Blog readers poll – ID cards

Yes or No to ID cards? No essays please. A yes or no and your justification in no more than 30 words will suffice.

106 comments ↓

#1 Tim Ireland on 06.27.05 at 9:07 am

I plan on supporting them purely because I don’t want to jeopardise my all-expenses-paid trip to the Caribbean:
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=649762

All kidding aside, all civil liberties issues aside… doesn’t this government have a less-than-exemplary track-record when it comes to large-scale IT projects?

#2 Dave L on 06.27.05 at 9:51 am

Brave of you to ask…

No.

Too intrusive.
Too few safeguards.
Biometrics not reliable enough.
Creates infrastructure which makes a surveillance state possible.
Breaches key data security rule – always keep keys separately
Don’t believe that Ministers understand full implications of legislation or extent of what may be possible in future.

Already over my 30 words but you’ll find my own essay here -

http://talkpolitics.users20.donhost.co.uk/index.php?title=where_the_truth_becomes_a_lie

Nothing personal against Tony, BTW, but Minister’s do desperately need to be talking and listening to the independent technical community about alternative approaches and not just to the vendors hoping for a big pay day out of this system, especially about zero knowledge proof systems.

The alternative, if this goes through as it is, will be civil disobedience – feeling are that high and unlikely to abate.

#3 Shane McCracken on 06.27.05 at 10:09 am

No. The cards and register database will have negligible positive effect, will cost far too much money that could be better spent elsewhere and is dangerous in itself.

#4 Dave Cross on 06.27.05 at 10:40 am

No.

Too expensive to implement. And none of the supposed benefits are proven.

#5 Edward on 06.27.05 at 11:01 am

No. Why should I have to prove who I am as I go around minding my own business in my own country? Why should there be a presumption, which I would have to displace by showing my card, that I am doing something wrong? Furthermore why should I have to pay for the privilege of this reversal in the presumption of the law?

#6 Nik Clayton on 06.27.05 at 11:02 am

No. I’ve seen nothing from the government that convinces me that ID cards will have any practical use that merits the vast sums of money they propose to spend on them.

#7 Charlie Whitaker on 06.27.05 at 12:00 pm

Data-mining the identity register will encourage the state to think and act more like a business, yet ‘customers’ will not have the option of taking their business elsewhere if they dislike the way their personal information is being handled.

There are ways of asserting identity that do not involve a central register – why doesn’t the government investigate the alternatives?

#8 Simon Holledge on 06.27.05 at 12:14 pm

No. ID is important but the technology must be fool-proof, participation voluntary, and the information accessible to the holder. No central database is needed or should be allowed.

#9 mike on 06.27.05 at 12:27 pm

No.

Expensive (both for governement and us when we have to buy them)
Don’t stop terrorism (see September 11th and Madrid bombings; all persons involved were there legally)
Poor record of governmental IT-related schemes
Pretty difficult to enforce (what happens to me if I accidentally repeatedly lose my card?)

#10 Robin Grant on 06.27.05 at 12:29 pm

No to ID cards

justifications:
http://www.no2id.net/

#11 Terry Eden on 06.27.05 at 12:53 pm

No. Technology does solve social issues. Biometrics do not work properly. Mohammed Atta and co had valid passports and weren’t stopped.

#12 Antonia on 06.27.05 at 1:14 pm

Hi Tom,

Not massively sure that I care either way. My only major concern is about the affect on race relations – should we be giving institutionally-racist police forces another means to undetmine young black men?

Antonia

#13 Tom P on 06.27.05 at 1:27 pm

No – Gross infringement of civil liberties. Didn’t need them when we were genuine terrorist targets being bombed by the IRA. Won’t work. Will be hacked. Waste of money. New Poll Tax.

#14 Watching Them, Watching Us on 06.27.05 at 1:50 pm

Quite a sneaky “rig the poll ” type question.

The question is not whether I support the vague general concept of “ID cards”, or if I think that “terrorists/criminals/illegal immigrants” should , somehow, be “identified”, but whether I support the specific details of the multi-billion pound centralised biometric database scheme proposed by the Identity Cards Bill, with its inadequate safeguards for privacy and security, and a flawed reliance on unproven complicated, inflexible and, despite what Home Office ministers claim, infallible biometric technology.

The fact that clause 31 of the Bill criminalises (up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine) any Trades Unionists or IT contractors who may work with any computer system connected to the National Identity Register, and who take industrial action or even make a mistake, should be enough to give even Labour MPs pause for thought.

The answer is No !!!

