View Full Version : ID Cards in the UK

Tonic Please
25th May 2005, 12:36
Reading about it, I don't really see why it's a problem.

Can't see myself whats wrong with it :confused:


25th May 2005, 12:48
No problem apart from the "we've decided you've got to have it. That'll be £85 please."

If they say we have to have them, they can pay for them. I know that we'll still be "paying" in a manner of speaking via taxes, but that isn't really the point.

In terms of the principle, I'm on the side of "nothing to fear if you've done nothing wrong." Purely my own opinion of course.

25th May 2005, 13:01
I object to the ID card scheme. But only because it's just another way of exclusion. It's not so much about all the nasty things that might go on in the background if you have one, but more about what doesn't or won't happen because you don't have one...won't it mean you cease to exist to all intents and purposes as far as interraction with government goes?! :8

25th May 2005, 13:10
Do we really have to pay £85 for these ID cards?!

My argument would have been that they are going to be another waste of taxpayers money and a step closer to a big brother communist style society. Now that I know we have to pay for this privilege I feel even worse about it!

25th May 2005, 13:11
Cost of identity cards rises to £93
Press Association, Wednesday May 25, 2005 1:23 PM

The estimated cost of buying a new national ID card has risen again to £93. Home Office documents confirmed the previous best guess of £88 had not included VAT and other extras.

As the Identity Card Bill was republished after it fell at the end of the last Parliament, the average annual running cost for issuing the controversial cards alongside passports was put at £584 million. The £93 charge would eventually be imposed on every British adult for their passport and a new "biometric" identity card carrying details such as their fingerprints...............

Although the holding of cards will initially be voluntary, the Home Office hopes later to persuade Parliament to make them compulsory - possibly from as early as 2010..............

The Home Office said citizens will be able to apply for a stand-alone ID card without a passport, but confirmed it will not be possible to apply for a passport without an ID card.

25th May 2005, 13:20
I strongly object to the idea of identity cards because I don't trust governments to handle data about me fairly and honestly.

I've lived in too many places where you have to carry cards and where the police would get very nasty if the name on your card marked you out as belonging to one group or another. Of course that couldn't happen here - and that Policeman wasn't recorded making racist remarks about a Kurdish boy.

'If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear' is the normal reply to this sort of remark. That just doesn't wash. We've seen enough miscarriages of justice in the UK to know that being innocent is not enough to keep you out of jail - at least not if you are Irish, or Arab or... And remember these cards will store huge amounts of information about you. You could end up under suspicion for being a Ford driver, or a Methodist or something equally banal.

I know I sound paranoid, but in the end, I just don't trust governments with that amount of information.

The sad thing is that in the long run, ID cards will only work as a detterant to low level crime. Professional criminals, terrorists and what have you's will have access to good fakes (whatever Charles Clarke/David Blunkett says) and the rest of us will be lulled into a fals sense of security.

rant mode off, flameproof trousers on.

25th May 2005, 13:35
"Don't see why it's a problem" isn't much of a reason for doing anything, is it TP ?

Wanna prove your ID, take your passport.

Already plenty of documents to cart about with me thanks. Don't need another one.

As for "Nothing To Hide, Nothing To Fear", that's the worst kind of Special Pleading so let's not hear that one. How many of you would be happy with say, giving police the right to enter your house and search without a warrant ? Why not, if you have NTHNTF ?

25th May 2005, 13:40
so let's not hear that one.
Why? Are people not allowed their own opinion? Your comment suggest so.

I'd rather have an ID card than live in that sort of society.

Tonic Please
25th May 2005, 13:44
Gouabafla...I ahree with your post.

Grainger...I read an article about these and whilst I was reading, I was just innocently thinking 'oh, well its just like a passport with a bit more information..Places around the world have them already'.

Considering the extra details I have learnt here, I would be against the idea. Fortunately I'm in France and then to Canada where they dont exists. Well, I dont think they exist in France :confused: I havent come across one yet.

By 2010 I think that so many people would have left the UK for better grounds.

And come to think of it, if a policeman wanted to search my house and i DID have NTFNTH, I would have no problem..Infact I'd be glad that the police were actually doing something useful. But then, the police wouldn't search my house if i had NTFNTH would they? As long as nothing was damaged ect and I was treated with repsect and properly informed I really dont have a problem with it.

Without a warrant....NO! Could be anybody.

25th May 2005, 13:52
Of course you're entitled to your own opinion eal

But NTHNTF isn't an opinion - it's a piece of predigested thinking that's always trotted out at this juncture.

And would you be happy with police search without a warrant ? If not, then NTHNTF is also a form of Special Pleading. More of a dishonest debating tactic than an opinion.

