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201 comments

VICTORY! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28540977)

VICTORY for those ignorant enough to think that this would lead to a 1982 orwellien dystopia or some other BS.

Re:VICTORY! (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 5 years ago | (#28541043)

VICTORY for those ignorant enough to think that this would lead to a 1982 orwellien dystopia or some other BS

Do you know what irony is?

Re:VICTORY! (4, Funny)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 5 years ago | (#28541223)

Do you know what irony is?

Isn't it like Goldy & Leady

/baldrick

Re:VICTORY! (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | about 5 years ago | (#28541359)

Come on, you know what Georges are like. Clearly Orwell had always intended for 1984 to be part II of a trilogy. "You mean uzzaa people never know for sure when uzzaa been watched?" I can't wait. Episode III will be a serious documentary about modern life in Britain.

Re:VICTORY! (4, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 years ago | (#28541399)

1982: Because a totalitarian state always seems 2 years away.

Re:VICTORY! (1)

timlyg (266415) | about 5 years ago | (#28541893)

What? You don't how to show your ID when you go to toilet, eat, walk, sing, etc?

Re:VICTORY! (1)

twostix (1277166) | about 5 years ago | (#28541317)

Who said anything about that except the power worshippers who try and paint the average man as "ignorant" and "kooks".

As far as I and most of the people I know are concerned the government works for the citizens and has no moral authority to demand that we submit ourselves for identification purely for *its* benefit.

Most don't put it like that but that's what it boils down to in the average persons mind - "Who the hell do they think they are?".

That's how it worked here in Aus when they tried it last time anyway.

I don't get it (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#28540981)

What's all the uproar about ID cards? It's not like you don't use photo ID (and credit cards) everywhere already. This looks like it just standardizes the process.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | about 5 years ago | (#28541045)

When they aren't required, it is harder for the police to force you to show them. In the US, if you aren't driving a car, then you don't need to carry anything showing who you are.

I am currently living in Japan, so I have an ID that has my identity, and I am required to carry that (or my passport) on my person at all times. This means that if a police officer stops me, they can require my producing identification documents.

Having a standard format for an ID maybe be useful, but then the next step is to require people to carry it, and then making it a crime to not present that to a police officer when requested.

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

jackharrer (972403) | about 5 years ago | (#28541149)

If it comes to UK it was mostly about database that should store them and information there. And UK.gov ineptitude when it comes to anything IT.

ID cards can be very useful - I came from country where those are the norm. But I strongly oppose them in UK as last thing I want is UK gov to lose a disk with all those details (like it never happened). Also cost quoted was ridiculous, just like all IT projects in that country.

Just time to boil the frog more carefully... (4, Insightful)

MindKata (957167) | about 5 years ago | (#28541323)

"UK.gov ineptitude when it comes to anything IT"

Its a shame their deviousness isn't as inept as their technical knowledge, but then they are more interested in manipulation and power games than they are in specific details of technology.

They are still bring in ID cards. This move isn't stopping the cards. But now they are bring them in more slower over a long time scale, at first voluntary. Its bring them in by exploiting feature creep. It starts off as its voluntary for this and its voluntary for that. Then it becomes it helps this and it helps that. Then it becomes its important to this and its important to that. Then it becomes its required for this and its required for that. Then finally it becomes its mandatory for this and its mandatory for that and then eventually you can't do anything without the ID cards. Then finally they get what they aimed to do all along.

They know ID cards are very unpopular and so now they are starting to tread more carefully. They know their ever present power grabbing nature is very unpopular, (in this case power grabbing via information grabbing on people for their own gain (after all, information is power)) and so they are now treading more carefully.

So now they are just boiling the frog more carefully. Yet now many people are initially fooled into believing its not going to happen. Exactly what the control freaks want, as it means over time they will now face less resistance to them bring them in more slowly.

Re:I don't get it (5, Informative)

infolation (840436) | about 5 years ago | (#28541333)

Anyone applying for a UK passport from 2011 onwards [guardian.co.uk] will have their information stored on the National ID database.

If you don't keep your address and personal information up to date you have committed a criminal offence and you can be fined GBP1,000.

80% of the UK population own passports. In essence, anyone who wants to leave the UK must register with the ID database.

The ID database is primarily a scheme that enables the government to identify you, and that is made clear in a dubious little paper called Safeguarding Identity, produced by the Home Office last week, which describes how the ID database and the transformational government scheme mesh together in one glorious structure where data about the individual passes between departments. That is the prize and why they will use any argument and spend any amount to achieve it.

Re:I don't get it (0, Flamebait)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#28541353)

If it comes to UK it was mostly about database that should store them and information there. And UK.gov ineptitude when it comes to anything IT.

So is that the problem, the DB? Why not just forbid government tracking without just cause or other "intelligence" activities using government mandated ID's?

I don't have a problem with standardized ID's. I don't have a problem being "forced" to carry one. To me, it makes sense. Under laws that state you don't need to carry or present and ID when asked, Osama Bin Laden could happily walk down the street in any state in America and simply refuse to show ID when asked.

Police: Sir, you are a six foot plus Arab man with a ball sack beard and a you are being followed around by a kidney dialysis machine. You a striking resemblance to the most wanted terrorist in the world. Can I see your ID?
Bin Laden: No!
Police: OK, can I ask your name?
Bin Laden: You can ask. Hell, I'll even tell you. I'm John Smith... no wait, I'm George Boosh. Yeah, George Boosh.
Police: So, your not Bin Laden?
Bin Laden: Nope.
Police: Well, I can't take you in for being a tall Arab. Thank you citizen. Have a good day.

Granted, Osama Bin Laden is not going to be walking down the street in Anytown USA, but the point is still valid. Replace Bin Laden with any wanted criminal and the point doesn't change.

I understand the "papers please" argument, and reject it because we simply do not have the manpower to set up checkpoints and run around asking everyone for "papers, please". Even if we could muster the manpower, the citizens wouldn't stand for it. The very second city police start asking everyone for ID is the second before a local mayor gets recalled for being an asshole. Same goes for any state governor. Granted, it's harder for local community or state to recall a President, but that's what the Freedom of the Press, the ACLU, The House of Representatives and the Court system are for.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541479)

Osama Bin Laden could happily walk down the street in any state in America

I wouldn't mind living in a world where that were possible. I'm more likely to be harassed by the government than by any known terrorist.

