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back to article Minister defends National ID Register security

The National Identity Register will have very limited access, stringent security and no risk of 'discs flying around', MPs have been told. Home Office minister Meg Hillier defended the government's plans for its controversial National Identity Scheme, as she faced questions about data security from a committee of MPs. Hillier, …

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Alert

I'm sorry, but...

I don't get it.

When I got my drivers licence, I was required to send a passport photo. The one I had done was clear and my face and features were clearly identifiable.

2 weeks later I got my licence. The image had been reduced to 1/4 the original size and a hologram printed over it.

What is that all about? How's anyone supposed to use that to verify that I'm the rightful card holder?

If the image was clearly visible then anyone wanting to verify my ID could use the card. The fact that they can't is a joke, what's the point of it? If they could, would we still need the biometrics etc..? How does having biometric data increase the security of the card? Are people going to be able to draw samples upon arrest, house purchasing, passing through customs, buying alcohol? Has anyone ever described how and where the verification process will take place?

Besides that; what of these discrepancies in Hillers responses that everyone has talked about here, "fewer than 100 people will have access", yet a list of institutions who'd have access was "too many to list", and doesn't include the NHS. So what about data entry, how's that going to be secured? My company can't seem to be able to unify the way postcodes are entered into the database's here let alone get them consistently right, and we only have about 13million accounts.

I foresee that data entry will be THE least secure and the most exploited in it's early life. False cards will be created through people infiltrating the system and also through playing the system. Proxy applications similar to proxy voting will, through the disabilities act allow this. As will acts protecting people on witness protection, people in secret service, SAS posts etc. There will be so many ways of NOT having to meet 100% of the criteria that there'll be dozens of ways of getting cards for any purpose.

The best way to secure the data, as has been said before, is to not collect it in the first place. There are a lot of things we can spend the same money on to improved and secure UK life, ID cards as they are presented to us currently, is not the answer to any question.

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Black Helicopters

Yes Minister, anyone?

Perhaps the minister is telling the "truth" (*cough*) when he says that "fewer than 100 people will have access to the National Identity Database".

I guess it depends on your definition of the word "access". Think "physical access" and maybe he's not too wide of the mark. It's just your own silly fault you thought he meant something else.

Any assurances given by politicians today are invariably worthless tomorrow. Ditto so-called "safeguards".

Oh, and while mindful of the way they are selling our DVLA data, let's not forget the recent news that the US FBI are already requesting access to our data.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jan/15/world.ukcrime

I feel reassured already...

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Black Helicopters

I don't mind

As long as I get to be one of the less than 100 people. In fact as long as each and every MP is willing to give me all their personal information to store on my own computer - which I promise to patch bi-annually, then I don't even have to be one of the less than 100 people.

If they've got nothing to hide, then they'll have nothing to fear in giving me all their data.

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Unhappy

Hillier -> Hiller -> Hitler -> Ausweis!

@21:59 GMT "Am I the only one that read Hillier as Hitler?"

No. But you may be the only one who posts without reading the comments.

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Lee
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H2G2

It was an Ident-i-Eeze, and was a very naughty and silly thing for Harl

to have lying around in his wallet, though it was perfectly

understandable. There were so many different ways in which you were

required to provide absolute proof of your identity these days that life

could easily become extremely tiresome just from that factor alone,

never mind the deeper existential problems of trying to function as a

coherent consciousness in an epistemologically ambiguous physical

universe. Just look at cash point machines, for instance. Queues of

people standing around waiting to have their fingerprints read, their

retinas scanned, bits of skin scraped from the nape of the neck and

undergoing instant (or nearly instant ? a good six or seven seconds in

tedious reality) genetic analysis, then having to answer trick questions

about members of their family they didn't even remember they had, and

about their recorded preferences for tablecloth colours. And that was

just to get a bit of spare cash for the weekend. If you were trying to

raise a loan for a jetcar, sign a missile treaty or pay an entire

restaurant bill things could get really trying.

Hence the Ident-i-Eeze. This encoded every single piece of information

about you, your body and your life into one all-purpose machine-readable

card that you could then carry around in your wallet, and therefore

represented technology's greatest triumph to date over both itself and

plain common sense.

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Flame

Simple Financial way to assure data safety

For every breach the ministers responsible, (all of them from day 1 of the project), and top 3 tiers of management are fined 10% of their pension/superannuation and 10% of their gross income for the current financial year.

I am *certain* such an agreement would lead to

a) vastly better security than ever before

b) a cost blow-out when they start getting realistic about security and managing individual access.

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Anonymous Coward

I can host it

If they're serious about this I could host it for them- abroad.

They'd need an agreement with the local government about complying with both privacy and banking law (and, unlike in the UK, the legal bypasses are (a) very tough and (b) also demand good carekeeping of data so obtained - you may want to check up RIPA on such requirements).

But that could inspire a level of confidence, I don't think nothing else will.

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Thumb Down

It was never the card that bothered me

"This could indicate a postponement of ID cards for UK nationals, as the government changes the direction of the scheme away from providing a card to facilitate access to services and towards collecting information about citizens."

It was never the card that bothered me so much as the database behind it. I think most people are not confident in the "Passport database" because most people have simply never considered the existance of such a thing.

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Flame

Another peach from the Gubbinsment

Ms. Hitllier said: "The passport database is certainly a very secure database. The average man and woman in the street are not worried about it."

We may not have been a year ago, toots, but we sure as hell are now. I'd like some kind of assurance along the lines of "If your personal details get out of this database, you are free to visit me at home and stab my spouse in the heart" please.

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Happy

Nothing left to add .. Fantastic !

I remember, going back a few years, when all this NIR nonsense first kicked off and I started getting involved in no2id, I was lambasted and ridiculed for being so naive and idealistic as to feel we didn't need this thing for "obvious" security / immigration / terrorism / paedophile / [insert horseman of choice] reasons. I have had the stunningly ignorant "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" mantra chucked at me more times than I care to mention. I was accused of being both anti-British and a Little Englander "Not allowing us to take our place on the world stage" in the same sentence even ... and I still have no idea about the logic for that one!

So, I read the article and, per habit, made notes on the ill informed, self serving waffle disgorged by the latest to hold this particular poison chalice, with a view to making a suitable comment.

Then I read the existing comments.

Fan-bl**dy-tastic folks ! You got the lot :)

I then read through the comments again. Not one was even slightly in favour of the scheme !

As an aside though .. does anyone know where she got the "60% in favour" stats. The last survey I saw suggested that it's more like 47% (and rapidly falling) for, 50% (and rising) against with up to 25% of the population in jail if they ever try and make them compulsory.

eg http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39292691,00.htm

Smiley .. Cos it make me happeee :-)

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