25th May 2005, 14:06
it's a piece of predigested thinking that's always trotted out at this juncture.
Er, no, it's my own opinion. Just because other people share it does not warrant being patronised.

And WTF has home searches without warrants got to do with ID cards? Please show the relevant parts of the proposed legislation linking the two, I seem to have missed it.

Considering the extra details I have learnt here,
All you have learnt here is basic details or personal speculation.

25th May 2005, 14:13
You could end up under suspicion for being a Ford driver, or a Methodist I know I sound paranoid You can say that again

And as someone who has lived for 25 years in a country which obliges me to carry an ID card, I have no problem with that whatsoever. In that time I've been 'controlled' once, in highly amusing circumstances, but there have been a thousand instances when being able to prove my identity with a single document which lives inside my wallet has been useful.

And NTHNTF is an opinion, Grainger. It's my opinion, even if it's not yours.

I totally agree about the price, though, that's outrageous.

25th May 2005, 14:13
Home searches was used as a counterexample EAL.

If you still want it to be your opinion than of course that's your right - although I would very much doubt that anyone who has ever been falsely accused of something would share it.

Whatever, as with "can't see a reason why not", it's still a pretty rubbish reason for doing anything.

tony draper
25th May 2005, 14:16
I keep saying this and people think I'm joking,well I'm not, chip everybody,sixty million of us running about here now, a larger percentage than ever, up to no good, and a increasing percentage who should not be here in the first place, bollix to civil liberties,lets have some order on our streets for a change,chip everybody!!
Only costs a few quid to chip a pooch,and there plenty memmory onbord those thing to store all the information needed on the bloody card that half of us will lose within a year.

25th May 2005, 14:17
Apart from the cost I don't see the problem...

How many people here don't have passports/airside IDs/etc?

And until its revealed EXACTLTY what info will be on the card it's purely speculation again...


25th May 2005, 14:20
People have mentioned passports as ID...

I have nothing against ID cards per se. We already have to fill in personal details for passports....

My issue is how many companies will require more.

I have on several occations attempted to hire a van to move home, and been told to go home and get two utility bills to back up my passport as ID. I have only met this in the UK. My old job I used to travel a lot. Passport would suffice - unless I had an airline discount, where I had to produce my ticket - which is understandable.

When I asked why I had to produce this, they said it was a requirement of their insurance because People forge passports! Surely I can scan and forge a utility bill with a cheap scanner printer from somewhere like PC World!

Surely our "Forge-Proof" Passports, bought in when we changed from Blue to Red, could never be forged...

Surely our "Forge-Proof" ID cards will NEVER be forged...

Mr. Blair give ID cards by all means, but don't charge us for them... and also don't make them voluntary, and then say I need one to get a Passport!

25th May 2005, 14:22
Exactly PW:

Most people already have a passport, so why do we need yet another form of ID ?

The objection is not so much having a form of ID in itself. We all have to have them. But no-one is forced to carry their passport if they don't need it.

25th May 2005, 14:24
Everybody will have to have an ID card and pay £93.Fine, by 2010 no doubt this will have risen to about £150.
So how are the scroats and druggies and general down and outs going to stump up the money??
OOOps just realised,as a taxpayer and contributing to the £75/week we give for kids to stay on at school,supporting teenage mothers of 12,14 and 16 and the estimated £10 billion (over 10 yrs) it's going to cost to help buy a complete stranger his/her first house,I now have to fund this.Oh just forgot one more thing the compulsory 9% of my salary I have to save for my retirement.
Will there be sufficient funds to buy one for myself?

25th May 2005, 14:31
Hey, ln - if you think Gordon Brown is saving up your NI to pay for your own retirement, you're going to be severely disappointed ! Wisely invested for the future ? Spent it already, I should think.

But that's a different story...

25th May 2005, 14:33
Well, I guess we should all bow down to Grainger's far superior knowledge.

Anyone with different thoughts, wipe yer minds clear!


25th May 2005, 14:37
Awwww, don't be like that, EAL...

I didn't suggest that anyone "wipe their minds clear". Quite the opposite, if you think about it.

25th May 2005, 14:42
And as someone who has lived for 25 years in a country which obliges me to carry an ID card, I have no problem with that whatsoever. In that time I've been 'controlled' once, in highly amusing circumstances, but there have been a thousand instances when being able to prove my identity with a single document which lives inside my wallet has been useful.

Impressive, I'm back in the UK now, but for ten years I was used to being 'controlled' two or three times a day. Didn't matter too much, they didn't beat Brits up as a matter of course as they did other nationalities though. That being said, they'd have beat people up with or without identity cards! Doesn't make me trust people in uniforms any more though. Just saw this on the BBC site http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/4579853.stm

doesn't help my paranoia!

