ID cards for what reason?

26 September, 2005

No2ID spokesman Dave Gould …. said “Why are we spending public money on this technology when it hasn’t been approved by Parliament? Surely that isn’t the way a democracy works?

“Why aren’t you informing the public about everything you are doing to create a database of all of our movements.

“This is a breach of civil and personal liberties. No other country in the world has a system like this.”

However, Mr Burnham rejected all the claims.

He said: “Anyone who is worried about these improvements to the security to our country clearly has something to hide.

Dear lord, have they not heard of answering questions instead of just trotting out doublespeak?

I think the killer line for me in this article is where Andy Burham, the Home Office minister in charge of the current “charm offensive” says “There are a lot of myths being bandied about by people and I will admit there is some pressure on me to find a way of making the database secure.”

JESUS! You haven’t found a way of making the database secure and you’re already spending my money? It just makes you want to give up and emigrate.

About a year ago there was a televised interview hosted by Paxman (I think it was with the PM, although it may well have been Blunkett) where the head of SAS, the organisation which makes the software and databases which handles just about all the input and analysis of data from medical trials and categorically stated that there was no such thing as a clean database for something even a fraction of the size as we’re going to get as the backend for ID cards (because it’s going to happen quite regardless), and nothing other than manual checking of data would help with it, and so what was the government proposing to do to deal with wrong data in its database? At which, the interviewee (our dear Blair or Blunkett) made a “hmmm” noise, looked into the air, and moved on to the next question.

I don’t get ID cards. I don’t get how they can make us safer (the Home Secretary says they can’t), stop benefit fraud (biometric cards have been shown to be easily spoofed) or prevent illegal immigration (because they won’t have cards in the first place, and work cash-in-hand). I don’t see how the data can be secure (Home Office ministers don’t know how either) or reliable (database experts say it can’t). What are the arguments for ID cards?

See other posts tagged with general and all posts made in September 2005.