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UK Can't Read Its Own ID Cards

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the forest-for-the-trees dept.

Security 205

An anonymous reader writes "Despite the introduction of ID cards last November, it has emerged that Britain has no readers that are able to read the cards' microchips, which contain the person's fingerprints and other biometric information. With cops and border guards unable to use the cards to check a person's identity, critics are calling the £4.7bn scheme 'farcical' and a 'waste of time.'"

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No readers? No surprise! (4, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734851)

While I won't go as far as being paranoid about "it was always the governments plan and they just want the data on everyone", it doesn't surprise me that our government isn't even capable of introducing both halves of an ID scheme at the same time.

Until they fix it they've basically just introduced an over-expensive photo ID. Well done, Labour!

Re:No readers? No surprise! (4, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735325)

While I won't go as far as being paranoid about "it was always the governments plan and they just want the data on everyone", it doesn't surprise me that our government isn't even capable of introducing both halves of an ID scheme at the same time.

I'm even more cynical than that. While the government will probably get some data on people, judging from other such projects that have gone before it will be extremely poorly coordinated and it will be a far bigger security risk than anything else because they won't be able to keep a lid on the data. It just strikes me that a lot of companies have got cosy with the government, promising them things that are almost certainly not going to work in order to fleece them of billions of pounds. Billions of borrowed pounds in the current climate, that is.

Re:No readers? No surprise! (3, Insightful)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735427)

I'm more convinced by "it was always the government's plan and they just wanted to dole out juicy contracts to the private sector."

Re:No readers? No surprise! (3, Insightful)

Zumbs (1241138) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735483)

I think that it's more a question of whipping up fear in the population and then reap the popularity by appearing to "do something" to keep the population safe (and docile?). In any case, the fact that the ID cards can't be read, pretty clearly suggests that the "increased safety" argument were a load of horse manure.

privacy (5, Funny)

justhatched (1291470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734855)

It is a security measure

Re:privacy (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735001)

except everybody BUT the gov't can read them...

it's funny, but sad-funny.

Re:privacy (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735157)

You mean job security for the police. If they put the criminal element out of business with an ID program that works, then the government would need fewer police. With a half-ass ID program, both police and the criminal elements can breath easier.

Re:privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735289)

Yes, secure as a chocolate fire truck.

At least no one will every be able to copy them hey?

ALONG WITH THE OLYMPICS, AND PARLEMENT (as its only for show now)...THIS IS ONE BIG EXCUSE TO WASTE OUR MONEY - TERRORISM we already had that with IRA

PS anybody want to buy an identity, my friend will sell you one and say his dog ate it.

Re:privacy (3, Funny)

// (81289) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735363)

It's like "plug and play" - that worked 50% too. As in, "plug" always worked, it was just the "play" bit that had problems...

Look at Belgium (3, Informative)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734861)

Stop making fun at Belgium and follow in their food steps. The readers are available and the source is open Dutch: http://eid.belgium.be/nl/Achtergrondinfo/De_eID_technisch/ [belgium.be]
Main thing is that you see there are Linux drivers for it.

Re:Look at Belgium (4, Funny)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734881)

Or alternatively, we could spend the money on something useful, like giving every child a pony.

Re:Look at Belgium (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734895)

omgponies!

Re:Look at Belgium (3, Funny)

michaeldot (751590) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735005)

Microchipped pony.

Re:Look at Belgium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735011)

Or alternatively, we could spend the money on something useful

UK could help them. [mwcnews.net]

Re:Look at Belgium (5, Funny)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735193)

and when the credit crunch really bites, pony sausages and a nice warm coat

Re:Look at Belgium (5, Funny)

rHBa (976986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735371)

We could call it the OPPC project

Re:Look at Belgium (4, Funny)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734961)

Mmmm... food steps.

Re:Look at Belgium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734977)

Mmmm... food steps.

Belgian chocolate ... mmm ....coated Brussel spouts!? WTF!?!

Re:Look at Belgium (5, Insightful)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734987)

Stop making fun at Belgium and follow in their food steps.

*puts mayonnaise on his fries*

Joking aside, it seems like the Belgians have done this right: You need a code to access the information from the passport, similar to your bank/creditcard. Not perfect, but at least it isn't readable by everyone.

Re:Look at Belgium (2, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735495)

No, not everyone, just the people with the desire to get the code... which won't be hard.

Re:Look at Belgium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734991)

Stop making fun at Belgium and follow in their food steps.

So, eat 'frites' then?

Re:Look at Belgium (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735079)

So, eat 'frites' then?

Happily -- but mayo on them?

