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back to article Queen set to outlaw ID cards today

The bill abolishing the National Identity Scheme is expected to gain royal assent later today. The Home Office said that it expected the identity documents bill would be passed into law on 21 December. As a result, existing ID cards will be invalid for use in a month's time. Home office minister Damian Green said the bill's …

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Joke

No title required

"Queen set to outlaw ID cards today"

I read the article and this is all well and good, but what does Elton John have to do with this?

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Coat

Queen

Has he joined up with Brian May and Roger Taylor then ?

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Anonymous Coward

he certainly

has much more power to outlaw ID cards than the actual queen, who has no power to interfere in law, and government, whatsoever.

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Slightly OT, but what happened to those ...

that actually *paid* for the damn things. I know the decision not to refund them was challenged ... did it win ? Because AFAIAC, unless you were required to get an ID card (we never quite got to that stage did we) then your loss should be regarded as a "stupid tax".

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Pint

No title required

"Queen set to outlaw ID cards today"

THE queen? or any random one?

Sitting in a Soho pub, waiting for the call...

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Jobs for the New Old Boys

Don't get your hopes up - it's just shifting contracts to a different lot of Friends and Family.

Mind you, if they're looking for populist ideas then burning the DVLA to the ground and salting the earth would guarantee a landslide win.

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Happy

Throw the ICO on the fire

to keep the warm glow going.

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Anonymous Coward

Typical government

Not that I particularly care about whether I have to carry an ID card to go with my driving licence and nectar cards, Tescos Clubcard tracks me far more than an ID card would, not that I care whether my fingerprints are on a database, prolly cuts the risk of being falsely picked up for a crime if they can tell in a flash my fingerprints weren't there.

What I'm against is these projects getting kicked off under one government, billions spent over the years, adding to the national debt, the next government get in, rubbish the idea and scrap it. We've spent billions trying to achieve nothing and the taxpayer is the only place the government can fund these lucrative contracts.

Either carry a project through or don't start it in the first place, getting half way there and scrapping it is neither an investment or a saving. It's plain old pouring money down the bog.

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WTF?

> pouring money

You're a believer in throwing good money after bad then?

Yes, it would be nice if no government (or any other organisation) started dumb projects, but its still better to scrap them if they turn out to be dumb than carry on throwing more good money at them.

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Stop

I refuse to enoble a simple forum post....

This kind of stuff wouldn't happen if government (of any colour) actually listened. As far as I can tell the only people in favour of this whole sorry mess were, Blunkett, wacky jacque and a shitload of IT firms.

So let's not start blaming the curent mob for this mess, they said all along what they were gonna do.

Besides I'm sure they have their own "ID card Scheme" to waste new billions on.

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oi, sunshine

you have a choice about whether to use a Tesco Clubcard. I don't use one.

Labour weren't planning to leave ID cards optional. And they were expecting us to pay 80 quid for the privilege of being a number.

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Flame

I appreciate your sentiment

... but in case it escaped you, we have had a change of regime, since the ID card scheme was initiated. Hence the u-turn.

What makes me incandescent with fury is the the fact that when ID cards were first mooted, no one wanted them. NuLab cooked up a stew of FUD to try and engage the public, which failed spectacularly. Then they tried the bully boy approach. All the while the scheme became more unworkable, and was clearly going to be scrapped by any non-labour government. The Home Office should have factored this into the planning and contracting, so that when the inevitable came, either politically (as happened) or technically (when they realised the scheme would never ever work) they could gracefully cancel contracts and not lose too much.

Instead we had a piece of pure political posturing where nuLab *deliberately* signed lock-in contracts to demonstrate how committed they were to the process.

I'm not a big ConDem fan, but the blame for this mess lies squarely at NuLabs door.

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@dogged

"Labour weren't planning to leave ID cards optional. "

Not quite true. One of the small concessions they got out of NuLabor's government were that would never happen. Her Wackiness pointed out that it would only take a 1 clause law to change this anyway.

They felt that would be *coercive*.

It would always be optional.

Like breathing.

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@HarryTheSnotGobbler

"not that I care whether my fingerprints are on a database, prolly cuts the risk of being falsely picked up for a crime if they can tell in a flash my fingerprints weren't there"

Um, no. It would increase your risk of being wrongly identified even though you weren't there as comparing to millions of unrelated samples would produce numerous false positives. Even if you are able to prove your innocence by having an alibi it still wastes police time (and good luck if you are wrongly accused of something like child rape buddy, as your life will be f*cked either way by the time it comes out you are innocent).