Re:I don't get it (1)

RivieraKid (994682) | about 5 years ago | (#28541561)

Don't be ridiculous - the 9/11 terrorists carried 100% genuine and official Government issued ID. Guess what? Carrying ID didn't help on single bit. Know why? Knowing who someone is and where they are doesn't tell you if they are a terrorist. It doesn't tell you what their intentions are. All it does is give you a huge amount of power over them.

Re:I don't get it (1, Flamebait)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#28541755)

Don't be ridiculous - the 9/11 terrorists carried 100% genuine and official Government issued ID. Guess what? Carrying ID didn't help on single bit. Know why? Knowing who someone is and where they are doesn't tell you if they are a terrorist. It doesn't tell you what their intentions are. All it does is give you a huge amount of power over them.

On the morning of September 11, the 9-11 terrorists hadn't done anything wrong. I'm not saying that ID would have stopped 9-11. I'm saying that it's too damn easy to deny who you are when you are wanted. Seriously, how can a warrant be served if the target of the warrants simply says, "I'm not the droids you are looking for."?

Re:I don't get it (1)

MindKata (957167) | about 5 years ago | (#28541679)

"Why not just forbid government tracking without just cause or other "intelligence" activities using government mandated ID's"

ArcherB: What planet are you from, only on Earth all governments makes the laws and so they choose what they consider legal to do.

"Replace Bin Laden with any wanted criminal and the point doesn't change."

I refer you back to my point above. The governments game the system as they make the rules, so they can (and do) game it in their favor, for their own gain and for the gain of the ones who are loyal to them staying in power. After all the end goal of power over others is to mandate how others live and so they personally gain from that position of power.

Also just look at the expenses scams in the UK government if you don't believe how they manipulate rules for their own gain.

Even this ID card move isn't to drop the ID cards. They are just boiling the frog more carefully now. They are still bring in the ID cards. After all, why bring them in at all if its just voluntary?. That's because it won't end up being voluntary. Information is power and the people in governments go into politics because they want to gain power over people. Knowledge is power. More Knowledge is more power. Its no wonder then that power seekers climbing up the power hierarchy in governments see ID Cards as a solution for them, as they want ever more power over people, to force people to live how they wish people to live. Still don't believe me? ... Then just consider what power is for. At a fundamental level, the very fact that someone seeks power means they wish to gain the power to control and choose how others live their lives and then they personally gain something from having that power over others.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about 5 years ago | (#28541697)

I understand the "papers please" argument, and reject it because we simply do not have the manpower to set up checkpoints and run around asking everyone for "papers, please".

Straw man. The whole point of a national ID card coupled to its attendant DB means you don't have to set up roadblocks etc., you just need a couple of PNGs sitting in a windowless room somewhere directing much more efficient and targeted "stops".

Re:I don't get it (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#28541793)

Straw man. The whole point of a national ID card coupled to its attendant DB means you don't have to set up roadblocks etc., you just need a couple of PNGs sitting in a windowless room somewhere directing much more efficient and targeted "stops".

OK, who are they stopping and why?

Besides, do you really think that a couple of "black-suits" are going to be "sitting in a windowless room somewhere" monitoring the movements of every person in the entire city? Why would they do that? With city and state budgets stretched to the max and the books open for public viewing, do you seriously think that a local gov could get away with that sort of thing without anyone noticing?

Re:I don't get it (1)

c0p0n (770852) | about 5 years ago | (#28541993)

OK, who are they stopping and why?

It strikes me how little police stop cars in this country. Back in Spain I was constantly stopped for breathalyser tests, or to be searched for drugs with dogs and whatnot. You didn't have both your driver's license AND id card (they will eventually merge in a single document) and you were pretty much fucked (the first is mandatory to carry when you drive, the second always) as you were both fined and possibly escorted to the police station to check on your identity to prove a) you're entitled to drive that car (insurance etc) and b) you're entitled to drive.

Re:I don't get it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28542025)

Who are they stopping? Firstly, anyone who complains that they are stopping the wrong people.

Next, they can start stopping and hassling anyone who's a member of an opposition party.

After that, they can get on with the serious business of stopping black people for no good reason.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541855)

Will someone explain how this is flamebait?

Mods, just because you may disagree, doesn't make it flamebait. If you seriously disagree, put down the mod points and reply to explain why.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#28541205)

Having a standard format for an ID maybe be useful, but then the next step is to require people to carry it, and then making it a crime to not present that to a police officer when requested.

So what? This is already the case in Hungary. Makes catching wanted criminals easier, too. If you don't have it on you when a police officer asks for it, you either earned yourself a trip to the police station to clarify your identity, or tell them you live near enough for them to escort you home. It's not an offense, just an inconvenience. This is admittedly a remnant from the socialist regime, but it actually does more good than harm, since most of these checks take place at night, and the officers can't be bothered to check everyone, only those who look shady.

In all other cases, it works exactly like a photo ID you already have.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

Inda (580031) | about 5 years ago | (#28541291)

My wife said "so what" last night too.

I replied:

Next they'll add DNA records to it, and there are already convictions based solely on DNA evidence. DNA is easy to plant, easy to share, impossible not to leave you DNA everywhere. Still happy?

Next they'll say "This little chip could do so much more". All your money will be linked to it.

Next they'll refuse to let you borrow a library book without it. And you'll need to show it on the bus. When you buy alcohol. When you enter any public place.

Next, instead of showing it, you'll have to insert it into the card reader. Now your whole life is tracked. Are you happy about the local dustbin man being able to track you?

Next they'll say "this little chip could be made smaller and inserted under the skin". Still happy to say "so what"

"They wouldn't do that", she said.

"They do with dogs. Happy to be treated like a dog by our lords and masters?"

