is that we already have a scheme for that :

http://www.citizencard.com/ [citizencard.com]

It's government approved but run by non-profit. This statement is just yet more bullshit and hot air.

Re:What a waste (1)

kippers (809056) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711687)

Passports and Driving Licenses work perfectly well as government issued ID too.

Re:What a waste (4, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713133)

Indeed - and it's worth noting that passports were far cheaper before the Government started upping the price in order to combine the passport with the national ID card scheme.

So all these people whining they support ID cards because they want a convenient means of ID - they could have just got a passport, which would've been cheaper, and less hassle (no having to be fingerprinted, and pay for the privilege, for example). But if they want to be stupid and support a worse system, that's up to them; the most annoying thing is that they use this argument to support a compulsory ID card scheme, and thus their idiocy forces this unnecessary system onto the rest of us too, who already have perfectly good ID.

Re:What a waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713209)

yes, there is that scheme, however, speaking from personal recent experience, while many clubs and bars willsay that they accept anything with the pass logo, you do usually have to spend a good few minutes of being eyed suspiciously by the bouncers before they'll let you in.

Which is a pity when the only real alternative is a driving license, which is now a wallet raping £50 :(

Re:What a waste (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710245)

I'm going to quote an old post [slashdot.org] from the "DMCA Abuse Widespread" [slashdot.org] article:

Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're lying . They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible.

Without transparency or oversight, who the public really doesn't know what their government plans to do with those ID cards.

Re:What a waste (4, Insightful)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713999)

Yes. The correct response to this is "if the law is never going to be used like that, and we agree that it would be wrong to do so, why is the law not framed to make it illegal?"

Re:What a waste (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710271)

it's budgeted to cost around 5-7 billion, with the LSE and others saying that's grossly underestimated.

Gordo could fund his proposed tax cuts if he scrapped some of the his horrendous police-statist measures. But no, he'll get us ever more into debt whilst scrambling for some way to boost his political reputation.

C*nt.

Re:What a waste (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25710419)

Gordo could fund his proposed tax cuts if he scrapped some of the his horrendous police-statist measures. But no, he'll get us ever more into debt whilst scrambling for some way to boost his political reputation.

The UK Government is sick of being called the USA's bitch. They're trying to prove that they can beat them. Gordon Brown & Jacqui Smith have made it their mission to prove the UK government can screw up worse than the US government. We can beat the states in Nation Debt per citizen if we try harder.

Re:What a waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714053)

But no, he'll get us ever more into debt whilst scrambling for some way to boost his political reputation.

C*nt.

Sounds to me like you Brits have a spy in the US leaking our state secrets again.

Try our product- in a few short terms your elected officials can bankrupt your economy too! Just try our product- the first easy lesson can be yours for just $700 billion, but wait! It doesn't stop there, for each fiscal year we will continue to help dig your financial grave even deeper, until no light reaches the bottom at all!

Don't wait, act now! If you do, we'll include a copy of our National Secrets archive, which has such amazing lessons like "How to borrow money from China to hide your debts!" and "Socialism is worked well for Russia, try you another today!".

How could this possibly get any better? Well have we got a deal for you. For the next 15 months, simply cajole your allies into also purchasing our Great Plan, and we'll reward you with some of our classics, such as "Commies everywhere!" and "How to start a war on everything!". And of course, who can forget the world-wide best seller, "How to trample human rights in the name of Freedom".

Remember, if you want to play with the best, go to the source. Hooray USA!

Re:What a waste (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710293)

I've got nothing against a biometric card which shows my name/date of birth when inserted into a machine.

But does the machine need to be networked and have a massive database behind it?

The problem is the feature creep, not the card.

Re:What a waste (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25710621)

Future creep or past is prologue [wikipedia.org]?

(In my books, the best-written series ever.)

Re:What a waste (4, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713691)

Just how many reasons for this card have we gone through now? I've lost count.

It was to win the war against terrorism. No, wait, it was to prevent illegal immigrants flooding the country. Errrm, noo, it'll stop Social Security spongers. Your key to a seamlessly integrated health care system? No? A fun techno gadget that everyone will want? Oh, come on, still not going for it?! Ok, how about a way for 18 year olds to buy alcohol?