Re:Look at Belgium (1)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735293)

as a belgian, i can assure you that it's very tasty, if you got the proper mayo ^^.
ours usually also contains a bit of lemon, and that gives it a nice taste, abroad i oftenonly see plain mayo i wouldn't eat with my fries either :p

Re:Look at Belgium (1)

skerit (1182237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735443)

Most non-Belgians don't understand why you would put mayonnaise on your fries because mayonnaise in other countries are mostly void of taste.

Re:Look at Belgium (2, Informative)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735513)

I'm Dutch and we also put copious amounts of mayo on our fries. And even though "we" are in friendly rivalry with those wacky Belgians (well, the Flemish anyway) I will readily admit that the Belgians have the upper hand on us with regards to fries. And mayo, and certainly beer. Oh, and waffles. And chocolate.

Although I can't imagine how drunk they must have been to invent 'tartarsauce' for on their fries... :-)

Re:Look at Belgium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735113)

Or there are a few foreign embassies that have specialised signals units - to reprogram the card to anything you want.
Picture of the dog, and its paw print. Priceless!

Re:Look at Belgium (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735147)

Stop making fun at Belgium and follow in their food steps.

How will eating lots of mussels help?

Re:Look at Belgium (3, Informative)

blaine the monorail (1140679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735277)

Interestingly, the first year the new ID cards were issued in Belgium, there was also a shortage of readers in police departments. If you had a new ID card, you were required to keep a printout of the data with you in case the police requested your ID :-) (it wasn't that bad though; the only information on the chip that isn't also on the front of the card, is your address)
The police have enough readers now, so it's not necessary anymore.

Re:Look at Belgium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735311)

Mmmm... tasty tasty food steps

Re:Look at Belgium (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735599)

Stop making fun at Belgium and follow in their food steps.

Yeah, I'm craving Belgian Waffles now!

Where exactly are these cards? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734871)

The cards dont exist yet and wont until 2011 or 2012.

Still, dont let truth get in the way of a good rant.

Re:Where exactly are these cards? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734911)

Its partly true, part headline grabbing. Some foreigners have been issued with cards, more as a trial than anything else, and readers outside this trial havn't been bought yet.

Not much of a story really.

Re:Where exactly are these cards? (2, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734933)

RTFA: "The first UK ID cards have already been issued - but no UK police officers or border guards have any way of reading the data stored on them.". They are already issuing them to asylum seekers, people freed from Gitmo, etc.

Maybe thats the plan - just say "sorry, just wait over there until we can read your card. You should be allowed into the UK sometime soon".

Re:Where exactly are these cards? (4, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735067)

No, you can get one if you want one, and certain classes of people have to have them - asylum seekers, airport workers, and a few other categories. Perhaps gypsies and jews should be added to the list, *sigh*.

Re:Where exactly are these cards? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735243)

Maybe they will then make the cards yellow so they stand out. Then perhaps the cards could be shaped into a stylish star that they can put on their clothes.

Hmmm.

Re:Where exactly are these cards? (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735265)

Not just asylum seekers, anyone here on a settlement visa. My wife's got to have a card now, even though she's here fully legitimately and I'm a full-fledged British citizen andsubject of HRH Queen Elizabeth the Second. And students are next in line, which as a PhD researcher means yours truly. If you refuse? Well, you lose your visa or your student status as appropriate. They're targetting those that are least able to object in order to build up an "installed base".

HRH Queen Elizabeth the Second?! (4, Informative)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735397)

Her Royal Highness? Did Her Majesty abdicate?

Re:HRH Queen Elizabeth the Second?! (4, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735581)

This is why I normally use the Royal Etiquitte Add-On for Firefox. Stupid work PC.

Re:Where exactly are these cards? (0, Troll)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735433)

Serves you right for being a limey in limeyland, loserboy. Eat Corgi shit and cheer the CCTV cameras while Gordon Brownnose shoves nightstick up your ass and thousands of chavs slice you up with IKEA knives.

Re:Where exactly are these cards? (2, Interesting)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735451)

Do you know the funny thing though? My girlfriend is Brazilian, and she resides in the UK through her father having dual Portuguese/Brazilian nationality. By European law, she can't be required to have an ID card (and no-one seems to have asked, either) and unless she goes for UK citizenship, never will. This amuses me especially because both Portugal and Brazil do have mandatory ID cards.

Re:Where exactly are these cards? (1)

Nomen Publicus (1150725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735291)

It will be interesting to see what happens with the aircraft workers who already are subject to MORE stringent checks than the ID card would require. Every relevant union has already come out and rejected the introduction of additional pointless ID cards.

Re:Where exactly are these cards? (4, Informative)

Archtech (159117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735097)

Actually, the first ID cards were issued last year (2008).

