ID Cards

Now the Labour party has won the election, they are determined to carry on headlong into implementing their stupid policy of issuing ID cards. Not only are they going to be foisted onto us whether we want them or not, but they are also going to charge us £93 pounds each. (Actually a lot more than this, as mentioned later)

I predict that this will be another Governmental IT disaster, but unfortunately several billions of pounds will be wasted before the project is abandoned. Frankly I don’t care whether we have ID cards or not from a personal privacy point of view. I already know that too many people have my private information. What concerns me is the Government’s obsession with the idea that this will solve ‘idenity theft’, and their total ignorance of the technical problems. It will in fact make identity theft more dangerous.

Lets look at the scenario. Someone steals your identity. Now the Government ministers think this is impossible. (Its not. But then what do you expect when we have self confessed technophobes running the country. As they don’t understand the technology, they are insisting that we have it, when all the experts around them are telling them it won’t work. I assume ‘not listening to anybody at all’ was tucked away in the manifesto somewhere.)

Sorry, I digress. someone has stolen your identity. (I’ll explain how later). You have overnight lost all your money, probably your job and shortly your marriage when your wife finds herself thrown out of your home.

You go to the bank and find all your bank card no longer works. That was easy, your thief just got your bank cards changed to a new number and posted to a new address, using the ID that they now control. You protest. “Sorry sir, we don’t use a statement from the electricty board and your birth certificate to prove who you are any more, they were too easy to forge, just your ID card suffices. I’m afraid we have no record of you on your system. In fact sir, would you mind taking a seat.”

This is so that they bank can ring the police because they have just discovered that your ID card brings up no records so you are clearly an illegal immigrant.

After protesting your innocence, you manage to get police bail, and go home to find a ‘For Sale’ sign outside your house with a police car, and your wife and family out on the pavement. Your wife is under arrest for hitting the policeman who was involved in evicting the ‘squatters’ from your house. The ‘squatters’ are you and your family.

The authorities won’t believe your story because your ID card doesn’t show up on the National Database anymore. OK I’ll leave how this is achieved until later. Lets look at the technical aspects.

The government set up a pilot study by the UKPS, The UK Passport Service, to see how users would react to being scanned and fingerprinted. Apart from user reaction, they also found out that fingerprinting only validated 81%, facial scans were 69% and iris scans were 96%. They didn’t seem to understand that unless one of the biometric tests provides 100% validation then the whole system doesn’t work. Did you get that Labour Government THE ID CARD TECHNOLOGY DOESN’T WORK. What is the reaction to this unsurmountable problem; they are pressing on with it through parliament. What bit of “The ID Card technology doesn’t work” don’t you understand, Charles Clarke? Apparently there were 6 people of whom no biometric test worked at all. What do we do with these ‘misfits’?

Added to that, the LSE has just produce a report stating that they have miscalculated the cost of the cards and they are £300 not £93.