-----

We'll all be forced to own one eventually. As soon as Tescos and the like require you to insert it when you buy anything.

Voluntary, my arse.

Re:I don't get it (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#28541395)

DNA is ... easy to share...

For your average /. reader?

Still happy?

No. :/

Re:I don't get it (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#28541539)

No problem. We're geeks, and probably have the tools to muck about with our skin-embedded RFID chips.

Sincerely,

Elvis Presley [gizmodo.com]

Re:I don't get it (1)

e9th (652576) | about 5 years ago | (#28541563)

Did you say DNA records? [washingtonpost.com] I can't wait until there's a practical field procedure for generating a DNA profile. Get pulled over for speeding? "Sir, we're going to need some saliva now. Thanks for cooperating."

Re:I don't get it (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 5 years ago | (#28541737)

>I can't wait until there's a practical field procedure for generating a DNA profile
In the UK almost any visit to the police station will result in you being obliged to give a DNA sample. They've used the increasingly large sample database to mop up old crimes going back decades in some cases. I would suggest that in many cases such as murder, rape etc this is a Good Thing. However, it is easy to plant or fake DNA evidence and the courts and in turn jurors generally tend to treat any DNA evidence as magic proof of guilt and won't stop to think the person in the dock might not have done it.

Re:I don't get it (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 5 years ago | (#28541789)

Now your whole life is tracked.

But you forget the equally annoying problem, similar to the phenomenon of "Universal Default"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_default [wikipedia.org]

Basically, universal default means if you're having "a problem" with one financial institution, all other financial institutions are legally allowed to pile onto you and attack you along with the problem institution. Currently our financial lives are a gang fight, you fight one you better be ready to fight them all at the same time.

Anyway, I suspect something similar to universal default, but larger, is a major purpose of a national database. In theory, currently if you don't register for the draft and keep your address current, you can't get college financial aid. This kind of "reasoning" can easily be expanded with a national ID system.

If you have a late library book, your garbage man will not be legally allowed to haul away your trash. Also you'll be unable to buy anything at any retail establishment until your account is cleared up at the library. Basically any establishment will be able to very publicly subject you to a society-wide "consumer death penalty". Like wearing a big scarlet "A", or one of those yellow stars, except it'll be an id card in your pocket so that's OK.

Customer service dispute with one gas station? Blacklisted, No gas station will sell you gas under any circumstances, even on a cash and carry basis. Being blacklisted for the duration of the memory of the bouncers at one bar is bad. Being blacklisted from all bars forever based on the arbitrary decision of one individual, is quite a harsh penalty, especially when you might be targeted for nefarious reasons (dating some bar bouncer's ex-girlfriend, or made a fool out of someone more powerful, etc).

Late return of a rental DVD? No library books for you! Bought alcohol? No medical services for you. A a "service death penalty" if you ever did something politically incorrect. Shop at the adult toy store (and I don't mean the local computer store)? That means no entrance to church (except maybe confessional session)! Once bought a gas guzzler car? Random targeted punishment for the rest of your life.

Bought "Budweiser" beer at the quickie mart? No admittance to "Miller Park" stadium for you! A very strange merger of private activity and corporate owned public spaces is about to arrive.

Basically what used to be individual problems between you and one entity, while you and the rest of the world were all good, will soon be punished as you against the entire freaking world.

Re:I don't get it (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 5 years ago | (#28541363)

I am currently living in Japan, so I have an ID that has my identity, and I am required to carry that (or my passport) on my person at all times. This means that if a police officer stops me, they can require my producing identification documents.

Only in the course of their duties. Japanese police cannot stop you for the purpose of checking your ID, but if you are a foreigner over the age of 18, then you are required to carry it at all times and show it to police if they have another legitimate cause for stopping you.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Candid88 (1292486) | about 5 years ago | (#28541493)

...but then the next step is to require people to carry it, and then making it a crime to not present that to a police officer when requested.

You do know that if a police officer requests your identity it is already a crime not to provide it. ID card or no ID card.

If you say "I'm not going to tell you who I am or where I live" all the policeman's ears would hear is "please put me in a cell copper, please"

Re:I don't get it (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 5 years ago | (#28542001)

Doesn't have to be that way. In Germany, everyone have to own an ID document but noone is forced to carry it.

Better that way than having the SSN misused for all kinds of identification (in Germany only your employer needs to know the SSN).

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541049)

To those who modded this up, rather than the original troll: do you understand the difference between voluntary and obligatory? Between free trade and force?

As it happens, I do have a credit card, but I only use it where I want. And I don't walk around with photo ID. In fact, the only form of vague ID that I do make a point of always carrying is my organ donor card, because, you know, unlike state ID, that's actually going to help "protect" my fellow countrymen from the real scourge of organ failure, as opposed to the imagined scare of terrorists round every corner who mysteriously have less of chance of affecting your life than the lottery.

Re:I don't get it (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 5 years ago | (#28541057)

A) Every other ID you cite is voluntary, this was going to be compulsory (eventually).
B) There was going to be a database behind it that allowed the government to data mine and track what you were up to in numerous areas. With a reasonable government, not neccessarily a problem but they could enact any number of new laws making something you did illegal such as reading political books, fishing or importing DVDs then use the system to scoop up the 'bad' guys.
C) As you say, there are already any number of ways of identifying yourself - driving licence, passport etc. Why have yet another at collosal cost to the tax payer?

Re:I don't get it (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 5 years ago | (#28541107)

I'm from the UK, just to clarify things.

I can't remember the last time my photo ID was *required*, except possibly to put on my driver's license (so, by a government-only department that already had all the information about me it required), and my driving license has *never* been requested or required for anything. I don't have *anything* else with my photo on, at all. I'm pretty sure the only other "photo ID" I've ever had was a student card, because it got me student discounts. Even that was optional.

Additionally, credit/debits cards are *not* as big over here as over countries and a lot of people only "trust" cash. Cheques have only just stopped being accepted in most stores (as in, the last year or two). Although, inevitably, their use will increase over time.