Dad's Army (5, Interesting)

BBadhedgehog (955308) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734879)

Is anyone really surprised? There are people out there who still don't believe that Dad's Army was an early example of reality TV. Government competence levels have not improved in the ensuing years.

Offtopic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734979)

This must have been modded by someone with no clue of old British sitcoms. Just because you don't get the reference doesn't make it offtopic!

Will someone please fix the bad mod?

Re:Offtopic? (5, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735055)

It is offtopic. "Dad's Army" was at best tangentially related to the government.

What you want is "Yes, Minister". Down the corridor, third on the left.

/oblig "fixed that for you" (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735207)

What you want is "Yes, Minister". Down the corridor, third on the left.

I'm sorry, this is abuse. You want "Yes, Minister". Down the corridor, third on the left.

Stupid git.

Re:/oblig "fixed that for you" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735255)

And now somebody whacked me with a "troll" for the above. We really do have mods who have no clue of British sitcoms.

Re:/oblig "fixed that for you" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735331)

No. It's just that it was neither funny nor relevant. If it had been well-timed and on-topic, it could have been mock abuse; as it was it was just abuse.

Re:/oblig "fixed that for you" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735381)

Metamod -1, Less than Encyclopedic Knowledge of Monty Python.

Re:/oblig "fixed that for you" (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735403)

In fairness the mod was just overly suspicious of the man who rang the doorbell claiming to be a burglar.

Identity crisis (3, Interesting)

RDW (41497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734893)

Right now most bookmakers will give you very good odds on the current government actually being in power by the end of 2010. Since the other lot are supposedly going to get rid of the scheme, and there's been no large-scale rollout of the cards to the general population, it probably doesn't make a lot of sense to buy all the readers just now. Not that 'sense' really comes into this, of course.

You don't say. (4, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734897)

Britain has no readers that are able to the cards' microchip

Hey, we all know how hard it can be to a card's microchip.

Re:You don't say. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734921)

I accidentally the card's microchip, is this bad? :(

Re:You don't say. (5, Funny)

molecular (311632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735061)

I accidentally the card's microchip, is this bad? :(

not if you didn't the chip on purpose, then you only have to money, not to jail.

Re:You don't say. (2, Funny)

Rigrig (922033) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735133)

As long as you didn't the card's microchip you can just the card's microchip, that should the card's microchip. Just don't accidentally the card's microchip.

Re:You don't say. (2, Informative)

Bazman (4849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735217)

I was going to explain this meme to people but someone seems to have accidentally the whole of encyclopediadramatica.org

Google cache tiem:

http://74.125.77.132/search?q=cache:w7oVzuVvJRYJ:encyclopediadramatica.com/I_accidentally_X+accidentally+encyclopediadramatica&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=uk&client=firefox-a [74.125.77.132]

Re:You don't say. (5, Funny)

BobisOnlyBob (1438553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735049)

That sentence no verb!! You have no idea how much that me. >:(

Re:You don't say. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735369)

Well, if you would pull your smurfing smurf out of your smurf, you would smurf it perfectly fine.

Kids these days (2, Informative)

jsse (254124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734901)

Yesterday you rant about giving up too much piracy, today you rant about them not being readable? I pity those cluelessnesses' failure in appreciating the beauty of unbreakable security with Write-Only-Memory(WOM) [national.com] technology from Sygnetics in 1972.

Enough about it. Get off my lawn.

Re:Kids these days (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735357)

Can't you see the irony here?

The government does something no one wants, acting as if it knows best, then fucks the implementation up in ways few thought about making it worthless for the time being. It's like the drunk who swears he is able to drive, refuses to give up his keys, then gets into an accident before he gets out of the parking spot.

t Britain has no readers that are able... (2, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734945)

Britain has no readers that are able to the cards' microchip,

No problem, can't we just take them round to the Russian embassy? I'm sure that they are quite capable of reading all our microchips.

Re:t Britain has no readers that are able... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735179)

can't we just take them round to the Russian embassy?

The embassy of USA would be more appropriate - that's where all this crap is coming from.

Queen song comes to mind (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734947)

Faaarcical! Faaarcical!
I like to ride my
Faaarcical! Faaarcical!

"in response to an FoI request"?!? (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734983)

the uk has a FOIA? srsly, when did this happen?

Re:"in response to an FoI request"?!? (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735035)

About 9 years ago.

Re:"in response to an FoI request"?!? (5, Informative)

Davidis (1390527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735095)

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Only exceptions to this in government is the Official secrets act. which means the information comes out in 50 years. this is better than the US where 90% of it never comes out at all. The Act [direct.gov.uk]

Re:"in response to an FoI request"?!? (5, Informative)

XSpud (801834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735227)

Exceptions include information other that that covered by the Official Secrets Act.