I mean, how clear an indication do we need that this is a project that's not so much gone of the rails, but never had rails in the first place and never knew where the hell it was supposed to be going and what it was supposed to do once it got there? Either those driving it forward are fumbling cluelessly in the dark towards the inevitable large pay-off bonuses, or someone somewhere, has a very definite plan for this ridiculous waste of money that they really don't want to tell us about.

Are copied cards really that much of a concern? (5, Insightful)

viking099 (70446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709577)

Personally I'd be more worried about some junior level government worker losing my data along with that of everyone else in the country when he goes digging through his pocket for enough change to buy lunch at the pub down the street.

Re:Are copied cards really that much of a concern? (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711581)

Man, I love it when a plan comes together :D

I've got a No2ID car sticker in my rear window - I drive a g6 Celica so it's out of sight in my rear-view mirror and I always forget it's there, which makes for much hilarity when people start flashing their lights at me after I've overtaken. Once a carload of wasted student-types pulled alongside me as I cruised down the M40 in the low 90s, gurning and grinning and giving me thumbs-up signs... it took me quite a while to work out it was the sticker.

Re:Are copied cards really that much of a concern? (3, Informative)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711675)

i totally suck, too, which is why I have to reply to my own post -- I failed to link to No2ID.org [no2id.org] and recommend interested UK types to tip them a tenner if they can afford it. Oh well, having failed to do so the first time, I may as well get ORG [openrightsgroup.org] in the frame too.

Well, with this and Nov 4th and some hope for proper action on climate change and all... I'm starting to wonder about paying my subs to the Total Fucking Cynic Club this year. Perhaps if Obama doesn't get shot or co-opted I'll start to believe it...

Re:Are copied cards really that much of a concern? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711749)

On a university campus of over 5000 students and staff, around 20 memory sticks are lost on campus alone each month. How many are being lost from these government offices each month.

It's not Stupid, it's Advanced! (4, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709601)

So, this system will not be susceptible to fraud because young people will use it to buy alcohol, an activity known to create a black market in fraudulent identification. Brilliant!

Minority (1)

eric_r_guimaraes (783149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709609)

"check the cards against a central biometric database in a minority of cases." It says "minority of cases", I hear "Minority Report, welcome to 1984"

Re:Minority (3, Insightful)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709999)

"check the cards against a central biometric database in a minority of cases."

More like "check the cards against a central biometric database if your a minority"

Re:Minority (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25710223)

UK != racist America

I know it's a difficult concept to grasp.

Re:Minority (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710817)

UK != racist America I know it's a difficult concept to grasp.

Sadly, in some sectors, not that far off. And before anybody wonders, I live here.

Re:Minority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713059)

Me, too. The louts outside the Liverpool St. tube station telling me to go back to Baghdad because I have a beard were both horrible, and funny, because I have a South Carolina accent and pull down more in a week than they make in a month doing Linux migrations, even after the awful taxes here.

Re:Minority (2, Interesting)

Lord Jester (88423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712039)

I like how these blanket statements of damnation are frequently made by, appropriately tagged, Anonymous Cowards.

While I will be among the first to admit that the US has its problems, blanket accusations such as this appear to say that everyone in the US (not America, that is a continent - two actually) is racist.

Inflammatory statements like that are likely only going to serve to get your comments in their entirety written off as just unfounded accusations and overblown bravado.

Obvious tactics (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25709619)

They feel the resistance so now they roll the IDs out as an inferior version of the original proposal. As soon as they push them through, they will turn around and make them mandatory in every possible situation, blaming it on worsening terror and crime situation.

Re:Obvious tactics (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709993)

I fully intend to refuse. I may even get my hands on some copies of the home secretary's fingerprints that the guys at no2id [order-order.com] are cooking up and use them instead. I'm a free citizen and I'm not going to be coerced into this bullshit.

Want freedom? Vote Liberal.

Re:Obvious tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25710045)

Want freedom? Vote Libertarian

I fixed it for Americans like me.

Re:Obvious tactics (1)

bencoder (1197139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710095)

Good idea... except that here in the UK, the Libertarian party... well.. they're not [lpuk.org]. I'd say that libertarians should not vote in general, but then I'm more on the anarcho-capitalist / radical libertarian side of things :)

Re:Obvious tactics (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710229)

Good.

Did you sign up to the refuse petition when this was first announced?

It was a pledge to refuse and to put 10 pounds into the pot to buy lawyer time for the first case that goes through the courts. They got several tens of thousands of signatories IIRC.