Also, the problem with ID cards *isn't* either of the above. The problem with ID cards is that we were going to be required to pay for them, that they would "link" several disparate databases together and that there was *no* demonstrated need for them at all. There was also going to be a legal requirement to carry them (such a requirement doesn't exist in the UK at all and is, in fact, very alien to us... the nearest equivalent we have is that we have to produce a driving license at a police station of our choice within 48 hours if a policeman so demands it in connection with a driving offence) and therefore a requirement to HAVE them. It was a £100 "compulsory-voluntary" stealth tax to make us carry a card we would never use unless "needs" were created for it (anti-terrorism crap, basically). It was never required before and nobody could justify why it was required after (terrorists normally have valid or plausible ID, for example).

The stink wasn't about "ID Cards" so much as the pathetically poor method of introduction: Hey, you. I want you to carry a card around for the rest of your life for no reason, and I'm going to "invent" excuses to make you need to have it on you. And now you owe me £100 and a day filling out forms in order for me to give you that card. Cough up.

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541257)

Important point about the database, the article neglects to mention that the database is not being scrapped. The database is the real privacy concern, not the card itself. All the card is a way of proving identity in relation to the database.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | about 5 years ago | (#28541297)

I'm from the UK, just to clarify things.

I can't remember the last time my photo ID was *required*

They want my passport to leave the country ;-)
I'm young (or at least, young-looking), so sometimes I'm asked for photo ID when I purchase alcohol (or certain medicines, knives and chemicals).
Some nightclubs demand photo ID to enter them. Some even *scan* the ID, I don't know how common this is as I don't go to the big mainstream clubs.

I'm pretty sure the only other "photo ID" I've ever had was a student card, because it got me student discounts.

Most university/college-issued student IDs now have a photo. Whether you need to carry it depends on the university's rules though -- I needed to carry mine to unlock doors.

Also, the problem with ID cards *isn't* either of the above. The problem with ID cards is that we were going to be required to pay for them, that they would "link" several disparate databases together and that there was *no* demonstrated need for them at all.

Exactly.

I don't care so much that the council, train company, countless shops and so on have CCTV of me. I don't care that my university and doctor know about some medical condition, that my employer knows how often I'm ill, that the train company knows if I'm staying out late, that my bank knows what I buy.

What I do care about is people aggregating all that data. Joining it all together gives too much insight into my life.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#28541307)

I can't remember the last time my photo ID was *required*, except possibly to put on my driver's license (so, by a government-only department that already had all the information about me it required), and my driving license has *never* been requested or required for anything. I don't have *anything* else with my photo on, at all. I'm pretty sure the only other "photo ID" I've ever had was a student card, because it got me student discounts. Even that was optional.

I take it you don't open bank accounts too often, travel internationally, or buy cigarettes and alcohol. Being a smoker kind of made it a necessity when I started travelling around. The £100 really is fucked up though.

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 5 years ago | (#28541351)

I think half of that depends on your age group. I'm 25 and in the past few years I've needed photo ID for buying alcohol (which they're now raising to "if you look under 25 then prove you're over 18") as well as getting on to some works sites (although that's a more specialist case).

As for debit/credit, I don't have trust issues with plastic and rarely have cash on me. Supermarkets (even small Co-op stores) and most high street chains will take plastic for any value, but some shops have a £5 minimum spend. I've bought a 50p loaf of bread on plastic before because all I had in my pocket was a few coppers.

The stink wasn't about "ID Cards" so much as the pathetically poor method of introduction: Hey, you. I want you to carry a card around for the rest of your life for no reason, and I'm going to "invent" excuses to make you need to have it on you. And now you owe me £100 and a day filling out forms in order for me to give you that card. Cough up.

And not just that, but they were doing it for passports as well with biometric details. If you want a new passport now it costs extra because of the extra details. No-one has proved any use for those either, and it all seems a little excessive.

I think most people were complaining because the "red tops" (cheap and sensationalist newspapers, like The Sun) told them to rather than because they understood the excess of data being collected, the implications of carrying an ID card everywhere, the likely down-hill slope of what the government would push for next, and the problems with the inevitable loss of data.

Re:I don't get it (1)

chrb (1083577) | about 5 years ago | (#28541373)

my driving license has *never* been requested or required for anything

Maybe not requested directly from you, but all of that license information, including home address and the photo, is stored in the DVLA database. You have no idea who has access to it, or what they have done with it.

I don't have *anything* else with my photo on, at all.

Perhaps you don't, but most adults will also have a passport.

Additionally, credit/debits cards are *not* as big over here as over countries and a lot of people only "trust" cash.

Not true. "Behind the U.S., the U.K. is the next largest market with 59 million credit cards, according to the Lafferty Group, a research firm in London." (source [pbs.org] )

How do you get your cash if you don't have a debit card? Every employer I've ever worked for has insisted on paying me through monthly bank transfer or standing order. Banks have inconvenient opening hours and are, well, inconvenient. Every single person I know uses ATMs. and you can't use an ATM without a debit card.

A lot of the resistance to I.D. cards in the U.K. has been "OMG the government will have my infos!". But unless you're paid cash in hand, have no mobile phone, no drivers license, no passport, no bank account, no NHS records, and aren't registered for council tax or to vote, then the government already have most, or all, of the info that would be stored on the I.D. card. The only addition is the biometrics.

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 5 years ago | (#28541491)

yeah but all those database are separate entities and there is practically impenetrable firewall of bureaucracy and privacy laws stopping them being cross referenced.

Re:I don't get it (1)

chrb (1083577) | about 5 years ago | (#28541647)

As far as I know, there are no privacy laws that protect the data held in databases from being shared between different government departments. The government is exempt from most of the Data Protection Act.

I doubt this is a bureaucratic issue either - getting some databases cross referenced is technically easy, and I would be surprised if the capability didn't already exist. I would be very, very, surprised if MI5/6 couldn't cross reference DVLA, passport, mobile phone, and police records, which means that, technically speaking, anyone else with appropriate permissions could too.