#15 Martyn Haynes on 06.27.05 at 2:05 pm

NO – ID cards will be an expensive mess up (Hello EDS – Tax Credits). They will not stop terrorism (ID cards didn’t stop the Madrid Bombers and the 911 Hijackers had Valid Passports). ID Cards (and the system) will increase ID fraud as soon as they crack the technology.

17 words over. what do I win?

#16 Carl on 06.27.05 at 2:15 pm

Yes, why not. Provided it is funded from general taxation and I am never asked for it when paying in the supermarket etc. Only government use should be allowed.

#17 mark on 06.27.05 at 2:21 pm

No. I do not want, or need, a license to walk down my own road. I will not cooperate with any such scheme. Please vote against it, Tom.

#18 JamesZ on 06.27.05 at 2:28 pm

At the moment No – without a cast iron guarantee on civil liberties, an extremely good explanation as to why the cost is worth it and exactly how it will do things like combat terrorism. Currently these things seem unclear, at least to me.

#19 Clive on 06.27.05 at 4:34 pm

No.

ID Cards won’t improve national security, will be another large government IT screw-up, will be open to abuse, are an example of poorly considered legislation.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Clive

#20 tricia on 06.27.05 at 7:28 pm

No

too much information collected and stored…too costly… likely to be misused….. hasn’t worked yet.. the innocent always suffer

#21 ALex M on 06.27.05 at 7:56 pm

No

#22 Bobby on 06.27.05 at 9:30 pm

YES.

Having just had to go through a huge ordeal to setup an additional bank account I can see the simplicity of simply flashing the card. Many other reasons to say yes but anyway if were going to have to pay a fortune for new biometric passports anyway were not exactly going to save much by not having ID Cards.

#23 Andrew on 06.27.05 at 9:57 pm

Yes, I had the misfortune of having visa card refused on holiday, and then going to the ATM to find all money in my account had been spent by someone else. If ID cards can do something about the bastards who do this, then damn right they should be enforced.
Took my bank a week or so to sort this out, had to borrow off family and girlfriend, which was fairly humiliating.

#24 kitty on 06.27.05 at 10:13 pm

there has been no debate on the ethics of use of biometrics, just an arrogant assumption on the part of the authorities that they have a right to them. as far as i am concerned the Home Secretary has no right to an intimate print of my iris etc. he proposes to obtain it by force.

the scheme theoretically aids the fight against benefit fraud and illegal immigration by insisting that the whole country assists the police with their enquiries, through a process of elimination. this insane reversal of the burden of proof, as well as making mugs of all taxpayers, would finally put paid to the concept of civil liberties in this country.

we have never before had to report to the authorities on moving address. the country will have to maintain a mammoth bureaucracy, and a greedy private IT company – for ever. to achieve what? the government will always want the work done as cheaply as possible – pay by the key stroke in India? – horrendous mistakes will inevitably be made, and even now, the statutory authorities struggle to understand that there’s a difference between data and facts, so have fun getting those sorted out when the burden of proof is against you.

the prime minister has already had to apologize for the tax credit fiasco and the public doesn’t know the half of it. he’ll be even more unhappy when the apathetic get riled up by this, so you might want to save him from getting his own way on this one, but i guess that’s a bit of a dilemma?

sorry i couldn’t comply with the 30 words limit either.

#25 Joe D on 06.27.05 at 10:23 pm

No. After several years of it being discussed I’ve failed to be convinced that they will make my life better or the country safer in any significant way.

#26 Phil Edwards on 06.27.05 at 10:33 pm

Absolutely not.

This is a massive extension of government surveillance capabilities, using unproven technology for debatable ends. It’s a huge leap in the dark, in other words – the government should be working flat-out to persuade us that it’s actually a good idea, not trying to hand-wave it through.

#27 Nathan on 06.28.05 at 12:13 am

Vote No, or we’ll have something very strong to rally our dissent around. Just one example of where this is going; we’ll have to register changes of address with the police (£1000 fine), something only registered sex offenders have to do currently. The ‘nothing to hide’ brigade are going to enjoy being treated like paedophiles.

#28 Bloggers4Labour on 06.28.05 at 1:56 am

No.

Bad in principle, potentially useful (and empowering) in practice, but an expensive IT disaster waiting to happen.

Could have been an opportunity to give citizens power over the data held about them, and ‘one card to rule them all’. It’s bizarre that the govt don’t seem to see this aspect at all…

a @ B4L

#29 Stuart Bruce on 06.28.05 at 8:15 am

Yes. Given the current nature of the blogosphere the ‘No’ vote is only to be expected. It certainly doesn’t reflect the diversity of opinion that I hear when out in the community. The ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ camp appear to be pretty evenly divided between those who see all the personal advantages, and those concerned about either civil liberties (smallish) and cost (much larger group).