25th May 2005, 14:57

Hey, ln - if you think Gordon Brown is saving up your NI to pay for your own retirement,

No that's the OTHER 9% he wants you to put in on top of yer N.I. Contribution.That's for the politicians own inflation proof pensions.

25th May 2005, 15:01
On a serious note (OK Grainger? ;) ), the cost that has been quoted is the "all-in" cost to get a passport & an ID card. An ID card on it's own will cost £35-£40.

But you won't be able to get a passport without an ID card.

Hmmm, don't know if any of that helped or not......

tony draper
25th May 2005, 15:09
Were do they get this cost from, a few people to type your details onto chip a couple pf photohraphs your thumb print and a machine spits out a plastic card,whither this cost?

25th May 2005, 15:24
Drapes, the cost will be to help pay for the brand new proprietary multi-billion-pound computer system to administer all the data. Judging by past Goverment IT initiatives (e.g. child support) this will be massively over budget, late, will be unable to communicate with any other system and won't work.

On the plus side it will keep a lot of very expensive consultants and a raft of government employees in work for many a year to come.

We already have plenty of forms of ID, this money would be better spent on actually enforcing the identity related laws we currently have.

Cheers, SSS

25th May 2005, 15:26
Fair enough ;)

But why do I need both a passport and and ID card ? Why can't we have a single document that will do both ?

Just make passports biometric, which is going to happen anyway, and there'd be no need for a separate and costly ID card scheme.

25th May 2005, 15:41
But why do I need both a passport and and ID card ? Job creation scheme is the answer. The ID card scheme will doubtless need to be run by the new "ID Card Agency" and not by the "Passport Agency".

Not only thebrand new proprietary multi-billion-pound computer system which won't work properly, but shiny new buildings and many many more officials (starting with the 6 figure package for the CE) to be paid by the government and with reason to be grateful for their newly created jobs......

Cynical? Moi?? :rolleyes:

25th May 2005, 15:48
This is Tony Blair's national poll tax. You get a little plastic card in return for paying your tax to the government so Tony can claim it's really a matter of security. I do not understand why a person needs both a passport and an ID card and a driver's license with a photo on it...


Krystal n chips
25th May 2005, 15:59
Being required to hold and carry an ID card---fine, not a problem and am happy to do so.


Very grave reservations about the database security----just remember that only recently as I recall--animal rights activists got into the DVLA to get the addresses of animal workers from their number plates--plus, who gets authorised access?. Some grotty little local govt pen pusher with a gripe against his / her ex g/f or b/f or neighbour or indeed anybody who may annoy them ---has a nose round--and finds something personal or not very nice etc and bingo, dishes the dirt accordingly--which leads to the next point---just what information will be contained on the card--and what will be hidden --except to those who "need to know"---and you can bet every gov't agency will declare a vested interest of course--which leads me back to the level of security for the database and the access problem. Plus, what Gov't IT programme has ever worked properly ?----and would I trust the assurances from our leaders about system integrity and data held ?---have a guess at the answer to that one !.

25th May 2005, 16:11
Hey - I've just had a great idea:

The new cards could be fitted with rfid chips, and automatic detectors linked to cameras could be located at strategic places along the street.

Anyone going past one without their ID card gets photographed and a sixty quid fine and three points will be in the post before you can say "Blunkett".

Loose rivets
25th May 2005, 19:41
You know, in terms of civil liberty, if everyone has a card, it will be much the same as nobody having one.

Once there are millions of holders, the decision to check them will be back to "he looks like an evil scrote...let's check him." Which is where we are now.

Sheer workload of checking them will be our protection, and they will be darn handy for some things...like going on Ryanair.

The cost worries me. Real cost £10, final cost to the small minority that carry the country, £43,503,950,436,508,964,308,920,640,289,608,268:99p + Tax:8

25th May 2005, 20:31
Ausweiss ! Ausweiss !

25th May 2005, 20:45
Anyone going past one without their ID card gets photographed and a sixty quid fine and three points And those that do have the cards and go between two detectors too quickly get the same spot fine and points :E :E This is only going to end in tears...


25th May 2005, 21:12

25th May 2005, 21:54
Can someone please explain exactly how compulsory ID cards will reduce crime? Loose rivet has made a good point there!



26th May 2005, 08:08

In exactly the same way as gun registration prevents gun crime!

..... oh b%gger ........................

26th May 2005, 09:47
Dear all,

Not wanting to come over as some mad tin-foil hat wearing paranoid loony (oops too late I hear you all cry:eek: :eek: )

What concerns me most is not what the cards are for now but what they may be used for in the future.