Re:I don't get it (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 5 years ago | (#28541613)

>then the government already have most, or all, of the info that would be stored on the I.D. card
Sort of. The ID card database is introducing the ID card as the primary key then using that to update and thus link all the disparate databases into one big searchable system. Right now, they'd have to trawl multiple systems and manually sift the data to get the big picture on you. If the ID database goes live, they'll have a single system that shows the lot and can then be used for data mining on whatever criteria they decide makes you a bit dodgy in their opinion.

Re:I don't get it (0, Troll)

chrb (1083577) | about 5 years ago | (#28541739)

Do you really think that MI5/6 don't already have the ability to do automated cross-referenced queries from those disparate databases using a single software interface? There are loads of pieces of data that could be munged into a primary key (National Insurance number, surname+DOB etc.). Even without that, they could query on name, address, date of birth, etc. and pull all of the info out in an automated fashion very quickly.

If Google can search the entire internet and give me search results in a fraction of a second, then I am not ready to believe that the British intelligence services would be so incompetent that they couldn't link several disparate databases to enable automated searches of members of the British public.

Re:I don't get it (1)

RivieraKid (994682) | about 5 years ago | (#28541797)

The only addition is the biometrics.

Which is precisely the point - there is no need at all for the extra biometrics, or the linking of the databases.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541633)

>Additionally, credit/debits cards are *not* as big over here as over countries and a lot of people only "trust" cash. Cheques have only just stopped being accepted in most >stores (as in, the last year or two). Although, inevitably, their use will increase over time.

We seem to live in different UKs. What other countries have you visited? The UK uses debit card pretty much as a replacement for coins and notes.

Japan is a cash country, the US is a cash country. The UK isn't.

Re:I don't get it (1)

arethuza (737069) | about 5 years ago | (#28541725)

Indeed, since Chip-n-Pin became common the only think I use cash for is the occasional taxi journey.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Xest (935314) | about 5 years ago | (#28541871)

£100 to start with.

If it's anything like driving licenses or passports they'd eventually make you renew it too.

I was quite suprised when I got a letter from the DVLA the other day saying I had to renew my driving license because photos now have to be updated every 10 years at the cost of £20. Not a massive amount of cash, but £20 for every driver in the UK every 10 years probably amounts to £250 million or so for them over that period (or £25 million a year in other words) so clearly just a cash grab. No one's ever had to renew their photo before so why now? It's not like the photo even matters, if someone wants to check your license they can do so without needing your photo and it's not as if it's hard to fake one anyway.

I'd imagine the same would happen with ID cards eventually, probably £50 every 10 years to renew it or something too which is another reason I didn't want one to be honest.

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541177)

The issues in point were not that it was ID, but that it was
1. Compulsory
2. Seen as being imposed without popular support or adequate consultation
3. Backed by a database of information, rather than "just another card"
4. Expensive
5. Being misleadingly promoted as an effective anti terrorism measure
6. of widely distrusted security, in light of recent data-loss scandals
7. Likely to become tied to the provision of other services

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

twostix (1277166) | about 5 years ago | (#28541215)

Well I don't know about anyone else but I refuse to be told that I must submit myself to the sitting government so that they may provide me with identification to prove that I'm a citizen of MY country.

It's MY country, not theirs.

Any ID I have at this time I have because I choose to have it, for business that I choose to engage in.

Would you send someone to gaol for refusing to submit themselves to the government to get a government Identity Card?

If not then it's not compulsory.

If so, then you're an authoritarian and not worth speaking to.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Angostura (703910) | about 5 years ago | (#28541309)

What the UK government want is to assign a compulsory primary key to every UK citizen and then make the hand-over of that key compulsory. What the anti-campaign wants to do is be allowed to leave that as 'null'.

Giving ever UK citizen a primary key is tremendously useful to a government. It makes a number of administrative tasks much simpler. Unfortunately in the hands of an oppressive totalitarian regime, ownership of the database becomes a nasty weapon against freedom.

On a more pragmatic level. The scheme was very expensive, cumbersome and there was no expectation that the government would be able to successfully control who had access to your intimate details.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

infolation (840436) | about 5 years ago | (#28541415)

The 'index' is the important point. The National Insurance Number used to be the method of linking information, but it's now flawed. The government want a 'cradle to grave' index that they can relate to all other databases.

It's what New Labour have called 'joined up government', which translates as join up the relational databases of our subjects.

Re:I don't get it (1)

RivieraKid (994682) | about 5 years ago | (#28541833)

It's what New Labour have called 'joined up government', which translates as join up the relational databases of our suspects .

There you go, fixed that for ya.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

RivieraKid (994682) | about 5 years ago | (#28541483)

The point is - the security tradeoff of credit cards, passports, driving licenses, etc makes them worth it. You don't say it, but its implied in your standadisation argument, but a national ID card does not give us, the public, anything at all. The only thing an ID card will do is shift the balance of power ever further in the favour of the government. That is not something any free citizen should accept.

Re:I don't get it (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#28542065)

(How does "I admit I don't have a clue about this issue, so I'll just have a guess" get +3 Insightful?)

If we already have it, why the need for this new expensive scheme?

This looks like it just standardizes the process.

Yeah, and costs £93+ in the process.

The issue is not with having a "card" or "ID" - that's a straw man argument. The issues include:

* The National Identity Register database.
* The vast cost of it (passports will end up costing £93, plus an estimated £30 for processing fees). The Government is spending billions on the project.
* Being fined £1000 for not notifying the Government of change in details.
* Making any such scheme compulsory.

If any credit card company offered such a scheme, do you honestly think that people would be queuing up to join it? And now think of making it compulsory (either for everyone, or everyone who wants a passport, or whatever).

Awwwww (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#28540985)

Poor ickle Labour rolled over before the next general election on a main selling point of the other two main parties.

What's betting that as soon as the sheeple have picked up on this they cry for Labour to stay, and the whole scheme comes back in 18 months?

Re:Awwwww (1)

infolation (840436) | about 5 years ago | (#28541433)

The conservatives have said they'll scrap the database as well as the cards themselves. Hopefully they'll be able to communicate to the populace that the database is just as dangerous.

Re:Awwwww (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#28541497)

Hahaha!