#30 Steve on 06.28.05 at 9:28 am

No way, no how.

Too expensive.
Privacy invading.
Leaky data risk.
Won’t stop anything.
Unreliable.
Don’t trust politicians.
Blair’s Poll Tax.
And just plain bad.

Spend the money on on health, transport infrastructure and other more pressing needs.

#31 Phil on 06.28.05 at 9:54 am

On balance, No. Especially if we have to cough up £90+ pounds for them. If they are important then fund them out of general taxation.
Not that this view or any others will matter of course.

#32 Tom on 06.28.05 at 10:22 am

I’m not that bothered either way – which, in the context of a massively expensive, technologically unproven, unpopular proposal which has both benefits and costs, neither of them overwhelming, has to mean “No”.

#33 Dave Collins on 06.28.05 at 11:06 am

I’d say that the ability to register biometrics is the key thing here. This is a technology in its infancy & we need to get it right!

I don’t have many problems carrying round a dozen or so cards with me now.

My primary concern is about my card details being stolen and the banks being unable to stop fraudulent payments! I want ATMs to be fitted with iris scanners!

In my view where the government have missed a trick is in failng to get the major banks (followed by all sorts) involved in offsetting the cost and pushing take-up though hiking up the consumer’s indemnity in the event of identity or card theft, and by allowing each individual the choice of what, beyond the basic, information is stored there.

A genuine ‘all in one’ entitlement card!

Those of us who carry around proofs of identity (eg driving licences) as a matter of course will see little or no immediate difference whatever due specifically to I/D Cards.

But as time goes on, the necessity of being able to prove one’s identity by comparison against biometric databases is going to become inevitable once the technology is within reach.

The government is kickstarting this, but I hope they make our I/d card the most multifuctional in the World!

#34 Rob Williams on 06.28.05 at 11:21 am

Why is a Labour (Labour!) government looking at introducing ID cards? They are unneccessary, as driving licences, etc can already prove a person’s identity. A superdatabase smacks very much of Big Brother. ID cards will be expensive, no matter what Blair and Clarke say. They will not provide any increased security against crime or terrorism.

In short, politically stupid, illiberal, unworkable and plain wrong. Please don’t give me another reason to detest the party I joined 20 years ago.

#35 backword Dave on 06.28.05 at 12:11 pm

Stuart, Tom wrote “A yes or no and your justification.” Why doesn’t it surprise me that a Labour hack can’t understand the words “your justification”?

No. The LSE report: “preventing identity theft may be better addressed by giving individuals greater control over the disclosure of their own personal information, while prevention of terrorism may be more effectively managed through strengthened border patrols and increased presence at borders, or allocating adequate resources for conventional police intelligence work.”

#36 Dave L on 06.28.05 at 12:13 pm

Stuart:

“Given the current nature of the blogosphere the ‘No’ vote is only to be expected.”

That there is fighting talk, Stuart.

The current nature of the blogosphere is that a considerable number of bloggers, myself being one, know enough about the technology underpinning these proposals, not least in terms of the workings of databases and how data from different agencies can readily be linked together and cross referenced using the NIR.

If the blogosphere says no it is precisely because its inhabitants possess an informed opinion on these proposals and a detailed understanding of their implications which is absent in the much of wider population. It is a technical bill which requires a degree of technical knowledge beyond that possessed by the majority of the population in order to understand it fully – and that is not arrogance but a matter of simple fact.

Our ‘no’ is not simply a matter of principle but founded on practical and rational concerns about ID cards and the Register as defined by this specific bill. It is not a ‘no in any circumstances’ but a ‘no, not in this form’. Most of us could, and would, support an alternative approach, such as that the LSE proposes, which serves the same purpose without being so overtly intrusive – give us, instead, a system based on the use of zero knowledge proof – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-knowledge_proof – and we could support it.

#37 JPW on 06.28.05 at 1:08 pm

No. Can those people who want these imagine the problems when information is compromised, as it inevitably will be. One of the previous correspondents hopes it would have prevented the nightmare that occured when his bank details were taken over. What about when your whole identity is?

#38 Al Allday on 06.28.05 at 1:37 pm

No.

This is a civil liberties issue. The fact that most people oppose it on grounds of cost is irrelevant.