Re:Obvious tactics (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710783)

I never heard about it. Link?

Re:Obvious tactics (2, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711123)

http://www.no2id.net/pledge/ [no2id.net]

Actually, it looks like I'm rather behind the times and they called in the pledge sometime last year (when the rhetoric was really gearing up) in order to have the fund ready:

http://www.no2id.net/pledge/defenceFund.php [no2id.net]

Guess I ought to send my tenner in...

No2ID seem to be on the level, they've recently acquired Jacqui Smith's prints and are coming up with some sort of anti-ID publicity stunt. The legal defence fund is a damn good idea though.

Re:Obvious tactics (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715115)

Want a party that promises all things to all people, and therefore whom you can't rely on to implement any particular promised policy? Vote Liberal.

Fixed that for you :)

Wot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25709695)

'But an Identity and Passport Service spokesman denied the system would be vulnerable to fraud

Yeah, when was the last time those stupid scheming scammers actually managed to pull something off?

ID, Democracy X509 (4, Interesting)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709757)

Not if they loose the database each week and screw up _both_ the biometric data signing and
UID, which given the history of UK government seems most likely.

While a Brit, thank God I live in Switzerland, where the populace is educated, public data secure and FOSS is ever more popular while the Bundesrat can't pass laws the people don't like.

What the USA and UK need is Universal Democracy, and the Internet would allow large populations to get there.

What the democracies also need to is to issue X509 certificates, free, to everyone at birth
keeping the key card till children come of age.

Re:ID, Democracy X509 (0, Troll)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709903)

While a Brit, thank God I live in Switzerland, where the populace is educated, public data secure and FOSS is ever more popular while the Bundesrat can't pass laws the people don't like.
[sing along now!]

And I'm proud to live in Switzerland, where they've got big holes in cheese!
And I won't forget the cows whose milk made this dairy treat for me!

Re:ID, Democracy X509 (0, Troll)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710157)

And I gladly stand up
And hide Jew gold today
Cause I'm proud to live in Switzerland
God bless the old Swiss franc

Re:ID, Democracy X509 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25710179)

I fail to understand why there's this growing attitude that a society cannot function without fool-proof ID and 24/7 surveillance of every public place, and everything that a person does electronically. There are a lot of ethical and moral reasons to avoid ID and surveillance in a multitude of circumstances... Not the least of which is the right to peaceful protest. These days, protesting earns you a permanent spot in some database, which will flag you evermore for random stops, searches of your vehicle, etc. All for taking the unusual step of using your rights.

If you ask me, the people who break these systems, who disseminate the so-called "private data" of them, and expose the people behind them are doing the world a public service.

Re:ID, Democracy X509 (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710483)

Ah yes, Switzerland, that bastion of sanity -- where one must consider the "dignity" of plants.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/065njdoe.asp [weeklystandard.com]

http://www.practicalethicsnews.com/practicalethics/2008/04/the-dignity-of.html [practicalethicsnews.com]

(and numerous other references, these were just the first two I came to)

Re:ID, Democracy X509 (1)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710767)

PLANTS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

Remember that the next time you bite into your salad you vicious vegan! TAKE SCISSORS TO YOUR LAWN INSTEAD OF A MOWER AND LISTEN TO THE SCREAMS FROM EACH BLADE OF GRASS!

STOP pumping plants full of steroids [scotts.com] and other "enhancers"! DESIST from government approved foilage mutilation!

AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, I WON'T LET MY TREES FRIENDS DOWN!

Re:ID, Democracy X509 (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711023)

A funny and true story proving plant sentience:

About the third time I mow the lawn each summer, ten minutes later there are dandelion heads raised high above the grass which I just got done cutting. After some bafflement, I figured it out -- after a few mowings teach them the folly of remaining upright, as soon as the mower noise starts, all the dandelions lay down flat, thus avoid being decapitated. As soon as the noise stops, they stand back up.

I've never seen any other plant do this. Dandelions re clearly smarter than the average weed, and deserving of our respect.

BTW, I have actually mowed a (small) lawn with scissors. As a technique, it's overrated. My arm complained for a week about how undignified it felt, and you should have heard screams from the scissors!!

Re:ID, Democracy X509 (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710999)

What the democracies also need to is to issue X509 certificates, free, to everyone at birth

Absolutely.