The reality of the situation is that whatever TV series like CSI tell us, fingerprint and DNA matching are not exact sciences. Comparing a print to a dozen or even a hundred samples from people identified as suspects is a good way to narrow it down and in combination with other evidence should be enough to convict. Comparing it to 60 million people on a random fishing trip would actually waste everyone's time.

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Or even ennoble

Oh they do, they do. It's called HS2.

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Big Brother

2 Down votes?

That thumbs up was for it going in the *bin* of history.

My brief re-cap of NuLabour's policy was just a *reminder * of how quickly history gets "mis-remembered. "

And how downright deceptive their policy (Oh no it *will* be optional. Just as long as you don't want to open a bank account, enter a club, buy a drink, buy a train or plane ticket etc) was.

BB because while the surface parts have gone the design documents are still on file and the senior civil service vermin who started this are still *mostly* dug in.

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Coat

@Tigra 07

Maybe Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor (and Paul Rodgers) will be playing Hammer To Fall whilst they work?

Coat please, it's bloody cold outside

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Happy

Can we get the queen to outlaw Phorm at the same time

Can we get the queen to outlaw Phorm at the same time

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thank god

I am pleased with this anoucement.

The cynic in me thinks that the security services will be making backups of it all as we speak for future use but hey.

I'm also suprised that the right wing party have chosen to be more liberal than labour as well. Thought the tories would be worse but this is great, if they could do something about the absurd volume of cctv cameras next that would be great.

The UK firewall thing that people are worried about, dont worry about it, they cant afford it anyway and it wont work, it's just an MP saying something for the sake of saying something, he does not understand how it works, one of his minions will set him straight.

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Big Brother

The UK firewall thing

The security services no doubt have several backups already - although they're not going to be interested in the vast majority of those on it. These are the people who are volunteering to be watched, after all.

I certainly hope you're right about the firewall, though I'd not pin too much hope on any underling setting their minister straight - Remember the Digital Economy Bill? Look how well that turned out...

BB - He knows the value of data backups

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Joke

Oi!

Oi! 50 posts?

Are you lot on holiday?

Haven't you owt better to do to do?

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Joke

Queen set to outlaw ID cards today

hmmmm.....

not very catchy, that.

never be as big as bohemian rhapsody.

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I mourn its loss...

Bugger! I was an early adopter of the card. I waited ages to get one and mourn its demise. Still, here in Spain it still looks a genuine ID an I will continue using it for as long as possible. The Spanish and expat residents must carry an ID and the card is far more compact than carrying a passport. What's your problem the naysayers? The new passport will carry all sorts of personal info too.

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Fits Most Pockets

Having travelled and lived abroad over many years, I can't say that I ever had a problem in transporting my passport around on my person. It seems to fit in most trouser/jacket/shirt pockets quite comfortably and is generally less obtrusive than a wallet or purse.

The new passport, although coming with enhanced security features, carries no more personal information on it than the previous model did. Speaking as a naysayer, I am quite happy that this Nu Labour Stasi card has been abolished from these Islands, even if it means our expat friends abroad have to walk around with a slightly fuller pocket than they might like.

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Flame

Hi Jacqui, how's excile working out for you?

Wave....

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Even?

"The Spanish and expat residents must carry an ID"

Even when going for a swim down la playa? Or crossing the carretera to go to the local Supersol?

Hmmm, is Franco still about then?

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FAIL

Ironic

that Spanish authorities recognise the UK ID card. UK authorities didn't. (El Reg passim)

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silly governments and stupid projects

I can understand why you see the thing as useful, but in its current form (far beyond a simple card) it had to go.

If the government at the time had had any sense they would have gone for a 'plastic passport' card which would have been fine for your needs and without all the extra record-everything nonsense. Chances are if they had gone that way we would have had them years earlier.

But they didn't because there were too many advisers and assorted chums of people in/on/around the proposals who had lots of super whizzy machinery and services that they wanted to sell. A simple card would have been useful to you but would not represent the golden opportunity that people were drooling over.

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Flame

If they're destroying the data...

I don't suppose this means my passport will be any cheaper when I renew it next year, does it?

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Happy

Not like they ever did mean anything!

"As a result, existing ID cards will be invalid for use in a month's time"

From what I gather most of the organisations that were supposed accept these things, 9 times out of 10 refused and asked for the more traditional passport or driving license, so were they ever valid as forms of ID?!

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Megaphone

Aye...right!

"Small set back for gov"..."large step forward"..."the move is great"....it's great for one thing..and one thing only; PROFIT.

They tax you.