I am aware that the majority of people would be happy to trade their existing liberty for a promise of supposed security. But literally and figuratively, at what cost?

As an MP I believe it is your job to safeguard the liberties of every citizen in the UK. Please vote against ID cards.

#39 Harriet on 06.28.05 at 1:43 pm

Yes. I would feel happier if I had one, never mind anyone else.

#40 Julian Todd on 06.28.05 at 3:24 pm

No. One’s identity is too important to be left to the government. It gives them a dangerous tool for singling out and punishing individuals from the comfort of their own laptop by notifying them on the secret sub-criminal blacklists that are floating around.

#41 Oliver on 06.28.05 at 3:44 pm

No, Prison before ID.

#42 Chris Lightfoot on 06.28.05 at 4:38 pm

No, obviously — they will cost a hell of a lot, increase identity theft (the Bill would create a single ID number — the NIRN — rather like the US’s Social Security Number), do nothing to stop crime, and the proposed central Register will be an enormous target for terrorists.

Don’t, by the way, make the mistake of believing that in the future you will be able to get a bank account just by “flashing an ID card”. The banks will want proof of circumstances just like they do now. They’ll probably want to see your ID card as well — but you’ll still need to take two utility bills and god knows what other paperwork with you. And it’s certainly not true that most of the cost of ID cards is covered by biometric passports anyway: here we are being asked to pay an additional £51 over the existing passport fee to get a biometric passport; in Australia the additional cost is £8, less than a sixth as much. The Home Office is inflating the price of biometric passports to make ID cards seem a good deal. They’re not.

#43 Joe S on 06.28.05 at 8:21 pm

Nope…

…but it was in the manifesto…

…so you should probably vote for it.

#44 Deirdre on 06.28.05 at 11:25 pm

It’s immaterial to me me how much it costs (within reason) – if I felt it improved the general public’s or my quality of life in general I would be wholeheartedly behind it. Rather, it is an uncalled for intrusion into my everyday life, all our movements and our personal history as free citizens. How have we managed until now? And where has the clamour for these things come from anyway – from the bottom up – show us the evidence then? Show us the evidence that ordinary people have independently arrived at this conclusion? Sure you can tell me about Labour’s manifesto that we democractically mandated – but why wasn’t this front of their election campaign instead of something they embedded that they try to sneak in right after the (limited) election success…. And you wonder why people are suspicions of politicians! Come one – stop treating us like subjects and more like equals. Current laws can be examined in public & debated. But this measure seems like a seious re-writing of the perameters of personal autonomy, and how much trust we put in each other in general… So (un)welcome to the intolerant community writ large. Not any community I want to be part of. I’m afraid, but more of an all-pervading government eye than the supposed criminal/terrorist menace.

#45 Patrick on 06.29.05 at 3:41 am

Yes, I support them. They widen social inclusivity – not all of us have passports or driving licences. However, I do not expect to have to pay for it.

#46 Ade on 06.29.05 at 10:35 am

I realise leaving this comment the day after the vote that the horse has bolted, but no way. The scheme, besides being a massive threat to civil liberties (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4630045.stm) and open to all forms of abuse, is close to unworkable.

Look at the fiasco that is the NHS IT project which is faced with a similar sized task, where some estimates say that the project could end up being some £24bn over budget (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4245695.stm). Let’s face it, the Government hasn’t got the best track record on the stewardship of public funds (Dome, anyone?)

#47 Perry de Havilland on 06.29.05 at 11:41 am

No. The ‘personal advantage’ argument is wicked as it imposes it on people who find the idea deeply offensive. My civil liberties are not yours to vote away.

#48 Bishop Hill on 06.29.05 at 12:07 pm

No no no

We’re supposed to be free.

#49 Matt on 06.29.05 at 12:08 pm

No. Why?
1. The political case for them keeps changing.
2. The technoilogy is not reliable enough to do the job
3. Fraud
4. The cost
5. Function creep of interlinking state and private enterprise databases
6. The civil liberties arguments

This has all the hallmarks of a classic large scale IT disaster – this one will just be the biggest yet.

Are you hearing this Tom? For god’s sake tell them to stop!

Matt

#50 David on 06.29.05 at 4:05 pm

No. The Home Secretary has said that citizens of the Republic of Ireland won’t need them; and they won’t need biometric passports either. So that’s an enormous Republic of Ireland-sized hole in the plans for starters.

#51 Jon Harvey on 06.29.05 at 5:27 pm

No have enough ID do we really need any more. Anyway Tom how did you vote?