The populace are scared of us! They think we're freaks! We understand technology, and the small idiosyncrasies and shortfalls of the scheme, and we explain them in mind-numbing detail!

All we get are black stares, and the odd drooling, verbatim quote of "The National ID card will fight terrorism, protect our children from pedophiles, and protect British jobs!"

With so many CCTV cameras watching the populace (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 5 years ago | (#28540987)

they don't really need ID cards.

The tide *is* turning in the UK (2, Interesting)

SomethingOrOther (521702) | about 5 years ago | (#28541383)


The tide is turning I'm pleased to say.
The screwing over of our civil liberties is nearly all down to the current, rather authoritarian government we have had since 1997. Our current government is well aware of how unpopular they are, that there is a general election coming up in the next year and that they expect to loose

Consider, every other major UK political party has been against ID cards. The Lib-Dems and Tories have always been against the idea, and even the uber right wing UKIP party were questioning how much it cost. Consider also, both Lib-Dems and Tories (who are expected to make gains and probably win the next election) have always been much more in favour of civil liberties, questioning CCTV spending etc. Even the right wing Daily Mail newspaper has taken to refering to "Jack Boots Jaqui"... our current Home Secretary with a CCTV obsession.

Yes it is all down to the current government, and most dudes under 30 in the UK (and couldn't vote in 1997) have never known life under a less authoritarian government.

For what it's worth, I do rather like our green and pleasant land, and I (and many others) will be voting and fighting to take it back.

.

Re:The tide *is* turning in the UK (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541743)

When on earth have the Tories had any concern for civil liberties? The last Tory government certainly wasn't. The use of CCTV cameras started under them. They used the police to crush political marches against them . They tried to ban dance music being played outside (criminal justice bill). They support restrictive social hierarchies (low/middle/upper classes). They oppose gay marriage (which is a matter of civil liberties for the people involved. Far more films and music was banned under the Tories. And so on.

Now, I've no great love for Labour, but to say the Tories are pro civil liberties is utter rubbish.

Re:The tide *is* turning in the UK (2, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#28541957)

Even the right wing Daily Mail newspaper has taken to refering to "Jack Boots Jaqui"... our former Home Secretary with a CCTV obsession.

She resigned last month. [theregister.co.uk] New, same as old etc etc.

Re:With so many CCTV cameras watching the populace (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 5 years ago | (#28541389)

But the CCTV cameras just see the criminals and let the police track them through the city centre (rather than losing them after the first corner, or never having sight of them because they just get a crime reported). They don't tell you who they are (beyond just being an unknown face on a grainy camera image) ;)

BNP has interesting side effects (3, Insightful)

geegel (1587009) | about 5 years ago | (#28541001)

I somewhat doubt that convenience had anything to do with it. The recent elections and the beating Labour took are probably the reason behind this move. Democracy at work fellas! And it's a really beautiful sight

Re:BNP has interesting side effects (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#28541065)

It's just a shame that the BNP had to be a part of it.

I once asked a BNP member (Red-Tie meeting in my local pub) what he thought of Polish immigrants. He didn't even know they could work here legally.

Re:BNP has interesting side effects (4, Insightful)

geegel (1587009) | about 5 years ago | (#28541239)

The ascendance of BNP from a fringe party to a main stage party is in my opinion a good thing. I don't agree with their agenda, but they are the voice of a segment which didn't have a voice before. The "solutions" they propose are as sharp as a brick, but the problems they raise are real. This step forward will highlight these problems and as the less extremist parties propose more reasonable solutions, the support for BNP will wane. I know that the first instinct is to remind everybody of Hitler and his rise, but a better equivalent is I think France. Jean-Marie Le Pen and the National Front had a similar path to that of BNP and they are nowhere to be found nowadays precisely because the main parties found a way to solve these problems.

Re:BNP has interesting side effects (1)

trash eighty (457611) | about 5 years ago | (#28541183)

i think the collapsing economy and public purse has something to do with it too

(booboop) Chattel in the UK will report to the ree (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541005)

seems like the UK is treating 1984 like an instruction manual

Not a complete waste (2, Interesting)

Ragein (901507) | about 5 years ago | (#28541011)

At least some of the four billion pounds spent on this scheme's tech can be used for biometric passports. Other than that the govt seems to have pissed alot of people off and left everyone else indifferent to a huge waste of tax payer money.

It's a trap! (3, Interesting)

Jagen (30952) | about 5 years ago | (#28541029)

No really, they are publicly scrapping the ID card compulsion, but they are still planning to build and populate the back end database which was the real bad idea behind the ID cards anyway. I imagine they will make it a requirement of new passports or renewals that you have to give the same information they would have requested for the ID cards, they're just hoping enough people fall for the con that because they don't have to have an ID card anymore the problem has gone away.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#28541075)

"If you want a puppy, ask for a horse."

Ihre papiere, bitte.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

owlnation (858981) | about 5 years ago | (#28541299)

No really, they are publicly scrapping the ID card compulsion

Yep. And the key word there is "publicly". There are plenty of ways of making it extremely difficult for people to get products and services without ID cards. Compulsory by stealth, in effect. This is even easier where one of the principal areas where people need ID is banking -- especially when your Government owns most of the banks -- which they currently do. It's very easy to make it hard for anyone who doesn't have an ID card to get any services.

Considering also the nefarious ties that Government has with large corporations, you can make it virtually impossible for anyone to function without an ID Card.

Sure, Government isn't apparently or legally the one mandating you have one, but you'll still have to have one.

Re:It's a trap! (1)

infolation (840436) | about 5 years ago | (#28541451)

British Telecom would be the next target. Compulsory, identifiable internet registration has been high on the government's agenda for a long time.

Test your liberties every day (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28541071)

A bit offtopic, but allow me to use the (halfway topical) reason to post something.

I spent some time in the US, and wherever I went, I took my passport with me. Mind you, this was in the days before 9/11, when the land of the free actually was a lot more free than it is today (in today's climate, I'd take my passport and my visa EVERYWHERE as a foreigner, just to be sure...).