They give that money to large "boys club" companies.

Who pay you

They tax you

It is *NO* problem for this system to create tech that it "doesn't use", in any way....as the usefulness of the project has already been realised...until next time...

Get off now you know :)

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FAIL

"Being watched"? Are you folks serious?

Ladies and gentlemen, I laughed off the floor reading most of the opinions on the matter of "privacy", "Big Brother", "government control" and other such gems.

Now look, I hate to break this to you, but most of you bathing in this eau-de-"Hooray,-we're-free!-The-Evil-Government-(TM)-can't-control-us-now!" most probably have one or more of the following with you at this very moment:

- driver's license

- credit card(s)

- debit card(s)

- library card(s)

- passport

- membership card(s)

- cellphone/smartphone/PDA/tablet-doohickey/laptop (with or without Internet connection)

- magnetic/RFID access cards

- student's booking card (I don't know if this applies to the UK, where I live, it applies)

- military drafting card/ID/whatever applies

So, believe me, if the government really wants to track you down, they will in a far more efficient way than with a simple paper+plastic card with your name, picture and some (approximately) private data written on it.

And regarding storing fingerprints and DNA, I have always been unable to understand why people are so afraid of having them stored. It's not like police can't get to them if they really need, and it's not like people can't find a way to frame you, if that's what you fear (think about how many plastic cups/bottles one discards every day, with a sufficiently full set of fingerprints on each of them).

Speaking of database storing, I've got a really good laugh when I got to this chap's comment:

"It would increase your risk of being wrongly identified even though you weren't there as comparing to millions of unrelated samples would produce numerous false positives. Even if you are able to prove your innocence by having an alibi it still wastes police time (and good luck if you are wrongly accused of something like child rape buddy, as your life will be f*cked either way by the time it comes out you are innocent)."

What world are you living in, my friend? You seem to have watched too many movies about how difficult lives of those ever prosecuted are. I have an acquaintance accused of 3 accounts of rape and murder (a whole family, in fact, and grisly murders they were, too). He became a suspect, and then was initially charged based on fingerprints stored in a database from a previous retention (alcohol+driving), but was released after being able to prove beyond doubt that he wasn't in town at that time, and the fingerprints were there because he admittedly worked for the victims (he is an electrician). He was released and, contrary to all the low-grade tear-inducing-drama-wannabe Hollywood movies, he was recognized as innocent by the community. The real criminal was only identified and apprehended about two years later. I know this is anecdotal, but here's another thought of mine: if you, as a person part of a community, aren't able to shake off the thought that someone was, at a certain point in time, accused of something, even after it is proven that that person is innocent beyond a shadow of doubt, then perhaps that person deserves better than to be forced to live in the same community with you. Here's the truth: it's how police works, and it's about as good as it can work. We won't need policemen if we knew exactly who did what right from the start without occasionally making mistakes.

As for:

"Comparing a print to a dozen or even a hundred samples from people identified as suspects is a good way to narrow it down and in combination with other evidence should be enough to convict. Comparing it to 60 million people on a random fishing trip would actually waste everyone's time."

I can just now imagine a bloke from London police going "Oh, bugger, I wish I could figure out whether this perfect sample of DNA we found at the scene matches a serial rapist and murderer from Glasgow who has been doing this for a while and only recently moved in order to foil our plans, now if only I had a database to look into." (by the way, apologies for using London and Glasgow as examples, any similarity to reality is purely coincidental). What would you choose: wasting time on a fingerprint/DNA fishing trip that MIGHT offer you a suspect and wasting the corresponding amount of time, or not having a suspect at all and saving all that money? I'm sorry, but I think most rational people would choose the former.

So a big FAIL for all you who think that you've gained something in way of freedom. You gained nothing. Just the illusion that: A. somehow the evil government who wanted to control you more has failed and B. you're more free than before. When government controls, it does so through methods that remain ingrained in your mind (indoctrination schooling, religion, "moral and patriotic" duty - note the quotation marks, etc.), not through a darn piece of plastic.

As for this whole thing being a huge waste of money, that I can't and won't argue against.

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Grenade

RIP Blunkett, Blair & Brown - Authors of British Excess

At one point in time the British government was covert in it's data collection. Then along come Blunkett, Blair & Brown and force all manner of data collection down British throats with hardly a murmur of complaint from the public.

Finally the public is becoming aware of what it does to it's citizens.

Many countries have ID systems but very, very few fingerprint children, or include them on yet another BBB database.

There is one benefit from ID cards: good forgeries are frequently accepted by systems/people not using electronic verification.

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