ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped

The proposed ID cards will not do any of the things it is supposed to do, will cost a fortune and impose upon our civil liberties. It should be scrapped now.



ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
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ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

It will cost £19bn or more

Acccording to the London School of Ecomomic's upper estimate the ID scheme will cost £19.2 billion to set up over its first ten years [see http://identityproject.lse.ac.uk/ for full report and latest information].

The Home Office - while keeping all its workings secret - has admitted that its estimate doesn't account for the cost to other government departments, public bodies, businesses, banks and employers who will have to absorb the cost of integrating ID checks into their systems and processes - which could easily top another £10bn or more. All these additional costs will either be picked up by the taxpayer (i.e. you) or passed onto the consumer (i.e. you).

The direct cost to the individual will be far greater than the "£93" that the government says it will charge you for a passport and ID card 'package' (ID registration will be compulsory when you apply for or renew your passport), or "£30" 'standalone' card.

If you lose your card or it is stolen you will have to pay for a replacement. If any detail on the card or your record is incorrect you will have to pay to get it changed - or be fined £1000. You will have to pay to be re-issued a card every 10 years, and will bear the cost of travelling to your nearest 'enrolment' centre to be fingerprinted or have your eyes scanned. Every time your details are checked against the ID database, the government will make a charge - which will, inevitably, be passed on to you.

Current government statements and requests for supplier 'expressions of interest' put the cost of setting up the 'National Identity Scheme' (which now explicitly includes biometric visas & eBorders) at £7.5 billion, up from the £1.3 - 3.1bn it was originally supposed to cost. The Home Office admits to having spent over £72 million already, and it hasn't yet issued a single 'ID card' contract or specification.

No because...

Terrorism costs the country much, much, more. The money spent on an ID card will be more than recouped in the financial savings of prevented terrorist attacts and the emotional benefits of knowing we are safer.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

ID cards will lead to increased discrimination

Research in Europe shows that in countries where ID cards exist, people from ethnic minorities are much more likely to stopped by police and asked to produce their card.

Discrimination inevitably takes place already. Young black/brown males have for a long time been more likely to be stopped and searched. They are also more likely to be carrying knives or guns than other communities.- self-fulfilling prophecy?
;Do you have statistical facts to purport that last statement or is it simply your misguided prejudice?

There is no reason to think ID cards will have any extra effect on people like you. And that is exactly what the problem is.

The fact that discrimination occurs is no reason to encourage it.
You could then argue along the same lines that murders/robberies/rapes occur anyway so we should take measures that encourage/escalate these crimes? B.S

And what is the root cause; if not discrimination?

we already have people stealing British passports; identity cards will inevitably also be stolen.

No because...

Without getting into the whole 'racial profiling' debate perhaps the reason they are stopped is becuase they are more likely to commit crime? Christians aren't blowing up discos, Muslims are. Doesn't it make sense to allocate scarce resources on trying to catch the people behind the crimes rather on some misguided sense of fair play?

Discrimination inevitably takes place already. Young black males have for a long time been more likely to be stopped and searched. They are also more likely to be carrying knives or guns than other communities. There is no reason to think ID cards will have any extra effect.

Besides, if our police are racist, we should address the root cause of this problem rather than do away with any measures (like ID cards) that draw attention to it.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

It will turn into another expensive IT fiasco

The government in general and the Home Office in particular, have an appalling track record when it comes to large-scale IT projects. New systems at the Post Office, Passport Office, Probation Service, Police Service, Courts Service and Child Support Agency have all run massively over budget. The ID cards scheme would be the most ambitious and expensive public sector IT project ever undertaken. It has all the hallmarks of a disaster waiting to happen: no-one has spelt out what the cards are for and how they will achieve their objectives; it has been proposed in response to political events (notably 9/11) rather than a sober assessment of costs and benefits; building the system is complex and massively expensive; the cost estimates are vague and incomplete; and the project is reliant on new and untested technology

No because...
ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

We do not have a written constitution

This means the government can get away with expanding the uses of the card and lowering the safeguards on data sharing. The relationship between the state and the citizen is not properly defined in law. Every other country that has a system of compulsory identity cards also has a written constitution. We will be passing a law on the understanding that this government will not use the system to spy on its citizens or restrict civil liberties – even if that were is true, can we be so trusting of future governments?

