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back to article Johnson reveals ID register linked to NI numbers

Home Secretary Alan Johnson has confirmed that the National Identity Register contains National Insurance numbers and answers to 'shared secrets'. In a revelation that is likely to intensify the arguments over the privacy implications of the database, Johnson claimed the NI numbers have been included to "aid identity …

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Big Brother

Sir

"and a unique national identity registration number."

What's that in barcode?

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NI numbers included

and this is surprising because?

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Black Helicopters

NI numbers included

"and this is surprising because?"

Because NI numbers are not unique to individuals, and people might treat them as if they are?

Seriously though, it does allow the ministry of love more chance to data-mine you from all the other gov databases. It will also make it easier to transfer everything to the universes biggest ever DBM with each currently separate database just being a window onto parts of the magaDB

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WTF?

"NI numbers are not unique to individuals"

Since when? Please explain.

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DJV
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NI Numbers not unique

Not sure if this is urban legend or not but I did hear many years ago that one batch of NI numbers got issued twice in the 1960s or 1970s - if that's true then there are a small number of people who have identical numbers to someone else.

Transcription errors also cause problems - see:

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070917/text/70917w0029.htm

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I feel very much safer already

Knowing that my personal information is being protected by the impossible to crack 'What was your mother's maiden name?' question.

Thank you Mr. Johnson.

BTW. Can the Reg find out how many New Labour drones have signed up for their commemorative Blunkettcard?

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Big Brother

Blunkettcard

More importantly has the supposedly blind facist himself got one yet? He thought they were such a wonderful idea surely he must have been the first person to volunteer for one?

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More Lambs to the slaughter

Alan Johnson also said: "He added that between 20 October and 10 December last year more than 2,400 people had voluntarily enrolled, or made an appointment to enrol, for an identity card."

These all must be labour voters as only they are daft enough to let go of their privacy in the belief that this will "protect" them!

The faster that we can vote these losers out the better!

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i cant believe...

.... that they would tout a figure of 2400 people (out of a population of approx 60million) signing up over the course of nearly 3 months as being a successful figure...

Hurry up and bring the Tory's to power please!

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Grenade

RE: i can't believe....

"Hurry up and bring the Tory's to power please!"

Really?

Presumably you are too young to remember the poll tax, Thieving cow Shirley "Tesco" Porter, Jeffrey "2 grand per hooker" Archer or any of the other convicted criminals that make up the conservative party?

If you think that bunch of thieving, lying, Etonian crooks are going to be any improvement over the current bunch of thieving, lying "labour" crooks then you really do need some serious help.

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Troll

Fill in the blank

Hurry up and bring the Tory's ________ to power please!

The Tory's what? And which Tory, btw?

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Your choice..

Wonderful choice. Let's see what you get to decide for.

The set of crooks who generated a surplus while occasionally behaving like idiots (who may thus manage to effect at least *some* recovery, or the current set of crooks who have yet to show *anything* positive, and who have generated the largest deficit ever.

Just to clarify the scale of that word "deficit", that's not a "starting from 0" black hole, that's a "starting from a positive balance PLUS raiding everyone's pension funds" type of hole - in the process introducing draconian privacy invading monitoring because they needed to keep an eye out for who was on to them.

BTW, you may have forgotten who came up with the "sleaze" tactic - Mr "You never voted for this man", twice disgraced, definitely-not-deserved-Lord Mandelson.

So well done, intelligent choice. Now go back to reading the Sun, oh, no, they now support the Conservatives too..

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FAIL

Government Statistics.

He added that between 20 October and 10 December last year more than 2,400 people had voluntarily enrolled, or made an appointment to enrol, for an identity card.

Either this means that the Government has received 2400 appointments and does not know how many of them have actually become issued cards, or the Government does know how many cards have been issued and the number is so embarrassingly tiny they don't want to tell us.

Incompetence or failure, which would you choose?

