ID cards will cost us all Â£85 in the first instance, and again every time we move house.
This, as I outlined in this morning’s post, is plain wrong. Very misleading.
ID cards will force us to report to the government when we move.
I’ve never heard of this, but even if it were true this is hardly a revelation. I know for a fact that in Germany people have to report to the police whenever they move house, and I’ve never heard of anybody complaining about it there. Besides, what about the electoral roll, the telephone directory, the census even?! I mean, the last census grouped me into a grey “cluster”. How fascistic can you get?!
The ID card monster database will record every time our cards are checked – as Charles Clarke wants us to have them checked every time we do things as trivial as renting videos, that means that we will be followed everywhere. Mr. Clarke thinks it will cost some Â£5.5 billion – but that’s without counting the card readers he wants to be in every video store. If you’re a business person, think – you are expected to buy the gear, and there is nothing to stop the government charging you to use the system.
This is plain old scaremongering nonsense. Take a look at what Charles Clarke actually said (emphasis mine).
…there will be enormous practical benefits. ID cards will potentially make a difference to any area of everyday life in which one already has to prove one’s identity. Examples are opening a bank account, going abroad on holiday, claiming a benefit, buying goods on credit and renting a video.
When Clarke mentions using an ID card when renting a video, he clearly does not mean you have to scan your card through some machine whenever you want to watch a film. People will not be tracked whenever they rent a video. Businesses will not have to stump up for card readers. Clarke is obviously talking about when you first register with Blockbuster, or whatever video rental store your local one happens to be. He doesn’t “want” us to have them checked every time we rent a video; he is merely pointing out that being able to prove one’s identity would be useful now and again in everyday situations. To claim otherwise is completely preposterous.
This actually links in with a point Alex makes later on in his post.
Further on, the biometrics that are meant to make this system unbreakable are unproven. In Germany, a computer science student was able to fool iris scanners using nothing else but a photo of his eyes.
You see, as things stand, if I want to rent a video, make a trip to the library, matriculate at university or anything like that, I am asked to prove my identity. I don’t drive and my passport is out of date; I’m not even sure if it’s still lying around anywhere. All I have at the moment is a flimsy piece of paper called a birth certificate. Do you think it’s more difficult to fool the system with a flimsy piece of paper, or with biometrics. I mean, I’m no expert or anything, but something tells me that an iris scan is a step up from a birth certificate.
Alex makes a few good points in his post (although he calls it a “monster database” even though it’s not even been decided for sure what’s going to be on the ID cards or in the database). It’s just a shame that everything around it is silly scaremongering nonsense.