#52 Dave Price on 06.29.05 at 6:36 pm

Yes.
The state already has the info do not kid yourself otherwise.
The only question is “is that being (or bundle of cells) in front of me the entity known as X or not”

Big brother maybe but we lost that battle when they invented computers.

Banking, licensing, officialdom even catching a flight internally we constantly need to identify who we are – lets get it over with.

Next time someone prangs your car it would be nice to know the name that really fits the face!

#53 Helen on 06.29.05 at 7:56 pm

No.

Too expensive.
Ill thought out.
Technology in early stages and unproven.
Invasive.
Open to misuse.
Suspicions of Big Business being behind it.
Reduces humanity to a bit of plastic.

I won’t carry one. I am not a number.

#54 steB on 06.29.05 at 8:29 pm

No.

Won’t do what their supporters claim they will do and those that can’t get one legitimately will get a forgery if they need one that badly.

We might as well just all walk around with our passports in our pockets.

It’s just one more characteristic of the kind of nation that we should be resisting at all costs.

This persistent drive towards ‘certainty’ in everything that we do is fundamentally flawed and is an unrealistic and unachievable aim.

#55 christine on 06.30.05 at 5:46 am

No – I work for the Home Office and the HO record on IT systems is terrible; It hasn’t even remembered to pay me this month. Wht should I believe that it will recognise me any other way.

#56 Pete on 06.30.05 at 9:33 am

Not at all.

Have you seen the No 2 ID group?
no2id-supporters-admin@no2id.net

The case against is fairly interesting reading
http://www.no2id.net/IDSchemes/whyNot.php

1 – I don’t trust the government or civil service not to sell my details
2 – I should not have to proove who I am
3 – The effect of Identiy Fraud in South Africa – where people go to get married and find out they already are – is a compelling example that NO scheme is full proof
4 – The government is incapable when it comes to IT (and as an IT professional I know that the majority of civil service organisations are totally incapable of being part of successful IT projects)

Please Tom, stand up against this one.

#57 chris cooper on 06.30.05 at 9:40 am

No. It would be better to spend the money on making the data the government currently holds on its citizens more efficiently used and better corellated between each government department rather than wasting cash on an ID card.

#58 Tom McEwen on 06.30.05 at 9:46 am

No!

See … http://www.schneier.com/blog/

#59 Kev on 06.30.05 at 10:11 am

No, because you know who I am already!

#60 Gary Owen on 06.30.05 at 2:29 pm

No. Because ID cards will do nothing to protect us from terrorism. Or are we supposed to believe that terrorists who have the means and will to obtain illegal firearms, explosives, and (say) radiological material will somehow not be able to procure fake ID?

#61 Paul on 06.30.05 at 3:41 pm

No – What are they for…
Fighting identity theft?
Fighting the war on terror?
Fighting whatever we grasp hold of to justify an unwanted and expensive policy?
Panders to the worst sort of ‘Only those with something to hide have anything to worry about’ mentality…

#62 Biscit on 06.30.05 at 4:24 pm

No.

The case for has not been proved, and shifts from day to day. I can’t see any benefits, and huge costs.

#63 mac jordan on 06.30.05 at 4:27 pm

no, no and thrice no.

too expensive, huge infringement of civil liberties, will not stop identity theft, immigration, benefit fraud, terrorism or anything else.

complete waste of public money – VOTE NO.

#64 Geraldine on 06.30.05 at 7:24 pm

No – Improving existing IDs (eg passports) would be of more benefit. The cost to the forgetful (I lose bank cards regularly) could be huge – £80 a card?

#65 James Hammerton on 06.30.05 at 11:56 pm

I oppose the bill. The card will become a licence to live backed up by a database that will record detailed information about our day to day lives.

I note that a Mr. Watson voted for the bill: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm050628/debtext/50628-36.htm#50628-36_div20

So Tom, I presume this is your good self? If so, can you please explain why you support this bill?

#66 Geraint Bevan on 07.01.05 at 12:11 am

NO.

The National Identity Register is an appalling attack on our civil liberties by a government that has already demonstrated that it has scant regard for natural justice: attempts to abandon trial by jury; detention of people without charge or trial; house arrest for people who are suspected of possibly posing a threat.

The ID card and NIR proposals would be frightening if there was any possibility that they could ever be afforded or made to work.

#67 rob on 07.01.05 at 12:32 am

No. I seem to remember that we won the war…

#68 bernie on 07.01.05 at 1:30 am

Absolutely not. I don’t think anyone but the most naive think they can work to do what they are said to be for but they sure will work to help the slide into totalitarianism.