I am annoyed by the fact that the government feel it is acceptable to expect every one of us to prove who were are at any given time. To me this is the thin end of the wedge.

I have nothing to hide and lots to fear from this.



26th May 2005, 10:45
Strange how all the countries who inherited "must carry" ID cards from their German occupiers held onto them after WW2 isn't it? Why did they do it I wonder? To keep track of their population I suspect. Britain never felt the need for them until Mr. Bliar decided he wanted to be President of the Federation of Europe.... Enhanced security, I doubt it. If somebody has the money to buy a forgery I'm sure they'll be available. Potential security problems with the data, very likely. Potential for messed up data resulting in wrongful arrest, quite possibly. No thanks, I'll stick with my passport and driving licence for photo ID and my Presidium card to get me through Schipol airport faster than using passport control (the retina scan is on the card NOT in a database).

26th May 2005, 11:11
A pertinant question someone asked was, why would it be neccesary to have to give your earnings and other financial info over to obtain one? What other interesting info will they want that is presently not required for the issue of a passport?

And what about these awful rumours one hears about the difficulties being experienced with the problems encountered with the ability of the 'foolproof' biometric data indentifying software. Suggestions have been that it seems to be possibly about as 'foolproof' as the criminal leg tags, which sadly could be, were and are being fooled by some of the wearers of said designer bling.

Can't afford an ID my dear chap the government will give you one, after all you are on benefits aren't you? Oh the taxpayers, well they pay tax they can afford one. After all they are giving us the money to give you one aren't they.

tony draper
26th May 2005, 11:17
Err, I think we all did have ID cards in the UK during the war Mr LowNSlow.

26th May 2005, 11:22

I was told that your wartime National ID number was used post-war as your medical number. 'They' recycled it once, why not do it again and not bother us with the new super-agency when we already have the NHS as the biggest employer in the country - a few bureaucrats more would hardly be noticed.

(Hmmm, would I trust the NHS with my security details though?)


26th May 2005, 11:23
Wonder what questions they asked you then before issuing said ID.

Probably along the lines of could the local vicar confirm you had lived in the parish since birth and in most cases the answer was probably yes.

26th May 2005, 11:25
we all did have ID cards in the UK during the war .. and until about 1953 IIRC.... well, I don't recall cos I was too young, but it did exist and I've still got it somewhere.

Heard a bloke on the television from one of the firms tendering for the biometric doo-dahs for passports. They were "confident of achieving up to 92% reliability"...

.... so ... say 20 million Passport holders ... that's only 1.6 million being b%ggered about cos the kit don't work....

... and he did say "up to 92%"....:(

26th May 2005, 11:25
But not from our German occupiers Mr D. (Unless was unlucky enough to reside in the Channel Islands of course)........

26th May 2005, 11:30
a quote from Government Minister Tim McNulty

"These Orwellian pictures that are drawn up by some people miss the point entirely"

I thought the Orwellian pictures were the point entierly.

Do you trust the Government and all its faceless agencies with this kind of information and the power it gives them?

Im sure the Police will be delighted to be able to identify everyone at the touch of a button but do they really need that ability? Surely if I have never committed a crime then there is no need for them to know who I am.

I carry no ID with me and I can't remember the last time someone asked for it.

tony draper
26th May 2005, 11:33
Listen when Drapes is in charge you will all wear large labels round yer necks and will only be allowed out of your homes on days when your initals come up, ie folks whos initials begin with A monday Bs Tuesdays ect ect.

26th May 2005, 11:43
Wonder what one's chances of being one of the 1.6 mill being bugg*red. Well lets see depends on the unrgency of the trip the length of the que the availability of the next flight and the airport at which this is happening. Chances are the worse the scenarion the greater the odds that the eye machine isn't working the finger print doodad can't quite sort out you prints and by the way the gent over there from the IRS wants a quick word... if you don't mind of course!

26th May 2005, 12:15
One of my questions is not what info will be held on the card or on the computer database when it is introduced, but what will happen in the future.

When the UK census was introduced, all they were interested in was the number of people living in a property.
For the next census, they are talking about adding financial income and sexual preference to the already long list of questions.

Why the f*** should I inform the government of any of this. Who's to say that in a few years, this info won't be added to the ID card database.

26th May 2005, 12:35

You and I very rarely (if at all) agree but on this one I do concur with you.

I am a law-abiding (well mostly, I do tend to stray above 70mph occasionally) non-benefit claiming subject of Her Majesty. I have a passport and a driving licence (clean as well) and have never lost either. I would like to continue to lead my life as is. Relatively anonymously.