Furthermore, forbid the use of the cert in any government service. Permit citizens to use the certs as they please and industry to rely on them as they please. It's done to some extent with EMV already. Everyone in the global payments industry knows that's been very successful.

Re:ID, Democracy X509 (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711653)

What the USA and UK need is Universal Democracy

Ahh, like how great Democracy is when 51% of the people dictate something contrary to what the other 49% want, as happened last Tuesday in CA?

Re:ID, Democracy X509 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711837)

... or in the USA, 4 and 8 years ago.

No escape (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712875)

Something tells me they'll still get the expats in the end, probably when we renew our passports.

As a Brit... (3, Insightful)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709779)

I'm jealous of you folks in the US, at least you've got a new government in 2 months time. We're stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months or so. Given the current recession and the billions plowed into bailing out the UK banking system, I'm pissed off that such big budget projects such as this - with dubious benefits - are still on the agenda.

Re:As a Brit... (1)

kraut (2788) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710003)

I'm jealous of you folks in the US, at least you've got a new government in 2 months time. We're stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months or so. Given the current recession and the billions plowed into bailing out the UK banking system, I'm pissed off that such big budget projects such as this -

which are an egregious, malicious misuse of public funds -

are still on the agenda.

There, I fixed that for you.

Re:As a Brit... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710053)

...stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months

We can cut you a great deal on a low mileage used executive.

If W can pretend to be from Texas, I'm sure he can fit in over there.
Come on, you know you want another King George.
We'll even through in Uncle Dick for free (shotgun not included).

Re:As a Brit... (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710067)

We're stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months or so.

Not just that, the just elected the Democrats, traditionally the more liberty friendly of their two parties. We currently have the Labour party in power, the only people we can elect who stand any chance of winning are our Conservative party who traditionally are the more right wing of our two parties.

Re:As a Brit... (1)

hclewk (1248568) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710345)

[they] just elected the Democrats, traditionally the more liberty friendly of their two parties

That depends on your definition of liberty. Do you mean "Give us all your money so we can spend it for you, but do as you wish (to an extent)" freedom (Democrats) or "Spend your money like you want but we'll lynch ya if you don't share our values" freedom (Republicans).

I, personally, think they are both a crock. I'm all for the "Spend your money how you want and do whatever you want as long as it's not hurting anybody else" kind of freedom (Libertarians).

Re:As a Brit... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710409)

"Spend your money like you want but we'll lynch ya if you don't share our values"

I think you missed the part where they spend way more than the democrats and ratchet up debt like nothing else on the planet...

(not american, can't vote in us elections, just wanted to point out what I see as a bit of a fallacy, that old "republicans are fiscally conservative" thing)

Re:As a Brit... (1)

hclewk (1248568) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710489)

I think you missed the part where they spend way more than the democrats and ratchet up debt like nothing else on the planet...

I think you missed the part where I said "Republicans" not "George Bush".

(not republican, just wanted to point out what I see as a bit of a fallacy, that old "George Bush is a Republican so all Republicans are like George Bush" thing)

Re:As a Brit... (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712323)

Unfortunately, both Reagan and GB senior did the same thing, though to a lesser extent.

Re:As a Brit... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713307)

... or "Spend your money like you want but we'll lynch ya if you don't share our values" freedom (Republicans).

You do know that lynching is traditionally a Democrat sport, don't you?

Re:As a Brit... (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710365)

Don't equate right wing with freedom unfriendly.
Odd as it may sound to those that make that mistake, 10 years ago, pre-Labour, we had a lot more freedom here in the UK than we do now. A LOT more.

Re:As a Brit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715093)

Yes, but I remember Michael Howard's insistence that we needed a compulsory ID card scheme to prevent... well, there wasn't the terror hysteria to kick around then, so I guess to prevent paedophilia and, er, um... witches (yes, that must be it). By and large, Labour's transformation into a bunch of hyper-authoritarian bastards was triggered by the perceived need to stop the Tories from claiming that Labour are "soft on crime" - unfortunately, they forgot to stop. :(

The problem is that politics has a built in bias towards authoritarianism; the people who attempt to get themselves elected generally believe they have the moral right to wield power, and the British electorate are heavily anti-libertarian themselves (remember, if there were a referendum on capital punishment, over 80% of people would support it - unfortunately, they're mostly the thickest 80%).