#69 mike on 07.01.05 at 9:11 am

So Tom, how did you vote? (I wonder…)

#70 tom on 07.01.05 at 10:21 am

I voted yes of course! A longer and less flippant explanation will follow when I’ve got time between surgeries and junior watson. Apologies for starting a debate and then not getting stuck into it. Life is a little busier than usual. T

#71 Jon Harvey on 07.01.05 at 11:59 am

Well on your salary Tom you can probably afford to pay whatever is asked try doing that on a pension, on a student loan, on the minimum wage I hope you and your colleagues remember this when deciding how much the poor will have to pay to card most of the population don’t want!

#72 Guy Hoogewerf on 07.01.05 at 12:27 pm

No, it will just be another burdon on us all, any system that is created will be circumnavigated by those that want to. Not a deterrant

#73 Dave L on 07.01.05 at 2:12 pm

Right, so that’s 56 against, 8 for and one sort of absention out of 69 visible comment as I post, not including Tom’s.

I think the No’s have it by a massive majority.

#74 Dave on 07.01.05 at 11:35 pm

Tom,

Numbering the population as proposed in the Bill will allow all the government databases to be amalgamated into one giant dossier on all of us. It is dangerous enough that our medical records are being computerised but when that information is combined with our tax records, nationality and details of public service / passport usage, that becomes a unstoppable tool for Government bullies, burglars, blackmailers, stalkers and any future dictators we end up with.

This is all possible, maybe inevitable with the current Bill.

The same numbers could also be used to track our phone and ISP records, thereby enabling a detailed picture of our political affiliations to be built up.

No resposible person, once understanding this, could again vote for such a Bill.

There are 7 or 8 other arguments which make this Bill indefensible. That is why the LSE IT professor called it a “dog’s dinner” and Diane Abbott MP said “There will come a time when not one Labour MP will want to be reminded that they voted for the Bill.”

#75 Andy N on 07.02.05 at 9:36 am

No.

I know who I am, as does the government, and everybody who already deals with me, in far too much detail. There is no need for more identity information to be created on my behalf thank you very much.

#76 Chris Ward on 07.02.05 at 11:19 am

Shouldn’t you be asking this to your constituents, i.e. the people you were supposedly elected to represent?

#77 Moof on 07.02.05 at 11:54 am

I’m going to say NO to this bill. I don’t have anything against ID cards, I live in Spain, where carrying one is compulsory, and so I see the practical benefits of having a government-certified form of ID I can carry around. However, the IT project behind it is far too expensive, ill-defined, and I see no real benefits for it. Oh, and I just don’t trust the British Government to get it right.

Also, given what woke me up instead of an alarm clock on the 11th March 2004, I think you lot have incredible cheek to say they’ll help combat terrorism.

#78 Tom Morris on 07.02.05 at 12:43 pm

Nope. Bad idea when the Tories proposed it. Equally bad idea now. Illiberal, waste of money, won’t do any of the things it says it will, another chance to tax the ordinary people for a crackpot Westminster scheme.

#79 Neil on 07.02.05 at 3:09 pm

In principal ID cards could be ok BUT Labour needs to persuade a lot of people on the practicalities. This is going to cost a lot of money and the benefits are unclear. Id like to see a Labour government after 2010 and this could prove a big stick for the right wing press to hit you with.

#80 Sandra on 07.02.05 at 9:27 pm

NO. Never.

Civil Liberties – it’s an infringement

Practicalities/Economy – how many public service IT schemes have worked well thus far and not gone way over cost estimates?

Safety/Economy – it won’t stop illegal immigrants (who I welcome anyway) and it definitely won’t stop terrorists either.

#81 JB on 07.04.05 at 2:44 pm

No. Apart from the cost, it’s just too sinister to even contemplate.

#82 Paul on 07.04.05 at 9:01 pm

Oh my goodness me no…

They’re asking us to pay for having one less personal freedom…

It’s wrong-diddley-wrong I tells ya!

#83 Heiko Gerhauser on 07.04.05 at 10:23 pm

Yes, I am in favour of ID cards.
To fight crime (particularly credit card crime) and they are a convenient replacement for passports when travelling within the EU.

#84 VoodooRay on 07.05.05 at 3:07 pm

No. We are not at war. The world is safer now than it has been for decades. It will cost too much and probably won’t do any good.

#85 mags on 07.05.05 at 3:58 pm

Yes. No problem with this at all.