Asked why I stared blankly. In my country, you're required to carry means to identify yourself (passport, ID card, driver's license or someone who can identify you and can produce said papers for himself) with you all the time. Essentially, any police man can stop you for no reason and ask you for your ID card, and arrest you 'til he can find out who you are if you can't produce any.

I never questioned it. Only when I took a moment to think about it, I wondered why we simply accepted it as fact. I guess when you're used to something from the moment you were born, when something has become the norm, you simply accept it as given.

Re:Test your liberties every day (1)

Hitman_Frost (798840) | about 5 years ago | (#28541129)

Which country is this, out of interest?

Re:Test your liberties every day (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541245)

Canada

Re:Test your liberties every day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541259)

I don't know the parent's country, but Italy is like that, probably thanks to laws that date back to the fascist age.

Re:Test your liberties every day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541923)

Which country is this, out of interest?

Hmm, from a quick look at other comments he made he might be German. On the other hand, you are not generally required to have an ID with you in Germany, only in cases like when you are driving a car (in which case you are required to have a valid driving license with you). So maybe he is Austrian or Swiss?

Re:Test your liberties every day (0)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 5 years ago | (#28541385)

This is what happens when the populations has historically been considered "subjects" instead of "citizens."

Re:Test your liberties every day (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541705)

Is it? Then why doesn't Britain have it already and why are the population generally against it? The British attitude to I.D. has generally been one of "I am who I say I am". Continental Europe countries seem to have always been far more accepting of I.D. cards, and generally those where the populations were citizens were more content with it that way.

Re:Test your liberties every day (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 5 years ago | (#28542059)

That is pretty messed up. In the US your need to carry ID if you are driving, or want to do something restricted (buy alcohol or get into a R rated movie if you look young enough). If I go ride my bicycle I may take my ID in case I get into an accident, but I never bother if I go for a walk. Of course, I am a white guy in the suburbs; I don't look like a Muslim, and I don't look like a black man in a city. I'm fairly sure that these 2 groups get a lot more attention/harassment daily than I get in a year, which is very sad. If the Unibomber shaved and wore nice clothes, would anyone ever suspected him of being nuts?

Not so fast! What about passports? (4, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#28541099)

Whilst this is a great step forward, one of the big problems with this scheme is that over the last few years, the Government has been basically turning the British passport into the ID card (the plan was that anyone getting a passport would have a "combined" passport and ID card).

So my fear is that we'll still end up with the same problems for anyone who wants a passport:

* Being put on the National Identity Register database (which is actually what the ID card criticism is mainly about - it's not about the physical "card" as such), along with regulations such as being fined £1,000 for failing to notify authorities of change of address [bbc.co.uk] .
* Biometric passports. TFA says these have "cross-part support" - it's unclear if this means fingerprints (currently we already have "biometrics" in the sense of digital photos, which I don't have a problem with, but fingerprints are another issue).
* The cost. Passports have risen from around £30 to £72 in recent years [wikipedia.org] , much of this is due to basically turning the passport into the ID card. This is expected to rise to at least £93.

Even though a passport is not compulsory for everyone, for those of us who want to travel to another country (and remember, the UK isn't a big place like the US - most of the population have passports, and a lot of us like to travel), so my fear is that unless you are giving up your ability to travel, it will still be a compulsory ID card in everything but the name.

Does anyone have more info as to whether the National Identity Register itself will be shelved, or is it simply stepping back the plans on who will have to have one?

Re:Not so fast! What about passports? (5, Interesting)

notseamus (1295248) | about 5 years ago | (#28541207)

The Guardian is reporting:

British citizens who apply for or renew their passport will be automatically registered on the national identity card database under regulations to be approved by MPs in the next few weeks.

The decision to press ahead with the main elements of the national identity card scheme follows a review by the home secretary, Alan Johnson, of the £4.9bn project. Although Johnson said the cards would not be compulsory, critics say the passport measures amount to an attempt to introduce the system by the backdoor.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jun/30/passport-details-id-card-database [guardian.co.uk]

I wrote to my local MP, but he's a useless cunt, and didn't even bother writing back.

From further down that article:
He also denied that there were any significant public spending savings to be made by cancelling the project saying: "This scheme pays for itself. If you cancel all you will get is diddly squat."

This is a reference to the self-financing nature of the project under which it is to be paid for through increased charges for passports and the £60 cost of a biometric identity card.

I had hoped that the new Home Sec would at least have a bit of sense not to emulate his predecessors, but it seems that was misguided. Did Labour even look at the last election results? They have no council mandate, little popular support, they've lost Scotland, and are losing the north, yet they still press on with misguided schemes like ID Cards that are universally unpopular. They've lost all touch with reality.

I remember hearing that Jacqui Smith said that people had approached her saying that they couldn't wait to get ID cards. Even worse, in the long term they've brought back unpopular people like Mandelson, in the hope that nobody would notice or remember how insidious he was.

Sad thing is that I have no faith in the Tories to do any better. No wonder people are voting for UKIP and BNP. If Nigel Farage is seen as more honest than Labour, things are grim for them indeed.

Re:Not so fast! What about passports? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#28541375)

I've already commented, but +1 Interesting

Re:Not so fast! What about passports? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#28541791)

Thanks for the link, that confirms my fears.

Sad thing is that I have no faith in the Tories to do any better.

My thoughts too - whilst I'm glad of their announcements of shelving the project, my fear is that this will only be the ID card for everyone that they get rid of, and they'll still gladly keep the National Identity Register database for everyone getting a passport.

Re:Not so fast! What about passports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541999)

Write again, MP's are legally oblidged to reply to you - if they don't contact the local opposition would be MP

Re:Not so fast! What about passports? (1)

chrb (1083577) | about 5 years ago | (#28541481)

What information is held in the National Identity Register database that the government doesn't already have access to via bank records, tax records, drivers license and DVLA database, mobile phone subscriber and call logs, passport, etc.? If the government already has access to all of this information in its various databases, then what difference does it make if it gets centralised into a single database?

