"Also, the applications are open to anyone who registers interest on the IPS website, because I didnt live in any of the trial sites, but still got invited to apply."
Suggestion of desperation for willing candidates?
"Before you jump on the abuse bandwagon, why did I get one? I travel very regularly throughout the EU, and a Passport doesn't fit easily in my pocket."
Helluva good reason to hand over all that information. I'd hate to see your Facebook account. But seriously, no-one cares about the ID-card aspect, it's the bit BEHIND that that's important. Why do we need the ID card when the passport already works? The government is seriously spending millions of pounds so that you don't need to buy a bigger pocket? Pull the other one.
"What Biometrics were taken? A photo, signature and fingerprints. But thats the same information that was on my passport."
Not on mine. The fingerprint thing is quite recent. Mine has a photo and a signature only. No doubt at some point I will have to give fingerprints but by then the government will have had another 5-6 years of sorting out their databases.
"Oh no, my fingerprints! Now if I murder someone, I will be caught! Maybe I shouldnt murder anyone then."
Nope, even fingerprints aren't that big a deal. Who cares, really, but if they aren't necessary (and they are a piss-poor way of identifying random people, even in courts of law that's recognised - they can only act as a probabilistic indication when you already have someone in mind... read up on simple statistics and biology - the chances of you "matching" someone's fingerprints somewhere else in the world are actually quite high, the chances of it actually being you aren't certain).
"What about the interview? What interview? I handed over some cash, stuck my fingers on a scanner and had my photo taken. Same as was done last time I applied for a passport."
Rigorous identity measures being checked there then. Well worth the millions of pounds and all that hassle. Obviously *no-one* can get a fake ID card, just like no-one can get a fake passport. Again, it's just a worthless exercise in pissing about. Which should make you question it *MORE* because it doesn't do what it says, but costs a lot of money, and they are keen for you to use it so what *IS* it going to be used for. (P.S. read up on your legal obligations regarding the information stored about you now - you have a requirement to keep them up to date for ever and ever, something your passport doesn't require).
"What if it get's stolen? What if my passport gets stolen? A UK passport is probably worth far more on the black market and contains all the same information."
Correct. So again, why not just keep passports (already existing, already working, just as good, no extra expenditure)?
"What countries can I use it in? All EU/EEA countries, plus a couple of others."
Like a passport, then... but not as good.
"How rigourous is the checking? Seems to be fairly robust. The IPS called me 3 times to confirm various details, inclucing the fact that there is someone in my street with the same name as me (no relation), and also that I had missed a previous address on my application."
Oh wow. Rigour defined. They checked a local phone directory. Remind me to hire these guys next time you have the same name as a terrorist.
"So, I have one, and I am happy with it. If my wallet gets nicked, they will get my ID card instead of my driving licence (which actually has my home address on it, which the ID card doesn't)."
No, but the ID card is valid as a passport in EU countries, can open bank accounts without further ID, etc. - they only have to get someone looking vaguely like you and they can steal your card and play merry hell. And how do you prove it *wasn't* you? It's like a passport. Only easy to steal because you are obviously intending to carry it in your wallet.
Basically, it's a worthless bit of expensive plastic that does nothing *new* and works just like an existing passport (in fact, you basically have to *have* a passport, or be eligible to have one after a similar application process, to be able to get an ID card) but has fabulous new restrictions on YOU, while also acting as something quite potentially dangerous. Oh, yes, and you had to hand over cash for this.
Hope your pocket space was worth all that hassle. Because that's the *only* other difference between this and a passport, which you already have.