The identity register will hold only basic details, but it will include a record of every time the individual uses the card, quickly building up an accurate picture of our lives which will be available to the government in a range of circumstances. This means that a future government could easily use the scheme to monitor individuals or specific groups, and restrict their entitlement to services. The Bill also allows the Home Secretary to expand the scope of the register by order. This is open to abuse. When ID cards were introduced in 1939 it was for 3 stated purposes: conscription, national security and rationing. By 1950, an audit found that this had expanded to 39 stated purposes. The risk of ‘function creep’ is very real

No because...

We might not have a written constitution but the checks and balances we have in place will ensure the government is held to account.

There is a real risk of 'function creep' with every power vested in government. With a sufficient majority, government could pass all sorts of insidious bills; the reason we don't do away with government altogether is that a) their passing insidious bills is unlikely, especially given the checks and balances in place, and b) the advantages of having government far outweigh the risks.

This is the approach we should take to ID cards - saying that a future government 'could' use them against the population isn't a strong enough argument. Incidentally, what were the 36 additional purposes?

Does the Bill allow the Home Secretary i) to widen the scope of data collection or ii) to widen this scope and introduce new restrictions based on this new data? If it's just the former, this doesn't seem much to worry about.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

A unique ID number will increase 'identity fraud'

As has been the experience in the US (where they use the SSID) and Australia (where they use the tax number), using a single ID number for a whole range of transactions actually increases 'identity fraud'. Criminals are more easily able to discover and link together seperate pieces of information, facilitiating fraud and eroding privacy.

The card itself is only the tip of the iceberg. A single number (the 'National Identity Register Number' or NIRN) will, over time, be used to index and link together every record that the government - and potentially others - hold on you. Every use (when, where, with whom) of your card or check on the ID database will be recorded, creating an unprecedentedly detailed picture of your life.

No because...

I accept that there is a danger of more ID fraud. Fraudsters will target the best source of data. But they already do! Hence the importance now of protecting credit card data etc.

We now live in the computer age and cannot turn the clock back. Making data more difficult to collect simply increases the social costs we all pay. Instead we need to concentrate on legal protection legislation and active improvement of data security. This will never be perfect but it is more effective than trying to stop the further collection and use of data.

What is it that the government will do with this "unprecedentedly detailed picture of your life"? Even if they wished to go to the effort of track the movements of one person how is this actually harming you?

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

ID Cards will not protect us from terrorism and crime!

The men responsible for the Madrids bombings all carried valid ID cards. Those who murdered fifty-two innocent people in London on the 7th July 2005 made an attempt to save their identities; they wanted to hide their intent. Even the Home Secretary who pioneerd this sceme, David Blunkett, has admitted that ID cards will not stop a determined terrorist.

The proposed mechanism to 'stop terrorism' through the use of ID cards is obscure and illogical - not that dissimilar to that which suggests that increased surveillance will decrease crime, yet British crime rates remain rather high as compared to our European counterparts, who are not photographed quite so often on a daily basis. The idea that ID cards and a biometric database are a reliable means of storing data is completely flawed - nothing is "forgery-proof", as criminal organisations will so kindly demonstrate once the cards are inevitably issued. Once a means of forgery has been developed, the cards will be rendered an expensive and entirely useless exercise in data collection, and a prospective 'terrorist' may change his identity at will. It is also worth noting that many people hold dual identities for entirely innocuous reasons - women who keep their maiden names for business purposes, for example, or perhaps transgender individuals, both of whom are living within the law. ID cards will only serve to render these people as 'suspicious' individuals.

As for monitoring football hooligans more efficiently, the purpose of passports is to serve as a travel document, and a highly expensive ID card operation does not seem to be a method of improving upon this efficiently.

No because...

Terrorists and criminals are known to use false and multiple identities to disguise their activities, avoid detection and ‘launder’ money.

The ‘biographical footprint’ check will make it extremely difficult to register with the National Identity Scheme under a false identity, and the scheme will not allow people to register more than once as their biometric data would be detected. While the National Identity Scheme cannot prevent terrorism, it can make it far more difficult for terrorists to conceal their identity.
The scheme will help the security services in their investigations into organised crime and terrorist activities and help protect the UK against threats to national security.

The National Identity Scheme can also be used by the police and security services for identification. For example, any fingerprints found at the scene of a crime (including unsolved crimes) that do not match existing police records could be identified by searching for a match in the biometric data held on the National Identity Register (NIR). This will greatly speed up investigations and may even lead to the identification of people involved in previously unsolved crimes.