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FAIL

Incompetence or Failure

Those aren't mutually exclusive, through incompetence, they have failed

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Coat

Mutual exclusion

I'm a Geek if I wanted Mutually exclusive options I'd have written

Incompetence xor failure, which would you choose?

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Anonymous Coward

Who Are The 2400?

"He added that between 20 October and 10 December last year more than 2,400 people had voluntarily enrolled, or made an appointment to enrol, for an identity card."

Who are they?

How many of them are Labour party members, doing their bit to support Labour's schemes?

How many of them are dopey journalists who need the state to reassure them of their own identities?

Who are the rest?

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Anonymous Coward

Labour, Conservative, what's the difference?

What really irks me about this stuff is the way some people get all partisan about it. Do you honestly think that the Conservatives wouldn't have gone down exactly the same route, or another one that's just as bad? Could you tell me that with a straight face?

Whilst I get irked with all the sixth-form comedy renaming to "Zanu Labia" or whatever's the current preferred mockery of Labour, what really troubles me is the assumption that any of those useless tossers in any party will be our saviour: all the major parties are utterly crap.

No-Policies Cameron and whoever's in charge of the Lib Dems this week may claim they'll ditch the scheme in a heartbeat, but I'll believe it when I see it, especially when it turns out it may be useful or profitable to them. The only way of dealing with this is to fight the policy itself, not to call for an election, which really be a case of out with the old, in with the old.

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I'd be AC too

Did'nt you want to sign is as 'Labour Party spindoctor then'?

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Terminator

@Who Are The 2400?

You missed a couple of obvious categories :

1) IPS staff who have been bribed (time off work, free travel) to sign up

2) Fraudsters who want to be first in the queue to learn how to forge these things

Mind you, both may only contribute small numbers. About the only ones stupid enough to sign up in IPS are those actually working directly on the Identity Scheme (they have to try and convince themselves that they are actually doing something worthwhile with their lives). And how many crooks are so daft they think these bits of plastic will have any use by the end of this year?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd be AC too

Er, where did I say anything in support of Labour? I thought "all the major parties are utterly crap" was explicit enough, but apparently not.

Thinking No-Policies Cameron is a liability in waiting does not make one a Labour fanboy.

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Actually, no

The difference between New Labour and Conservatives is that the latter have actually experience with money, and know that making more for themselves is best done with a growing economy, because it leaves more to grow which can be harvested later.

It's comparing old money with new money. Old money quietly makes more, and a whole family has plenty for generations, new money buys a flash Ferrari and crashes it, leaving the wife and kids to pick up the pieces.

The Conservatives know the flaws in the feasibility study and how it came to be built regardless, and they know that this scam, sorry, scheme will be a bottomless tax money pit that will never deliver on the original requirement. A sort of Dome version 2.0, but with more impact on everyone's lives. They know that the current scheme is so flawed, trying to use it would cost vastly more than it would bring, and remember that they have a New Labour black hole of a deficit to climb out of, no doubt whilst being blamed by "it's never our faul" New Labour for creating it.

The only way to prevent these costs (which New Labour is getting increasingly desperate to embed in government) is to bury this thing and maybe try again when it has been decided what is actually required instead of what makes the most money and creates the best after-government jobs for everyone.

This whole affair started with a report of some 70 professors of the London School of Economics who explained precisely why this thing was a colossal waste of tax money..

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Who are the 2400?

So, despite your apparent concern about this, you want to make use of the database yourself. Did you think how gormless this makes you look, moron?

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Surprise?

Does this surprise anyone at all? Schedule 1 of the Identity Cards Act 2006 lists "any national insurance number allocated to him" and "questions and answers to be used for identifying a person seeking to make such an application or to apply for or to make a modification of that entry" among the items which may be recorded in an individual's database entry.

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Coat

shared secrets?

If it's shared, how can it be a secret?

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I want one now!