And a tiny nitpick - Labour have been in power for over 11 years now. 10 years ago wasn't "pre-Labour". How time has flown! It seems only yesterday that Mandelson was being kicked out of government (again)...

Re:As a Brit... (1)

kraut (2788) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714103)

We currently have the Labour party in power, the only people we can elect who stand any chance of winning are our Conservative party who traditionally are the more right wing of our two parties.

Traditionally , perhaps, New Labour handed their principles in at the door when they came to power.

Howard was a terribly oppressive Home Secretary, but all the Labour ones that followed have been progressively worse. Remember Barmy Blunkett?

Re:As a Brit... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710093)

Don't be jealous just yet. Most administrations start out as a bunch of lip service and gt progressively worse. It won't take too many missteps by the new administration to turn bad into worse... You may be happy in a year or so and see us as a test case instead of your own government.

Yes folks, things can get much worse... and it's looking like there's a good chance they will regardless of who promises what. We are nowhere close to the worst economic situation the nation has seen in the last century but we may be there in a couple years.

Re:As a Brit... (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710757)

I'm jealous of you folks in the US, at least you've got a new government in 2 months time.

Not really. It's more like England's "Changing of the Guard", without the big hats.

Re:As a Brit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711341)

Even worse, at least Barack might actually introduce some meaningful reforms - though I've no idea what they are. He screams Change! but I've no idea what he's on about. Over here we can look forward to David fucking Cameron and the tories policy o just knee-jerking labour policy. What will we do when they have to actually think an original thought?

I'm voting Lib Dems again, but mainly because they support proportional representation.

Re:As a Brit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714015)

Just to clarify some of these points;

I'm jealous of you folks in the US, at least you've got a new government in 2 months time. We're stuck with the same leadership over here for likely another 18 months or so.

The folks in the US have the _same_ government, just a different front man. What good would a new frontman do us?

Given the current recession and the billions plowed into bailing out the UK banking system, I'm pissed off that such big budget projects such as this - with dubious benefits - are still on the agenda.

The agenda includes both the bank robberies taking place at the moment and the ID cards. The two seemingly separate issues are in fact part of the same plan. This is being carried our rulers who are the bankers/government/frontmen.

No tangible benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25709831)

The majority of instances where people use their identity cards will be day to day situations where the cards offer a convenient method of proving identity such as a young person proving their age to buy alcohol,'

You mean, like a driving license?

Re:No tangible benefits (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710575)

Except available without having to pass a driving test.

Re:No tangible benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25710875)

Once you are 17 you can get a "provisional driver's license" in the UK without passing any test. It lets you drive on most roads (except motorways) when accompanied by an instructor. It is also a photo ID card, but is not accepted in as many places as the full driver's license.

Re:No tangible benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711977)

Just like a passport?

The card itself is a MacGuffin [wikipedia.org], this is about a central biometric database (something I wouldn't trust any government to run -- least of all these new labour wankers).

Don't worry guys! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25709913)

Our Spiffy, Shiny, Radically New(tm) system that is horribly vulnerable to fraud isn't vulnerable to fraud because we will only be using it to do what the old and busted system was perfectly capable of doing! (Is there some aspect of this that isn't completely insane that I've missed out on?)

Re:Don't worry guys! (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710207)

The fact that the idiots will find a way to leave a copy of atleast 1m people's biometric and other details on train or on a usb stick left lying around in a public place....

Re:Don't worry guys! (3, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710805)

Is there some aspect of this that isn't completely insane that I've missed out on?

3) Profit!

Re:Don't worry guys! (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714883)

Our Spiffy, Shiny, Radically New(tm) system that is horribly vulnerable to fraud isn't vulnerable to fraud because we will only be using it to do what the old and busted system was perfectly capable of doing! (Is there some aspect of this that isn't completely insane that I've missed out on?)

Yes.. Cushy jobs after the political career goes runny.

Are they going to check... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25709951)

if I actually read the story before posting? Cuz I didn't.

Not vulnerable to... HAHAHAHA! (4, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710277)

If they're seriously proposing this as being used primarily for things like proof of age when buying alcohol with no means to confirm the validity of the card, how exactly are they going to protect against things like this [bbc.co.uk]?