The vast majority of British people care about privacy from their neighbours, but don't care about privacy from the government or corporations. There are 15 million actively used Tesco Clubcards in the U.K., and only 24 million households. The Tesco receipt database stores every single purchase made linked along with the Clubcard holders info. 25% of money spent in the U.K. is spent at Tesco, so this is not an insubstantial amount of data.

I see no evidence that the British people, as a whole, care about privacy from the government.

Re:Not so fast! What about passports? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 5 years ago | (#28541673)

>Tesco, so this is not an insubstantial amount of data.
You're not wrong - it's a very large and powerful chunk of data but alas Joe Public hasn't quite grasped that one yet and is happy to have their shopping habits tracked. Tescos has used this data to great effect with highly targetted ads and offers and probably selling on the data to 3rd parties. To be fair, some of it is also to the consumers benefit - when shoping online for groceries their wbesite will prompt 'you often buy xxx but haven't this time - did you want to?'

Re:Not so fast! What about passports? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#28541959)

What information is held in the National Identity Register database that the government doesn't already have access to via bank records, tax records, drivers license and DVLA database, mobile phone subscriber and call logs, passport, etc.?

Let's see - at the least, finger prints, iris scans, all past residences, other names by which you are known. The information that can be stored can be extended at any time. There is the issue of who is allowed to access this data. Not to mention the massive fines for failing to notify the authorities of change in details.

There are 15 million actively used Tesco Clubcards in the U.K., and only 24 million households. The Tesco receipt database stores every single purchase made linked along with the Clubcard holders info. 25% of money spent in the U.K. is spent at Tesco, so this is not an insubstantial amount of data.

Well whoopy-do for them. Why is that an argument for me having to be entered onto such a database? I can choose not to have a clubcard.

Clubcards don't cost £93, nor do you get find £1000 for failing to notify Tesco of a change in details.

I see no evidence that the British people, as a whole, care about privacy from the government.

I never suggested otherwise. But they do care about things such as cost. And the £93 figure doesn't include the hidden "processing fees" for fingerprinting etc, which judging by the reason estimates for the standalone card trials, could add another £30 to the cost (currently the passport processing fees are only a few pounds).

A matter of conveinience? (1)

SSgt. Lagface (1588425) | about 5 years ago | (#28541101)

It seems more like support just fizzled. If it was strongly backed, they would have found a way to make implementation less inconvenient.

Still applies to non-citizens (2, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 years ago | (#28541151)

The cards are still around, and still mandatory for anyone who's not a UK citizen. So if you're planning to get a visa to live in the UK for any reason, you're still going to have to pay out the £1000-ish and get your biometrics taken, and then carry around a card which any official can ask you to produce at any time, and which is extremely likely to be stolen because of its black market value.

Re:Still applies to non-citizens (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#28541477)

So you're saying this is really a move to limit immigration?

The Fat Cats from the USA have been moving to Costa Rica for some time, CR is now trying to pass some laws to make it harder to move there. I guess they only want rich fuckers. Unfortunately when economies tank these people are worse than useless. CR is planning for a dark future.

Re:Still applies to non-citizens (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 years ago | (#28541681)

No, it's a move to appear to be limiting immigration, because it's a big deal with voters. Immigration from the EU, which probably accounts for most of the traffic in and out of the UK, is constitutionally unrestricted because we're an EU member. And honestly the government's not done a great deal to control illegal immigration. The people coming in on skilled worker or spousal visas are getting harassed instead, which is easy to do and appeases the Daily Mail and all the other right-wing bullshit artists.

Re:Still applies to non-citizens (1)

cbrichar (819941) | about 5 years ago | (#28541549)

Yup - exactly the boat I'm in. I'm Canadian, and have been living in the UK for the past four years and will have to travel to one of the (very few) biometrics offices and pay an outlandish fee for the privilege when my visa comes up for renewal. They've slowed down the pushing of mandatory cards on citizens, but have no issue in trialling them on the rest of us - including foreign students, I believe.

Re:Still applies to non-citizens (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#28541759)

Indeed, this is worrying. And before anyone says "You have no right to go to another country", what about UK citizens who might have a partner from abroad moving to live with them? I as a UK citizen object that we'd have to undergo such schemes, and pay such vast amounts of money.

This is not a retreat. (2, Insightful)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | about 5 years ago | (#28541267)

All they have said is that they won't make it compulsory.

In the same breath, they said that it would be optional 'like a passport'

Passports are not optional if you want to travel

They could well make id cards not optional if you want to
-open a bank account
-get a drivers licence
-get a mobile phone

Unfortunately, the current british government has a history of such cynical manouvers. Like saying that they are stopping the giant email/call database, then instantly announcing that the private sector will be required to build much the same capability for them.

The ID card project is not cancelled until it is cancelled

Re:This is not a retreat. (2, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | about 5 years ago | (#28541597)

The Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002, already requires photographic I.D. to be presented when you engage in certain financial dealings. The only valid photographic I.D. I've managed to use is a drivers license or passport, both of which are already government issued. Opening a bank account requires showing such I.D. I think I might've had to show my drivers license when I got a mobile photo as well. And drivers license obviously requires photo I.D. because it's printed on the card and held in the DVLA database.

Given that I already have had to show I.D. for all of the things that you mention, what difference would it make if I had used a single I.D. card instead?

Passports are not optional if you want to travel

They are only not optional if you want to fly or leave the United Kingdom. You can travel within the U.K. without a passport.

slashdot used to mean something (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541277)

now it's just a place for people to spout off their op/ed letters without writing to a news paper.

i still like to troll from time to time but to make a real contribution? ha! i'd rather just make fun of a bunch of losers.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28541719)

"it seemed that compulsory ID cards were a done deal" Did it? To whom? The more popular press coverage it received the more people moaned about it. It was doomed from the start.

Smoke and mirrors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28542049)

Having just applied for a copy of my driving licence, the UK government has created me a Government Gateway user ID and printed it on card for me, perfect shape for my wallet. They tell me it will be easier for me to apply for passports and other stuff in the future using this Gateway user ID, which smells fishily of an ID card via the backdoor!!

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