More ID card wonderfulness

Some time ago, the LSE put out a wee report, which questioned some of the figures that were being bandied about by about ID cards. Specificially, they said the figures were out. By around 300%. Which isn’t bad, for government work.

Of course, that won’t stop His Toniness.

Tony Blair has defended his ID cards plans – and said he is confident that the public back them in principle.
According to the London School of Economics the scheme could cost ?18bn – triple government estimates of ?6bn.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said the plans “risk an unnecessary and disproportionate intrusion into individuals’ privacy”.

But Mr Blair said ID cards would cost less than ?30 extra on top of the cost of the new biometric passports.

News for the people: prices for your passports are about to skyrocket. Try to renew them now, just to beat the rush.

The LSE also raises ten concerns with the entire scheme, which I’d like to list here, with comment.

How much will the scheme cost the UK?
Lots and lots. Inital investment in technology will cost billions and be untested. Central administration cost will be massive. Oh, and the data cleansing process will be massive and long-term. And don’t even get started on the costs of installing and maintaining equipment at every police station, point of entry and court house in the land.
How often will cards/biometrics need to be renewed?
For it to work? Probably every five years. And after any facial surgery at all. Possibly after any surgery at all. Been on a diet? Then your facial pattern will have changed, so you’ll need to renew your data.
How often will cards be lost/damaged/need to be replaced?
Oh, nobody will be losing their cards. You’d get hard labour for that in Mr Blair’s wonderful new Airstrip One Britain.
How difficult to enrol people on to the scheme?
Depends. Partly on how many people think like these people. Oh, plus there’s the queues of people who will sign up. Queues work well with new technology, don’t they?
How easy will it be to verify people’s identities?
It’ll be a piece of piss. Just check the barcode on their forearm. Of course, other technologies are available, but they might not work with some people.
Will public accept the plans?
Some people will. Of course, there may be one or two who feel that it may not be the best thing in the history of mankind.
What are the civil liberty/privacy implications?
Civil Liberties? Privacy? What are these outdated concepts of which you speak. Don’t you know we’re facing terrorists here? People who want to slice up and eat your children? What is ‘privacy’ compared to that?
Will disabled people suffer hardship and discrimination through the scheme?
Err, yes. Yes, they will. Click on the link in the verification point.
Are there security concerns?
Security concens? With a huge government database that will have thousands of access points and links to private systems? No, nothing to worry about there. No sirree.
Could new ID fraud arise from cards coming into pervasive use?
No. There would be no criminal who would be so unthinking as to partake of the theft of personal data from such a noble effort. Sure, all a persons data will be held conveniently in one place, but nobody would take advantage of that, would they?

You know, the more people are looking at the whole scheme, the worse it looks. Which is a good thing.

Joe posted a comment on the same story, just as I was writing this post. Obviously people are feeling the ID card love.

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