ID Cards can also be an important tool in the fight against hooliganism in professional football events. Hooligans/Ultras can be easier identified and either prevented from traveling to football events or from attending them.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

Your data will not be secure and private

Your National Identity Register entry will have over fifty pieces of information about you. Government officials in numerous different departments will have acces to it. So will employess of the private forms the government will pay manage the information

No because...

Identity managemnt is key. With a single robust source of identification for the individual it should make it easier to effectively manage. True any major cock up will have a significant impace but it should be easier to prevent, be more visible when it ahppens and per person easier to rectify

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

No need for more red tape

Another way of restricting our freedom of movement and choice People are getting fed up with us living in a NANNY STATE.

Allowing the governement to fingerprint and monitor us in this way severely restricts our freedom of movement. Also, do we trust our government with this information? I don't want George Bush getting his hands on my personal details!!

No because...

You could say that, rather than living in a nanny state we are living in a TESCO STATE. I wonder how many people worried about giving away their personal details own a whole clutch of loyalty cards - which record much more personal information than you would ever be asked to give to the government.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

The UK is a liberal society and unused to ID cards

Unlike other European cards the UK does not require it's citizens to carry ID cards or indeed to prove their ID when asked by police officer on the street. The situation is different in countries such as Germany, where the relationship between the citizen and the state, legally, is different.

Such an imposition is likely to cause a backlash against the the government and the ID card scheme as a whole.

No because...

Yes and unlike European cities the UK is descending into the grip of yob culture. Binge drinking and aggressive antisocial behaviour make our cities and towns virtual no-go areas at the weekend. People are too afraid to intervene for fear of attack with knife or gun - the dangers we face are not from international terrorists but from our own indisciplined and disrespectful youths. High time we joined Europe and required all our citizens to carry ID - and change the law requiring people to cooperate with police officers.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

We need the freedom to retain our identity.

How many more ways can the government think of for us to identify ourselves. Next it'll be the compulsary chip so they can track us as well. For one, I'm sick of being asked for 'proof of ID' surely the fact I'm stood there will prove I exsist? Passports, driving licences, young scots card, proof of age cards, student cards, bus passes - I have never seen so many pictures of myself in my wallet. Lets not forget birthcertificates, marriage certificates and names sprawled all over credit cards. How on earth is this a free country? I dread the day anybody's bag gets stolen and they are unable to do anything until they can actually prove that they actually are who, and what, they 'claim' to be.

No because...

Having all these forms of ID gives us more freedom, not less. They allow services to function that would otherwise be dangerous (driving licence, proof of age card), or prohibitively expensive (student card, bus pass). This is a free country because of the systems that allow us to be free; the small compromises in freedom we make in some areas earn us significant freedom in others.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
Yes because...

What benefits will they bring?

They will contain Iris indentification and Fingerprint Indentification, however i already carry both of those with me at all times.

No because...

However your irises and fingerprints themselves do not proove that you are who you say you are. Should someone pretend to be you this would be impossible as they do not carry your irises and fingerprints on them at all times.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
No because...

They offer a secure and convenient way of proving your age

Whether you are a young person wanting to buy a drink in a pub or an older person who wishes to claim a travel discount, the easy-to-carry ID card will offer a safe and secure way to prove your age.

Yes because...

Firstly, that function is more than provided for by the official Government "Proof of Age" card, which doesn't require intrusive questioning. Secondly, the aforementioned isn't compulsory and the idea that the entire citizenry should be compelled to carry identification so that a handful can more easily prove their age is ludicrous, moreso given that they can do so anyway.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
No because...

ID cards will help protect cardholders against identity theft and fraud

Identity theft or fraud involves someone using your identity to, for example, open bogus accounts, apply for loans, buy goods over the phone or internet, or take over one of your bank accounts.

By registering and using your card to prove who you are you will be able to protect yourself and help reduce identity theft.

The National Identity Scheme is designed to be more secure than current ways of proving identity. It will make it extremely difficult for someone else to impersonate you, even if they have your ID card, because only you can be matched to your biometrics.

Yes because...

Putting all information about a person in the same place may in fact make it easier to commit identity theft. In any event, this is an argument for voluntary ID cards that a person may choose to carry to protect themselves, not for compulsory ones forced on everybody.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
No because...