As an aside, will this new ID card be acceptable to use when joining Blockbuster Video? As for some reason the production of a passport and driving licence are not sufficient ID to gain membership to rent Die Hard!!!



tony draper
26th May 2005, 12:37
Vast amounts of information on all of us are already held by private companies, do you really think there reason for collecting same are altruistic?
The information collecting cat has been out of the bag for a couple of decades,no putting it back now chaps.

26th May 2005, 13:11
I object to some of the reasons given for them. One that springs to mind is: "They will stop identity fraud." I don't see how since most identity fraud happens with card not present transactions. How will my iris scan help this? I can't see companies going back to doing everything in person.

Send Clowns
26th May 2005, 13:42
In idealised circumsatances of testing environment, testing kit in good condition, subject co-operative, the best of the technologies under consideration had an error rate of 4%, the worst 31%. If 50 million cards are issued then this makes it completely useless. the results would have to improve to a fraction of a percent in the field to be useful. Otherwise we have to either accept many peope being arrested for not being on the database or accept that people who don't want to can get away with not registering or having false ID. Those are the people we want to identify, not the honest people this will actually affect!

For those who have lived with compulsory ID elsewhere and say it is useful for ID, remember that the experience in those countries has been that it is not the best ID. Studies have suggested that the diverse identity information we have now is both most secure and most convenient.

It has also been admited that they are no use for countering terrorism or illegal immigration, the claimed purpose. With those error rates they cannot be used to counter benefit fraud. So what on Earth is the use of them? Legitimate use, I mean?

26th May 2005, 13:53
Dear all,

Having thought quite a bit about this recently I am coming to the conclusion that it is a placebo for the ill-educated, TV-informed masses on both sides of the Atlantic (US is bringing in the same concept)

The media bang on about something like benefit fraud (or in the US, illegal immigrants), the politicos take up the call as if they actually care about the issue. In the background the politicos want to be able to track and identify everyone at all times so they want us all logged and IDed. They know that we will not buy it if the truth is told so they claim that the new card will solve all society's ills.

Something must be done about (insert concern here), this is something, so we are doing this.



26th May 2005, 13:55
How's this thing going to work for me then? I'm a Brit, British passport, but not resident in the UK. How do I get my card? How many hundreds of Euros am I going to have to pay for it?

Oh dear, oh dear. What is the world coming to? :rolleyes:

26th May 2005, 19:41
For those who say we had an ID card in the war, yes that's true. I have mine still and the only information it contains is:
1) My name and address
2) My national registration number
3) That's it- nothing else.

Personally I don't want a vast database that any scrote with authorisation can access and find out any data that might be held on me. Medical history and other sensitive information would all be in one place and some civil servant or any Tom Dick or Harry with crooked leanings can possibly garner enough information to steal my identity.
If this come in you can bet that within 6 months there will be false ID cards in circulation. So then the next step will be the next generation of ID card which will be foolproof ...and so on and so on.

We've had all kinds of justifications given for this card and none of them hold water.

PPRuNe Pop
26th May 2005, 20:37
My wife keeps her mother's wartime ID card as a keepsake. That is the only ID coming into this house. We both have photo driving licences which contain a good deal about you and I'll damned if I will ever be told to buy one for £100 each! The nerve!

I think ID's work but not for us old un's.

26th May 2005, 21:01
What is the point of ID cards.

Couple of weeks ago a "Crimewatch" program had a case of a naval rape victim.
The person they where looking for walked through a security gate with victim into the base both of them flashing their passes.
We were shown the cctv footage.

The Police and Navy hadn't got a clue who the person was.
In service, contracter,etc?

tony draper
26th May 2005, 21:08
Its all these dammed youngsters here that are worried, they don't stop us old grumps and ask us what we are doing, where we are going or demand ID,quite right to, tiz these youngins is invariably up to no good, axiomatic that is.

27th May 2005, 09:28
But Tony, without one you won't be able to prove you're over 18 in the pub :}

27th May 2005, 09:52
UK Compulsory National Identity Cards
Submission to the Home Affairs Committee
At the end of 2003 the Home Affairs Committee announced an investigation into the Government's plans for ID Cards. They requested written submissions from interested parties. Closing date for submissions was 5/1/2004. (This was before the Draft Bill was published)
My submission to the Committee is reproduced below. Note that length was limited to 2000 words and that the terms of reference didn't allow for a high level debate on the subject.


1. Introduction

1.1 This contribution has been prepared specifically for the Committee and is submitted on a personal basis - the author has no involvement with any political party.