I was unconvinced about whether or not to voluntarily pay £30 for a card, but then I found this encouraging remark on the application site:

"Please note that you are required by law to keep IPS informed of any changes to your personal information. The guidance notes which accompany the form explain how to do this. If you deliberately choose not to let IPS know that your details have changed, you may have to pay a civil penalty of up to £1,000. Once you update your details, the penalty may be waived."

I'd love to pay £30 for the opportunity to be fined £1000 - it's like a lottery!

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Coat

ID apostacy

So joining up is optional but once in you aren't allowed to leave.

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Joke

A day older

Please note that you are required by law to keep IPS informed of any changes to your personal information

Should I writer to them each day to tell them I'm a day older?

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WTF?

@ID apostacy

>"So joining up is optional but once in you aren't allowed to leave."

Yes, really, no joke. You're on an utter hiding to nothing. Worst deal ever. Why anyone but a masochist would jump up and volunteer themselves for this vast liability is beyond me.

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Alert

Pet Shop Boys

Album: Fundamental. Song: "Integral".

Hear it. Love it. Live it.

- Love, Alan Johnson.

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Black Helicopters

Like the song

Hotel California!

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Happy

Hey! I was enjoying that sandwich!

Anyone got a tissue?

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FAIL

shared secrets #2

If it is a shared secret stored on a government database, how is it secret?

At least with a bank they tend to be a bit careful with passwords etc. however I have no doubt at all - given usual Government IT incompetence that the shared secret answers are stored in the clear, so any person with access to the blunkettcard database will be able to impersonate you.

Two legs good, four legs bad... peace is war... I am not a number...

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Anonymous Coward

lol

yet more reliance on an already widely defrauded system. How do you know the number belongs to the person claiming to register it? Oh becouse it's backed up by another piece of forged documentation and a very faulty ancient system. W00t - glad these ID cards are going to be hard to get fraudulently.

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Coat

Can my secret question be "What do you think of the ID Card scheme"

or would they not accept my answer of "Totally f***ing stupid, pointless, irritating and dangerous but probably pushed in because of a backhander to some Labour MP"

Bugger.. I've just made my entry a tad insecure.

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Coat

Mother's maiden name

Whilst it isn't impossible to find out my mother's maiden name, it should be fairly difficult to know what answer I gave the bank/ID/etc people for that question. Nobody says it has to be the *real* maiden name do they? Using the real one just makes it easier to find out/remember what you told these folk.

Ditto for any of the other typical "shared secrets" - place of birth, first school, first sexual partner, etc.

Yours

Mrs D J Banana (nee Throatwobbler-Mangrove)

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FAIL

And in other news...

Our beloved dictators, knowing that their time is now short, are pushing forward with an expensive white elephant so they can dare the new guvment to cancel it and "waste money" on a scheme that is already in operation and will, by then, have proven* it's worth in PREVENTING TERRORISM. Using politician style "logic", anybody proposing to cancel it in 6 months time will be saying "! SUPPORT TERRORISM" and will be showing their out-of-touch-with-the-people credentials by "THROWING AWAY VALUABLE TAX PAYER MONEY".

You can just see the headlines now...

* "proof". For proof, please see "statistics"

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secrets, lol

"If it's shared, how can it be a secret?" Maybe it becomes nearly a secret, like being nearly pregnant, or nearly dead. Strangely enough my bank just dropped the "secret question" verification routine as being to insecure to rely on for identification for major finacial transactions, so who designed these systems?

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So who designed these systems?

The same bunch of incompetent consultants who sold the original scheme to the banks.

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Megaphone

People up and down the country are............

not signing up for the card

I would imagine that everybody that has signed up HAS something to hide. If I HAD something to hide I would sign up right at the start as well. Then you could tell them whatever they wanted to hear because they're so grateful you have signed up they would believe anything you told them.

Give it a couple of weeks and it will pop up on WikiLeaks... then we will know who all the terrorists are.

Vote for change what ever semblance of democracy is all we have

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FAIL

Err...being stupid but...