Douglas Adams on identity cards (2, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710333)

There were so many different ways in which you were required to provide absolute proof of your identity these days that life could easily become extremely tiresome just from that factor alone, never mind the deeper existential problems of trying to function as a coherent consciousness in an epistemologically ambiguous physical universe. Just look at cash point machines, for instance. Queues of people standing around waiting to have their fingerprints read, their retinas scanned, bits of skin scraped from the nape of the neck and undergoing instant (or nearly instant -- a good six or seven seconds in tedious reality) genetic analysis, then having to answer trick questions about members of their family they didn't even remember they had, and about their recorded preferences for tablecloth colours. And that was just to get a bit of spare cash for the weekend. If you were trying to raise a loan for a jetcar, sign a missile treaty or pay an entire restaurant bill things could get really trying.

Hence the Ident-i-Eeze. This encoded every single piece of information about you, your body and your life into one all-purpose machine-readable card that you could then carry around in your wallet, and therefore represented technology's greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense.

oh really? (1)

Digitalman65 (1352303) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710631)

'But an Identity and Passport Service spokesman denied the system would be vulnerable to fraud...' ...and the ship is unsinkable, the volcano is dormant, the electronic voting system is un-hackable, and that really popular operating system doesn't totally suck.

But, I thought "People 'can't wait for ID cards'" (3, Insightful)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710659)

But I thought "People 'can't wait for ID cards' [bbc.co.uk]":

The cards will be available for all from 2012 but she said: "I regularly have people coming up to me and saying they don't want to wait that long."

Someone should tell Jacqui that the people who stand to make lots of money from producing ID cards for the government wanting it to be done sooner don't count as a representative sample of the British public.

Re:But, I thought "People 'can't wait for ID cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711127)

But I thought "People 'can't wait for ID cards' [bbc.co.uk]":

The cards will be available for all from 2012 but she said: "I regularly have people coming up to me and saying they don't want to wait that long."

Someone should tell Jacqui that the people who stand to make lots of money from producing ID cards for the government wanting it to be done sooner don't count as a representative sample of the British public.

Multi-Pass? That's what we need.

Re:But, I thought "People 'can't wait for ID cards (5, Insightful)

Skuldo (849919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711235)

Reprehensible woman. Put her in the stocks.

Re:But, I thought "People 'can't wait for ID cards (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25712889)

I bet she weighs the same as a duck.

Re:But, I thought "People 'can't wait for ID cards (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713403)

Reprehensible woman. Put her in the stocks.

Give her a taste of her own medicine - lock her up for 42 days - and if she's good, someone might even remember to feed her.

After all, anyone who spreads such blatant lies must be a terrorist.

Re:But, I thought "People 'can't wait for ID cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713977)

The People standing to many money for ID cards, is only EDS, everyone else loses. EDS wins just about every UK government IT contract and then goes horribly over budget, see for example the NHS computer system debacle. I'd like to see the public finance office (which audits UK government contracts), have a good look into EDS contracts.

Meanwhile ID, are 10 billion pound waste of money, that will create move government intrusion into peoples lives cost the average person money and time, and offer nothing of true value in stopping crime. 10 billions buys a lot of police office on the streets and investigating crime. Why waste it on fakable bits of plastic that everyone will have to replace each time they lose a wallet.

A Further problem will the new cards, is if they are dropping the biometric ID, or rarely using it, then each time I have an ID card stolen, i'm opening my self up to identity theft. So the new
plan would me more vulnerable to ID theft not less.

Different, minimal cards for different purposes? (3, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25710957)

It seems to me that much of the problems with any form of national ID card could be mitigated if you had different cards for different purposes. If I need to be able to assert that I'm old enough to buy something, all I need is a difficult-to-forge card that asserts that fact, and ties that fact to me (with my photograph perhaps). Such a card has no need for my name, my address, or any other facts about my identity. If you wanted to get fancy, you could digitize all of this information and have nothing appearing on the card at all.

Similarly, a license to drive should be based on my ability to drive. My identity doesn't matter, at least beyond what's needed to prove that I'm the rightful holder of the license. I might need to present some identification to the government when I obtain the license, but that doesn't need to remain with it. So you could have a separate card (or set of digital credentials) for that.

It's the concentration of all of this into one card that makes that one card so valuable to thieves and a police state. But for most of the uses of the various identity/license/payment/shopper cards, they need to know very little about me. Usually just an account number of some kind, a way to ensure authenticity (digital signature, watermark) and a way for people I present the card to to verify that I'm the rightful holder, if that even matters (like a photograph, or a hash of any kind of biometric data). Why must everything be tied to a government identity?