1.2 I am a vocal campaigner against the concept of compulsory National Identity Cards which I believe turn citizens into suspects and deprive people of privacy. Unfortunately the Government has decided to ignore the warnings of people such as myself and proceed with this dangerous plan.

1.3 Given the terms of reference of this Inquiry it is not appropriate to repeat the many arguments against ID Cards in principle (a link to these is given in the Appendix). Instead this submission concentrates on raising a few of the important questions that must be asked and on making positive suggestions as to how the dangers of compulsory National Identity Cards can be minimised.

2. Initial Proof of Identity

2.1 Any National Identity Database is only as good as the information it contains. The database must be 100% accurate - 99% is not good enough.

2.2 It is not clear how the initial data to populate the National Identity Database will be obtained and verified.

2.3 The most reliable forms of identity most British citizens have today are probably passports and driving licences. Yet these can be forged and many people have neither.

2.4 There is a paradox here: If people do not have reliable proof of identity, how can the new National Identity Database be reliable? If people do have reliable proof of identity, why do they need an Identity Card?

2.5 Will we see the ludicrous spectacle of people being issued a high-tech, ultra-secure Identity Card on production of a gas bill?

2.6 It is not enough for the Home Office to say that documents will be "carefully scrutinised". We need to know at the outset exactly what initial proof of identity will be acceptable and how its validity is to be confirmed.

2.7 In the rush to issue ID Cards to the entire population we are in danger of legitimising existing fake ID.

2.8 The Home Office should be required to make a public statement as to the percentage of Identity Cards they expect to be incorrectly issued. This figure is of vital importance to the trust that the public can have in the system.

3. Privacy

3.1 The Home Secretary has been careful to state that the National Identity Database will contain only Identity details. The implication is that there is therefore no threat to privacy. This is at best technically ill-informed and at worst disingenuous.

3.2 Once a National Identity Database exists every citizen will have a unique identifier, some form of National Identity Number. Such an identifier will be the "key" to an individual's records. The important point here is that this key need not be restricted to the National Identity Database but could - and undoubtedly would - also be recorded on other databases, both government and private.

3.3 Even if the National Identity Database itself holds only identity, its mere existence will enable other databases to be easily merged to reveal anyone's "data shadow". This represents a serious threat to personal privacy.

3.4 The importance of this "key" cannot be stressed too highly. It is arguably more dangerous than the card per se and must be protected by legislation. I make the following recommendations:

3.4.1 It should be a specific offence to attempt to combine data from the National Identity Database with any other database or information system.

3.4.2 It should be a specific offence for any body - government, private or commercial - to record an individual's National Identity Number on any database or information system other than the National Identity Database.

3.4.3 It should be a specific offence for anyone to demand an individual's National Identity Number for reasons other than those specifically laid down by Parliament.

4. International Privacy of British Citizens

4.1 Whatever privacy safeguards there might be within the UK will be worthless if personal data is exported abroad.

4.2 As a specific example of the privacy issue, many people worry that the proposed National Identity Database will be implicitly linked to a future phase of the Schengen Information System.

4.3 Another example is the recent agreement to give US officials personal information concerning transatlantic passengers. It is vital that this agreement does not include National Identity information.

4.4 The Government must give specific assurances that information from the National Identity Database will never be in any way linked to Schengen or given routinely to other countries. Failure to give such assurances will confirm the fears of many such as myself.

4.5 More generally I propose that it be made a specific offence to transfer any information from the National Identity Database (including but not limited to individual National Identity Numbers) outside of the UK.

5. Biometric Scanning

5.1 Much has been made of the biometric security on the proposed Cards. However biometrics are only of value if they are checked - otherwise they will serve only to give a false sense of security.

5.2 It is proposed by the Government that - once compulsion is introduced - production of an Identity Card will be necessary in order to obtain employment. Will every business - including every local shop, builder and window cleaner - be required to purchase an expensive biometric scanner? If so, what estimates have been done on the cost to British business? How many small businesses are expected to fail because they cannot afford the scanners? Or will the cost be borne by the taxpayer?

5.3 If individual businesses are not expected to possess biometric scanners, will we see job applicants routinely frog-marched to the nearest police station, hospital or post office to have their details checked? What resources will be made available to the public services to cope with these checks and what will the costs be?

5.4 If shops do not have the scanners, how will the proposed biometrics help in preventing credit card fraud?

6. Reliability

6.1 The proposed scheme is likely to become central to life in Britain with many millions of checks taking place every day. This will happen even before compulsion is introduced.

6.2 All computer systems fail, usually due to hardware, software or communications problems. A system of this magnitude is more susceptible to failure than most.