ID cards will provide a reliable way of checking the identity of people in positions of trust

You need to know that people in positions of trust (such as nannies, carers for the elderly, childminders, and so on) are who they say they are. Biometric data in the ID card means that a potential employer could quickly and reliably confirm an applicant’s identity. The Criminal Records Bureau could also use the applicant’s Identity Registration Number (IRN) in order to check that they have no criminal record, for example. Use of the IRN will speed up such searches significantly.

Yes because...

There is no such thing as a 100% secure system.

The more layers of access, the more security is diluted.

The more the potential worth of the data, the greater attraction to hackers and criminals.

Labour's success rate with IT projects is significantly lower than Eddie the Eagle's ski-jump records.

Governments will make personal data available to anyone they think has more than one foot on the jobsworth ladder,
so your private details will be open to scrutiny by any Asda trolley collector and the local park lavatory attendant.

When security is breached (ie on day one if not before) everybody will try to cover it up, through embarrassment, fear
of financial penalties and because they will not know how it has happened or how to stop it.

This will mean that when the axe murderer who has just escaped from the local lunatic asylum says he is Jimmy Savil,
if his card confirms it, nobody will seek to question its validity.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
No because...

They will provide a secure way of applying for financial products and making financial transactions, including those made over the internet

Your card will help you securely log on to services and also provide a digital ‘signature’. With this you can authorise important transactions and application forms, giving both you and the service provider more confidence in the exchange

Yes because...

As with the response to the claim that ID cards will help prevent ID theft, this is the responsibility of those people applying for financial products, and they can choose to hold secure ID. It is not an argument for the compulsory card that is planned.

The government has never explained how it intends 'digital signatures' to work, and the concept has been dropped and re-introduced several times - usually when there's been some scare about the internet. In reality, there is little that an ID card could do to prevent anything other than the most trivial 'card not present' crime. And a state-controlled compulsory ID system is going to be so lumbering that criminals will always be ahead of the game.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
No because...

ID cards will help to confirm your eligibility for public services and benefits – and reduce fraud relating to these services and benefits

The National Identity Scheme will provide an easy and reliable way for people to prove their identity and thereby their entitlement to services and benefits. The systems that deliver services and benefits are currently open to abuse and the Department for Work and Pensions estimates that between £20 million and £50 million of identity-related benefit fraud is committed each year in the UK.

Fraud on this scale takes resources away from those most in need and is unfair to the millions of honest citizens who fund these services and benefits through tax and National Insurance payments.
The ID card will eventually replace the range of documents currently used for this purpose, making life simpler both for claimants and those responsible for checking their claims.

Yes because...

The benefit of doing this is likely to vastly outweighed by the cost of the scheme.

In the case of tying access to healthcare with the card, it will discourage anybody already here illegally from seeking medical treatment, with may prove to be a risk to public health if it caused a disease outbreak.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
No because...

ID cards will help combat illegal working and reduce illegal immigration to the UK

There are an estimated 430,000 illegal migrants living in the UK, and employers currently have no reliable way of establishing whether or not a job applicant has a right to work here.

The National Identity Scheme will help employers find out about the immigration status of job applicants and about any visa restrictions which mean they cannot legally work in the UK. This will speed up the checking process and could be an advantage to those immigrants who are entitled to work. It could also help to identify people who try to work here illegally and could deter potential illegal immigrants from coming to the UK.

Yes because...

Illegal workers stay outside the system by staying outside the system: most such transactions are paperless, off-the-record and unaccountable anyway, and having an ID card simply won't change this.

Lack of a card will be no barrier to those seeking to exploit the work of illegal immigrants.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
No because...

ID cards will allow the police more quickly to identify suspects and people they arrest.

Terrorists and criminals are known to use false and multiple identities to disguise their activities, avoid detection and ‘launder’ money.

The ‘biographical footprint’ check will make it extremely difficult to register with the National Identity Scheme under a false identity, and the scheme will not allow people to register more than once as their biometric data would be detected. While the National Identity Scheme cannot prevent terrorism, it can make it far more difficult for terrorists to conceal their identity.
The scheme will help the security services in their investigations into organised crime and terrorist activities and help protect the UK against threats to national security.

The National Identity Scheme can also be used by the police and security services for identification. For example, any fingerprints found at the scene of a crime (including unsolved crimes) that do not match existing police records could be identified by searching for a match in the biometric data held on the National Identity Register (NIR). This will greatly speed up investigations and may even lead to the identification of people involved in previously unsolved crimes.

Yes because...