Re:Different, minimal cards for different purposes (1)

cowbutt (21077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712803)

If I was to be forced to comply with an identity card/database scheme, your proposal is roughly how I'd want it to work; an arbitrary number of distinct identities which I, the citizen, can separate or combine as I see fit. Like you, I'd be happy with the management overhead that comes with having several distinct identities (it's no worse than at the moment, after all).

On the other hand, there are people who really are looking forward to just being able to carry around one piece of plastic that serves as an all-purpose ID card. I think they're crazy, and I expect you do too, but I'm not sure it's my place to deny them the right to jeopardise their identity in that way. The only argument I can see for doing so would be to avoid compromise and loss of confidence in larger systems.

Already have proof of age cards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711239)

See here [validateuk.co.uk]

So why do we need this scheme or central government database again?

Is underage drinking a problem, it wasn't for me. There was always older siblings to buy drink for me and I was never once asked to prove my age when buying drugs. Perhaps that's really the governments big plan, to stop 14 year olds from drinking beer so they consume more narcotics and partake in more of the ever present weed?

In case there's were any remaining doubt to our friends from around the world, here's all the proof you need that the UK government are complete fucking morons.

Thin edge of the wedge (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711377)

First say the system won't be used for this or that to quiet opposition and then introduce it. Once deployed the scope creep begins. For the amount of data leaks the UK government has had, it surprising that UK citizens allow any personal information to be captured digitally at all.

Re:Thin edge of the wedge (1)

kraut (2788) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714121)

For the amount of data leaks the UK government has had, it surprising that UK citizens allow any personal information to be captured digitally at all.

Information wants to be free!! :)

Why is this a watering down? (1)

IIH (33751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711651)

Did anyone really expect that the back end database would be checked for all use, no matter how trivial? No, of course not, so saying this is simply a statement of fact, and, if anything, an attempt to convince people that they are backing down, when it is nothing of the sort.

The most worrying aspect of the id system is the creation of the biometric database, not the card itself. The card itself may be the most visible, but it's almost a red herring, so you will see more ploys like this to show the government "giving in" on the card aspect, without any budge on the crucial part of the database itself, which is scariest part.

In short, this "watering down" claim is a decoy, and means less than nothing.

We need to stop this bad law now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711821)

'The majority of instances where people use their identity cards will be day to day situations where the cards offer a convenient method of proving identity such as a young person proving their age to buy alcohol,' he said.'"

Whoever said that should read the law. The law as passed makes it an offence for almost anyone or olmost any organisation to even ask to see one's ID card. The only bodies allowed to do so are very presecriptive and so are the punishments for anyone breaking this law. The fact that a government spokesperson is so misinformed about the law they're supposed to be defending highlights the absolute mockery of this situation.

The only way an ID card will prevent deaths from terorism is if it's made of kevlar and happens to stop a bit of shrapnel, and unless we want little old ladies being arrested in the street for forgetting their ID card then it's logically flawed in preventing almost any crime.

The only think it will do is make the proffits from ID theft/fraud even more lucritive and tempting and the crimes which will enable them will become more tempting...which may well lead to kidnaping, murders etc in order to allow someones ID to be stolen. The staff maintaining the system will all need heavy protection and high security monitoing to prevent them being subject to extortion etc.

Re:We need to stop this bad law now (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713843)

They seem to have forgotten about Clarence Willcock [bbc.co.uk], a businessman who refused to produce his ID card to a police officer or to his nearest police station within 48 hours.

YUO FAIL IT!i? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25712407)

track of where niggernes5? And

the only Id that can't be faked (1)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712577)

May I offer a radical or extreme solution?

The ONLY "ID card" that simply can't be faked is the person himself. In other words you don't issue ID cards at all. When the cop on the street wants to know who you are he takes some measurement of you, such as say a photo of your face and or asks you speak out loud into a microphone, to get a voice sample. Then this info gets compared to a database. Any other system can be faked.

If you think about it, this is how "ID" used to work centuries ago. People would just know you on sight. Very few people ever travelled far from home so they always lived with people who knew them. Technology could bring back such a system.

Standard practice: ask for more than you want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714215)

This is standard practice for governments in the UK - ask for a totally over-the-top thing to start with (more than you want) then when you tone it down slightly people stupidly see it as a "victory".

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