There are also a whole lot of exemptions, such as data that is commercially sensitive, related to criminal investigations or where disclosure would contravene the Data Protection Act etc. When a request is refused the reason for the exemption must be given to the requester.

In practise the Act has meant a lot of information is now public where it wouldn't have been before.

Re:"in response to an FoI request"?!? (5, Funny)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735145)

About 9 years ago.

It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The Leopard.

Re:"in response to an FoI request"?!? (2, Funny)

Archtech (159117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735099)

the uk has a FOIA? srsly, when did this happen?

I can't disclose that. It's a state secret.

Re:"in response to an FoI request"?!? (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735111)

that's the uk we all know an love. sign the official secrets act, did you?

Re:"in response to an FoI request"?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735575)

that's the uk we all know an love. sign the official secrets act, did you?

If I could tell you that I'd have to shoot you.

Get ready for the ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT... (0, Redundant)

Terminus32 (968892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735015)

...ready for your Veri-chip to be inserted into your brain?

Depends on how strictly you define "UK"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735051)

...as I'm pretty sure UK's so inclined criminal element has the means to read those chips.

Re:Depends on how strictly you define "UK"... (1)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735589)

Given how fucked-up most official software is over here, I doubt that even the manufacturer can read the things properly.

Bwahahahaaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735073)

My old'English style of Identification by using coats of arms and capes has not failed me yet!

At least my system gets you half-clothed to a standard citizen's wear.

It was never about reading the cards at the border (4, Interesting)

getuid() (1305889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735085)

It was about biometric databases, computer-recognizable photographs and humongous amounts of fingerprints.

Re:It was never about reading the cards at the bor (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735307)

...and cowing the populace into accepting such a relationship with the State as being normal. First, get the soft targets: the foreigners. Then start slicing away at the rest of us, one soft target at a time.

Our rulers - by which I of course mean the half dozen media moguls that control the teeming masses - will be the last to have to submit to carrying and showing Ze Papers. Up until then, they'll be running this as a "Ho ho, how British!" mirth piece, rather than leading the revolution.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735087)

the Public have been calling it much worse since it was announced. No-one really sees the need for them, nor do they really want them, but it's not something anyone in the UK really feels so strongly about that they'd actively fight against it.
If they dropped the scheme now, no-one would miss it (but i'm sure people would miss the £4bn) and alot of people would be much happier knowing that their identities aren't readily availible to be snooped on by anyone with an RFID sniffer.

Be careful (4, Interesting)

Archtech (159117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735089)

It's easy, and quite tempting, to react to this news with patronizing contempt - and think, "Well, at least we're fairly safe - such a bunch of bunglers couldn't do any real harm".

Unfortunately, a look back at history reveals that appalling inefficiency and incompetence have usually gone hand-in-hand with authoritarian government. But whereas we can still laugh about it, the time may come when doing so is distinctly unwise. People made fun of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini throughout their careers, and some got away with it. Others were arrested, beaten up, imprisoned, tortured, shot, or hanged with piano wire.

Re:Be careful (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735249)

Sufficiently advanced bungling is indistinguishable from malice anyway. Whether it's malevolent orders from above or the apalling false positive rate on the biometrics, randomly detaining 10% of Britons attempting to use aircraft is an evil act.

Re:Be careful (1)

jeepien (848819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735441)

Sufficiently advanced bungling is indistinguishable from malice anyway.

But the real danger is that sufficiently advanced malice is indistinguishable from bungling.

Why is this news? (4, Insightful)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735091)

They've only just started finalising and using these cards. Why is it surprising that there are no readers around?

It's akin to saying that Blu-Ray or DVDs were a waste of time because initially there were no players for them - Hello, you need to wait for people to catch up, especially if the equipment is expensive (and although they're not consumer products, the same rules apply - places need to wait for grants or work out their budgets before buying or using said machines).

Besides, practically no-one has these cards yet - and I doubt anyone will for a while, especially since they cost cash to get (It was ~£50 last I heard)

Re:Why is this news? (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735127)

Well, at least with BluRay and DVD, there were people who actually wanted them. Yes, really, these people did exist.

Now show me one border patrol person that is eager to get yet another thingamajig into their hands that means more work for the same pay?

Re:Why is this news? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735359)

It's a little different in this case for a number of reasons.

This system was paid for by the taxpayer and sold to the taxpayer on all sorts of spurious grounds. With DVD and Blu-Ray, people can decide not to buy and the investment is lost - and if you object to R&D a company is carrying out right now, you can avoid funding it by not buying one of their products.