#86 bob Tidmarsh on 07.05.05 at 5:23 pm

Chris Ward: Tom did ask his constituents who overwhelmingly said yes. I was one of the people asked and at that time I was for it. Since then however Alistair Darling has suggested we should have “You are here” stickers on top of our cars so that we can be monitored 24/7. I no longer trust the motives behind any of this legislation. Ask again Tom, please. I am used to having freedom of movement and freedom of speech and long may it remain.

#87 Alexander Hay on 07.07.05 at 10:57 pm

No. Because, when all is said and done, ID Cards and other losses of freedom are as sure a surrender to terrorism as you can imagine.

#88 Tony Walton on 07.07.05 at 11:47 pm

No. There are arguments, though slim, for biometric information on certain identity documents such as a blood group card, passport, even a driving licence. This could potentially avoid minor cases of identity crimes (such as someone using their brother’s driving licence when caught speeding) or even save lives (as in a blood group/medical allergies card). There is no argument for a card which links into a database connecting blood group, driving licence, tax details and NI details, current and previous addresses, travel habits, (the list in the ID Bill goes on), and no argument for anyone to have to produce it on demand. The only people inconvenienced will be the law abiding. Sorry, but these arguments are too important to be kept under 30 words.

Come on, Tom – anyone with initials like yours has to be sensible :)
TW

#89 Eric on 07.08.05 at 12:19 am

NO, NEVER

Big Brother. I’m british and don’t need to be checked/watched and charged for the privilage!!!

Give the billions to Geldof.

#90 Jack Whitham on 07.08.05 at 12:33 am

No. Not even in light of today’s terrorist attacks – even David Blunkett admitted that ID cards are useless against terrorists. And not even if biometrics are ever made to work reliably. This is a basic principle of civil liberties, and I will not give up my freedom for a bit of extra convenience.

#91 Garry Perez on 07.09.05 at 3:04 pm

No.

£18 Billion plus for a database/card that has no clear purpose against 10,000 more police. It’s a no brainer.

#92 Christopher Holyhead on 07.11.05 at 6:25 pm

Maybe, but the country will never go for it with Bliar.

The passport system could be revolutionised to include the I.D. bimoetric element which is needed for homelands sec in USA. The p’port system can already be termed a national database because it has details of most people. So if yes you gotta come in from that already existing database.

The system would be riddled with errors and the possible risks of fraud occuring using the card fundamentally flaw the system. If you can use an I.D card to open a bank account the oil sellers on the interweb will definetely use this to commit further fraud more lucrative fraud because they will know everything biometric about you.

***If the government really wants I.D cards what is wrong with making people register at a police station and the police can check the details (revolutionising the flawed pnc check and helping combat the paedo’s out there!) and if the checks at the station are vigorous enough there is no reason why you cannot make cards out of SIMPLE paper which costs relatively little compared to the super duper cards trialling now which undoubtedly will lead to fraud if all people have to do is send a form off in the post.

Sorry for exceeding the limit (should have made it 300 words)

#93 Chris Pinnick on 07.11.05 at 9:04 pm

No

ID cards and an identity register will change the relationalship between the people and the state.
They will not stop terrorism and will cost the goverment billions, money which could be put to so much better use.

#94 William van Zwanenberg on 07.11.05 at 9:05 pm

All of the stated benefits are manifestly untrue as the glut of research and empricial data on this subject confirms, far from ameliorating any of the problems the cards are designed to target, in many cases they will actually make them worse (ID fraud a prime example of this), the government will cock up the IT infrstructure needed for this project to work, and fundamentally, we don’t live by government permission here in the UK and we don’t require a license to live and function. Requiring us to have one, denies us our basic civil and human rights.

I could say a lot more about this subject but I’m severely restricted by the lenght allowed for this post.

It’s dumb, it’s fundamentally unjust and it chnages the relationship of the citizen with the state for the worse.

REJECT IT!!!

#95 William van Zwanenberg on 07.11.05 at 9:25 pm

A counterpoint to terrorism? No; thoroughly refuted. ID cards have no effect on terrorists – they will circumvent it by travelling on perfectly legal and genuine documents. The problem with them is intent, not identity.

Organised crime? Criminals will love it. If you want to forge an identity now, you need a series of low level documents to create a picture. Put all of that information in one place with a high level key (the card) and you have the perfect opportunity to make lots of illicit gains by forging them – or cloning genuine ones. The business model already exists with credit cards and SIM cards. The more difficult the government makes it to forge, the more valuable (and therefore more likely to be forged) it will become.

Immigration? Do me a favour. Criminal gangs will sell their “customers” faked or cloned cards – a whole new revenue stream courtesy of the Home Office. We are an island nation – all this talk of securing borders demonstrates geographical naivety that is staggering in its ignorance.