6.3 What will be the effect on the country if the system fails? What contingency plans are in place? What will be the cost to British business of the system being down for one day? Who will bear this cost?

6.4 A system of such size and critical importance to the country must be designed - and costed - to military grade specifications with triple redundancy of hardware, software and communications. It is essential that the Home Office confirm this requirement before putting the work out to tender.

7. Public Acceptance of Compulsion

7.1 The Home Secretary has stated that compulsion would not be introduced without widespread public support. How is such support to be measured?

7.2 The Home Office does not have a good record in this area. During the recent "Entitlement Cards" consultation, the public overwhelmingly rejected the whole idea. In order to achieve their desired result the Home Office decided to ignore some 5000 responses on the grounds that they were part of an "organised campaign".

7.3 It seems perverse to ignore the opinion of people who feel so strongly about a subject that they join a campaign.

7.4 We must ensure that a similar situation does not occur with future ID Card compulsion. The Home Office must state at an early stage the level of public support that will be required for compulsion and the method for measuring that support.

7.5 Compulsion would be a significant constitutional change and I therefore propose that nothing short of a full national referendum would be acceptable.

8. Compulsion to Carry

8.1 The Home Secretary has repeatedly stated that it will not be compulsory to carry the Card and that the police will be given no new powers to demand production of the Card. This is welcome.

8.2 However it is easy to see a situation where such new powers are added by a future Government.

8.3 In order to prevent this I propose that any Bill on Identity Cards include a clause to explicitly prevent any future "compulsion to carry" rules ever being introduced.

9. De Facto Compulsion to Carry

9.1 Even if it is not legally compulsory to carry the card, many of us worry that "functionality creep" will result in de facto compulsion.

9.2 Once a National Identity Card exists, it will be easy for people to demand to see it on the grounds that "everyone has one". There is already talk of using the Card with/instead of a credit card and of using it to prove age in a pub.

9.3 It is easy to see such a trend spreading. Within a few years of the compulsory Card being introduced we are likely to be in a position where it is effectively impossible to operate in society without carrying one.

9.4 This would be "compulsion to carry" by the back door.

9.5 The assumption must be that no-one should ever be forced to show the card unless necessary for specific purposes agreed by Parliament. In particular it can never be acceptable for private individuals or companies to demand production of an ID Card as a pre-requisite for providing service.

9.6 I propose that it be made an offence for anyone to demand to see the Card except as laid down in a small list of specific cases. In particular it should be an offence to make provision of any service dependant on production of an ID Card.

10. Those Who Refuse Compulsion

10.1 A recent opinion poll suggested that one person in fourteen opposes ID Cards so strongly that they will refuse to have one even if it means breaking the law. That would suggest several million ID "refuseniks".

10.2 Even if that estimate is too high by a factor of ten, there will undoubtedly be many thousands of people who refuse the Card on principle. How will the Government deal with them once compulsion is introduced? Will they be subject to a fine or imprisonment?

10.3 If refusing the Card results in a custodial sentence, how will the prison system cope?

10.4 How will society in general cope with many thousands - possibly millions - of otherwise law-abiding citizens being criminalised overnight? How much damage will this do to the relationship between the public and the police?

10.5 These are serious issues which are at the heart of the constitutional impact of compulsion. They must be considered in depth before the whole ID Card process starts. It is not adequate to leave these questions for "future discussion".

11. Appendix

11.1 I believe that compulsory National Identity Cards are a serious threat to traditional British freedoms. Their introduction will turn the civil liberties clock back fifty years.

11.2 For this submission I have concentrated on ways of reducing the dangers from the Cards. However I remain opposed to the whole idea in principle and will continue to campaign against it. For a detailed analysis of the arguments I refer interested parties to my personal web site:


27th May 2005, 18:10
All very simple for you to say.

28th May 2005, 19:29

I have to commend you on a well laid out and well written piece of work.

It asks many questions I too would like an answer to.

Should you recieve or have recieved a reply to this I would be keen to read it.



Flap 5
28th May 2005, 20:11

There is also the point that the present reliability of biometric scanning is just 60%. That is 40% of all scans would be unreliable.

They clearly have some way to go to produce the required 100% reliability.

28th May 2005, 20:58
One of my contributions to a previous thread on this subject...The thing to worry about is not the ID cards themselves - it's the National Identity Register that will be established as the cards are issued.

Once the database is close to complete, whether or not it will be compulsory to carry the ID cards, it will be possible to establish an individualís identity at any time with an iris or fingerprint scan. With wireless technology police officers may be able to identify someone at any time with portable scanning equipment. The government's interest in using facial biometrics rather than iris or fingerprint scans probably has a lot to do with the fact that it may be possible to scan someone's face from a distance without their permission (although face recognition technology is unlikely to be very accurate).