If the passport database and the ID database both contain similar data on a person, why didn't they just add in another table into the passport database or add a couple more columns onto the main passport person table for the extra ID data? I mean the passport DB can't be that big that it can't be altered or migrated or would that answer not spend enough money? Not that I want ID cards, but......

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Big Brother

Nulabourians tighten...

their grip on the sheeple a little bit more then. And they're 'providing' full body scanners at all airports too. Everyone thank the nice gentleman with the explosive xmas package for his 'assistance' in that , will you. How very convenient.

Now, if they can just come up with a plausible 'reason' NOT to have a general election this year...

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FAIL

do you seriously think the rest are any better?

Perhaps you should changed your ID to "Tory party member".

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Not having an election this year

They could just amend this act of parliament http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?activeTextDocId=1516478

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Anonymous Coward

unless...

If they were to consider amending said Act, let's hope

"this present... Parliament hereafter to be summoned shall be sooner dissolved by his Majesty, his heirs or successors [the Queer Old Dean]".

That would be somewhat worth her entry on the Civil List.

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BA
Happy

Re: Mother's Maiden Name

How about if your mother's maiden name isn't written using the Roman alphabet ? I doubt that they have the ability to key in names in Thai / Korean / Laos / Burmese / Chinese character sets and even if they did there are often multiple translations.

I suppose there is no chance that they can store them as JPEG images of the writing.

Yours, Anon, son of squiggle squiggly squiggle(no 2)

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FAIL

Yes it's deep, keep digging!

To be fair, the people running the project have shoe-size IQs and have extreme difficulty remembering to breath when the keeper with the pointed stick takes a tea break.

However, as time has passed, the original idea of a nice clean database containing few if any errors has degenerated to something that will be little better than the passport office or DVLA can provide, using security methods that a child could, and probably will, defeat.

The suggestion of combining passports, driving licenses and id cards into a single document was rejected for no good reason so driving abroad will involve at least three UK documents, each claiming to contain ID info (of course there are other documents that may be required but they aren't issued by uk.gov)

BTW, the 2400 applicants are from just Liverpool and Manchester so far. For some reason MPs have not been asked to sign up, perhaps the results would be embarrassing (and result in expense claims?)

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I can't believe all the cynicism

1) obviously the ID scheme has already proved it's worth in the fight against terrorism. 2400 applicants already, everyone who hasn't applied, must ergo, be a terrorist, how simple can that be to work out.

2) merging the databases? obviously no one would swallow such a simple solution as that, the British public expects to be ripped off to the tune of billions of £££££££££££££, and their wishes will not be denied. I mean after the MP's expenses debacle, how is a retired MP to make a city living if he doesn't oil the wheels of big business?. Think of the pensioners, if not the children.

3) not all politicians are scurroulous crooks out to feather their own nests you know. There are a few decent politicians left you know, don't tar them all with the same feather, and Jeffery was only doing research, and Neil was entitled to ask for remuneration for asking that question, don't forget the new expenses scheme only came into effect under Labour, how were politicians expected to make a living before that? Churchill would be spinning in his grave.

4)Alan Johnson has already proved his worth at fucking up a working system, just look at how good a job he made of CWU/RM relations, why should you doubt his already proven ability at completely fucking it up, when it comes to the British public.

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Shared Secret

Please, make totally sure that your secret answers for the ID DB are unique i.e. not the same ones you've used _anywhere_ else.

That way when they lose stuff on a train your bank a/c etc won't be compromised. I mean, any more than it already is.

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2400 ID Cards Issued?

A much more relevant question for El Reg is; "How many IPS managerial staff were shipped into the enrolment centres to swell the issued numbers for the card when it was launched?"

Should give a very interesting answer if given truthfully.

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WTF?

We're not giving away your info

You are. You must in order to use your ID card.. it's a very simple distinction; but a critical one. Of course, we won't ever tell anyone. We might sell or just lose the info, but we won't tell a soul.

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