With ID cards, you can't just write to HMRC and say "I won't be paying £100 worth of my taxes this year because they're going on a project I don't approve of" (much as many of us would love to).

Now we find out this system won't achieve anything because organisations that might want to use it (eg. police, benefits offices) are expected to pay for readers separately out of their own budgets and this wasn't accounted for.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735385)

It's akin to saying that Blu-Ray or DVDs were a waste of time because initially there were no players for them

I'd hope there was at least one BluRay and DVD player on the market when they were first released. If not, who is going to buy them? When you've got a medium like a disk and a partner player they should be out at the same time. Granted, the early ones might not be great, but what's the point of having (say) a padlock without having produced any keys?

Re:Why is this news? (1)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735399)

"Now show me one border patrol person that is eager to get yet another thingamajig into their hands that means more work for the same pay?"

I believe part of the ID card initiative was to make it easier to do border checks (so all the information is available in a single piece of ID)

"This system was paid for by the taxpayer and sold to the taxpayer on all sorts of spurious grounds. With DVD and Blu-Ray, people can decide not to buy and the investment is lost - and if you object to R&D a company is carrying out right now, you can avoid funding it by not buying one of their products."

I wasn't comparing the way they are 'sold' - what I meant is that during some stage of development on DVD/Blu-Ray there would have been no widely-available player on which to use the technology. That doesn't make the technology bad, or a waste of money; it just hasn't had a chance to penetrate the 'market' (in the same way that no-one ha ID cards yet, so the readers have been delayed/ignored for now)

waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735131)

"...critics are calling the £4.7bn scheme "farcical" and a "waste of time"."

Isn't it more like a "waste of money" ?

Re:waste of money (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735491)

Isn't it more like a "waste of money" ?

Nope - the money went strait to the pockets of the well-connected. Just like very other Labour sponsored big budget project.

www.bribe-a-lord.co.uk

Privacy will be Upheld (1)

Kachii (795252) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735153)

critics are calling the £4.7bn scheme "farcical" and a "waste of time".

Like so many other UK schemes.

Personally, I never trusted my government with such data after so many incidents of loss that had nothing to do with the system (which may in itself be perfectly secure) - so maybe it's a good thing after all.

It's a trap! (1)

slashmojo (818930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735167)

Don't fall for it.. they want you to think they can't read the cards so you wont be so worried about getting one.

After all they only need to call this guy [slashdot.org] for a quick solution. ;)

so what else is new? (1)

marafa (745042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735169)

um .. so what else is new? its been 7 years since egypt introduced bar codes on the national id card. do you think ANY government agency have barcodes readers?

worn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735247)

write once, read never

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735377)

with all the smoke and mirrors and lies on this, if this was in the USA, I would have said that it had been a neo-con operation.

Pythonesque... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735409)

No this is the department of silly cards... you're looking for the department of silly walks... four doors down and on the right. Now shove off you ya git!

Plus you can zap the chips remotely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735471)

Then the poor sucker who has one has to buy another passport/card for another 75 GBP.

What a huge waste of cash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735519)

at £4.7bn that scheme is more than 'farcical' and a 'waste of time.' its also a huge waste of monetary resources!

The readers aren't important (2, Insightful)

rabbitfood (586031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735545)

It's admittedly odd that taxpayers are forced to pay for the scheme, targeted minorities are forced to buy the cards, the but the authorities can decide whether or not it's a sensible use of money.

On the other hand, there isn't much point having the readers unless there's a reason to suspect the bearer's identity. As the scheme is voluntary, those with suspect identities won't be the first in the queue for the cards. As law-enforcement will only interested in those without cards, then there's not much point buying in them buying readers. That doesn't, on the other hand, invalidate the cards, which do still serve a purpose.

At present, the standard identification document is the gas bill which, naturally, discriminates against tenants, people without a gas supply and people who have pre-pay meters (usually the poor). The cards therefore improve the ability of poor people to pay for the privilege of 'interacting with government', and thus improve both 'social mobility' and 'engagement'. In addition, a card with a picture on it has to be arguably more reliable than a piece of paper that can be borrowed out of a dustbin by anyone with a mind to.

Think of the Children (1)

daryl_and_daryl (1005065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735561)

and the Science Fair projects that may solve this problem

No biggie (1)

sepelester (794828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735573)

They have included a chip for future use and it hasn't been implemented yet, how is this a big deal?

An Orwellian scenario. (1)

jbssm (961115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735595)

I don't have the exact answer to what is putting us in these Orwellian times, but against all that we tough, it's not human wisdom that is keeping us out of them, but human stupidity!
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