Terrorists and criminals use false and multiple identity *documents* to disguise their activities, etc.

Not all of these are/will be *British* documents, nor are they all particularly hard to get a hold of - terror suspects' 'false IDs' routinely include library tickets and bus passes. Unless everyone is required to carry and present their ID card - and only their ID card - for every transaction, there will still be plenty of other valid forms of ID (e.g. a passport or ID card from another EU country) in circulation. Suicide bombers seem quite content to use valid ID.

And note the level of surveillance implied. The government wants to record every time you rent a car, open a bank account, transfer money, book a hotel room, train ticket or flight. It doesn't know who the terrorist or criminals are, so it'll simply create a dossier on everyone 'just in case'. Woe betide anyone who accidentally 'fits the profile' of a terrorist, rapist or who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and then has to prove their innocence...

The biometric and biographical checks will NOT prevent multiple applications. The head of the ID programme admitted as much way back in 2005. And the Home Office has never explained how it will prevent 'ID laundering' - i.e. assuming the personal details of someone not yet registered - let alone sort out the mess when the theft is discovered, years after the criminal has been using someone's 'clean' identity as their own.

Biometrics are no magic bullet and the more people's biometrics you put onto a database, the worse they perform. Experts predict error rates as high as 1 in 1000 when only 10% of the population have been fingerprinted, and government trials in 2004 showed terrifyingly high real world error rates - 1 in 3 for face, 1 in 5 for fingerprints and 1 in 20 for iris. How would you like to have to prove you weren't somewhere at a certain time and date years ago, when the government ID computer says you were?

One final point: ID cards will not be compulsory to carry. The government has stressed this time and again. So, if you don't have to carry an ID card and live biometric checks simply aren't up to the job (and don't forget it'll be the middle of the 2020s or beyond before everyone has been registered, even on the most optimistic timetable) the police won't be helped at all. In fact, they'll probably end up wasting more time sorting out ID problems than catching real criminals.

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
No because...

It will make it easier to travel in Europe

Many EU countries already allow travel on an ID card instead of a passport. This could be of considerable benefit if you lost your passport or needed to travel while it was being replaced.

Moreover many EU countries demand you carry some form of official ID with you at all times. This would allow you to do so without carrying your passport and risking it being lost or stolen.

Yes because...

It will be no easier to travel within Europe than with a passport which you already have. Your ID would still need to be checked, whether by card or passport - and most border checkpoints are set up for passports. Unless checks are to be completely automated (which would be wide open to abuse) it is highly unlikely you'll spend any less time doing them.

Also, international tests have shown that the different types of microchips now embedded in many countries' travel documents can interfere with each other. The chip in the ID card will be of a similar type. If this happens, or if your chip stops working for any reason, you are likely to be delayed by further checks that may take even longer than now .

ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped
No because...

The UK is not that liberal a society and will adapt to ID cards

Existing arguments made by the anti ID card lobby often revolve around the idea that conventionally the UK is a broadly libitarian society and it's citizens are not used to the idea of being challenged to prove their identity.

This is false and based on a false national consciousness about how autonomous our society actually is. From 1940 to 1952 all citizens carried ID cards without a murmur of complaint. In spite of the initial protest, the poll tax has created the largest publicly accessible register of who lives where in the UK. The UK was the first country to introduce a comprehensive system of car registration and still requires people to register for licences to own television set.

In short the state in the UK intrudes and regulates peoples lives all the time without much public backlash. It is quite possible that after an initial period of malcontent, the citizenry of the UK will simply view the ID cards as another piece of administration that the state requires from them. People will adapt to them.

Yes because...

The opposing arguement takes a very unsubstantiated arguement. Firstly, Churchill regretfully introduced I.D cards during World War II and after the war ended, there were huge complaints from citizens about carrying them in peace time. In 1950, Clarence Henry Wilcock, a dry cleaner and member of the liberal party was stopped and asked to present his I.D card, whereupon he refused and stated that as a liberal, he was opposed to them. The resulting court case of Wilcock vs Muckle, Lord Goddard spoke out against I.D cards, claiming that they "tend to make people resentful of the acts of the police". These events influenced the decision to scrap I.D cards in 1952.

We should learn from Goddard's jurisprudence and realise that I.D cards have no place in our society as they drive a wedge between the nation and state, they will create greater resentment among discriminated Muslim communities.



ID cards and the National Identity Register should be scrapped

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