Benefit fraud? No again. Benefit cheats lie about their circumstances, not their identity.

Criminal investigation? The police have difficulty securing sufficient evidence to convict, an identity card will not help them unless the criminal just happens to leave their card lying around at the scene.

#96 Andrew Watson on 07.12.05 at 12:10 am

No. Never. Under any circumstances.

Why not? Unwarranted invasion of privacy, ineffective use of public money, Government appalling record on large IT projects, radical and unwelcome change to the relationship between citizen and state.

Oh, and on top of all that, the introduction of a single National Identity Register Number for everyone will make us all much *MORE* vulnerable to identity theft. Ironic, or what?

Well done for asking the question in an unbiased way, unlike the faux polls from other Labour MPs of the form “Do you want ID cards that will fight crime, stop benefit fraud and eliminate world poverty?”

#97 Oliver Coombes on 08.08.05 at 11:34 am

I didn’t have to carry a fingerprinted ID card when I was working in Japan, as the government there abolished this requirement a few years ago — despite the country’s own experience of terrorism in the 70s and 90s. I’m damned if I’m going to be fingerprinted like some common criminal just to walk down the streets of my own country.

#98 Simon Scott on 08.08.05 at 1:08 pm

No.

This project will involve a massive outlay for minimal gain. The already embarrassed Home Office have so far failed to outline anything but the wooliest and vaguest of benefits to individuals, and much of the ever shrinking support for the registry involve caveats that simply aren’t covered by the bill as it exists.

#99 David on 08.09.05 at 10:06 pm

No –
Expense
Unproven technology
Unnecessary
Unwarranted intrusion against privacy
Potential to be the next poll tax

#100 Loz on 09.06.05 at 1:34 pm

No, I will resist ID cards by any means necessary

#101 Becka on 09.09.05 at 12:21 pm

Hmmm, I wonder how many of you opposing ID cards, have in your wallets a Tesco (or any other supermarket) club card????? Do you really think they are just for our benefit? (They know how often you wipe your a*s!)

Why not have Id cards? As long as we all have mortgages, pay council tax, and all the other bills we pay, We are all traceable, anyway.
You cant really go on about privacy.

I dont agree with being charged for it, though.

#102 Will on 10.20.05 at 5:51 am

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.

I have been fortunate to have worked in the role of security supervisor at the largest american investment bank in the capital, and frankly, these cards would just present a menace, some other piece of plastic for people to waive, every terrorist and walk in thief in the business must be ringing their hands with glee at the prospect of such a card, which promises to offer them some false badge of legitimacy with which to enter a premises illegitimately… it would just be a nightmare.
The introduction of ID cards would actually hamper our efforts to keep the capital and the country safe. I could say more, others have already done so, with good reason, I hope someone is listening.

– NO, in the strongest possible terms.

#103 Rob on 02.26.06 at 11:21 pm

No.

Never, not in a million years will I accept these proposals.

#104 John on 03.04.06 at 11:28 pm

No

There is no need to state my reasons. There are reasons aplenty already listed on this page, but I will say this:

I note that you have voted in favour of ID cards, Mr Watson. Do you fully appreciate the deep and bitter resentment that will be aroused in a sizeable section of the community if your party goes ahead with this odious legislation? Read the posts here, and remember. The majority of people visiting this site and posting here are (or until now were) Labour supporters.

#105 David on 03.06.06 at 8:48 pm

This Government is the most immediate threat to my personal freedom. I have always been law abiding until now, but this outrageous ID Card and Database scheme is one authoritarian step too far and I will not submit to it. This will be NuLab’s poll tax. You are a disgrace.

#106 Bob on 03.06.06 at 9:08 pm

Hiya Becka.

I don’t have a tesco’s card, you may do, but then that is a choice we have both made, so the comparison with the ID card isn’t really valid.

The ID card is in any case not the main problem, the main problem is the NIR database which is meant to be used to store vast amounts of data, including fingerprints, currently only required of criminals.

We would also be responsible for the data on the database, but heres the rub, we would pay for the original entry, we would pay for any changes and we would pay to find out what data they have on us! This would be enforceable by large uncontestable fines. Forgetting to inform the government that you have moved house would result in a £1000 fine. Telling the government our movements is of course only currently required of sex offenders…..

It’s also not clear what these cards and NIR are for, I haven’t heard a single argument for that isn’t thoroughly debunked.

So to sum up.

No!

(Sorry I might have gone over 30 words)

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