Once the national biometric database is established the cards themselves would become redundant. They are simply a pretext to get people who don't require a passport or driving licence onto the database.

Why should this be worrying? Well in future freedom of movement may become contingent upon a willingness to undergo a biometric scan. Perhaps this is appropriate for air travel - but what if you couldn't board a train, take a bus, cross a toll bridge without getting scanned. All your movements would be logged.

And commercial transactions might also involve scanning. What if you couldn't check into a hotel, buy a mobile phone, buy a bottle of whiskey without a biometric scan? A detailed record of all your activities could be collated.

Ok - perhaps you don't mind all the above - but what if you couldn't access medical services without a biometric scan - e.g. no chance of getting treatment for an STD as "Mr Smith".

Would you trust the government with this much information about your life? Information about perfectly legal activities that perhaps you wouldn't want an employer or partner to know about for example?

29th May 2005, 01:39
Sorry BHR thats Trevors work not mine, thats why I put the link in to his site best contact him there.

29th May 2005, 06:25
Cards to cost up to £300 - Observer (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/politics/story/0,6903,1494944,00.html)

Loose rivets
29th May 2005, 06:37
Well, you know what I think.

In my thread "who are all these people?" I suggested that there were VASTLY more people in the UK than the >60 m repeatedly mentioned. Some of them would not qualify for a card, but the majority of the excess would IMO come from a mass of uncounted legal residents.

If this were to be even partly true, what cost would there be to sort this?

30th May 2005, 10:35
And next they will be RFID enabled.

30th May 2005, 18:45
It would of course be a good time to offer amnesty to all the illegals and enfold them into the safety of the state?

tony draper
30th May 2005, 19:22
Hmmm, that might be a good ruse to gather them all together Mr P, then we could shoot em all of course.

PPRuNe Radar
15th Jun 2005, 19:15
Maybe this little ditty will throw light on the issue :) With apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan

The Very Model of a Modern Labour Minister (http://eclectech.co.uk/clarkeidcards.php)

15th Jun 2005, 23:00
If one has, in the same place, a group of little boys and a quantity of mud, there's a near absolute certainty the two will somehow combine in short order.

The same holds true for bureaucrats and technology: if any plausible reason can be found to apply new technology in the course of crat-business, then it will be done.

A large number of possible reasons can be given for this propensity. The quickest is that bored civil servants are easily seduced by the 'gee-whiz' factor in their search for ways to do less work and gain greater power.

Biometrics were barely feasible in 1980. In 2000, they are practical at moderate cost. By 2020, they will be cheap, and much wider in scope. By 2040, 99.9999% reliable scan costs at the gate will be nearly free, and quite possibly a full-genome check will be available in 90 seconds or so from a fancier machine at the 'special attention' counter.

16th Jun 2005, 07:14
And human ingenuity will continue to develop means to bypass it at just about the same rate, niz - either using equivalent technology or the more traditional and time-honoured methods of bribery and coercion to falsify database records.

Besides, who wants to live in a Gattaca style world anyway ?

16th Jun 2005, 09:07

Pardon me for being thick, but how is it that you feel the evolution of more precise means for personal identification should automatically imply enhancement of tyranny over human individuality and spirit?

On this premise, photography should have brought the world to her knees, politically speaking, by making it possible to capture and reproduce EXACT images of persons that could be mailed, archived, etc.

If anything, photography has had the contrary effect... by bringing news and other 'realities' of the world to distant people who could then react politically, influencing the progress of events elsewhere...often in a socially positive manner.

I am not advocating the use of a certain type of ID's or any particular technology for implementing same.. but only pointing out that the technical and cost objections some have voiced here are not going to be significant obstacles to VERY comprehensive biometric identification as time and innovation roll forward.

Other than gypsy-style sleight of hand,
there will not be many ways to defeat the accuracy of broad-brush biometrics that use a combination of physical features and dna signature elements. So much information is in there... it is really very hard to fake the exact equivalent of a multi-million-bit code key...

On balance, it is not a bad thing to have a provable identity - for one's own use. Simplifies buying, selling, marrying, coming and going. The problems arise when others can take components of ones identity and use them for unauthorised purposes, possibly to the disadvantage of one's self.

I personally do not like to be the pawn of database compilers and sellers, but their existence and practices are pretty much fait accompli now.

What we most need is a generation of very thoughtful improvements to law to control the ill effects of actions by the existing info-bandits (the banking and publishing industries, I mean), and by government, as well.

feet dry
16th Jun 2005, 10:45
Think about it folks

'Your papers, they are not in order..................'