back to article Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

Digital minister Margot James reckons Brits need to "get over" their concerns about privacy and cyber security and let the government assign them with ID cards. woman massages temples Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference? READ MORE The UK has historically railed …

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  1. cbars

    another iteration

    demonstrating that you have to continuously oppose idiocy, and you don't get a break. A bit analogous to the 'cyber-security' paradigm "you have to win every time, they only have to win once"

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: another iteration

      I don't think she's an idiot. She just didn't have the good sense to go talk to the people who know all the right hash tags.

      Once she does that she'll be just fine.

      1. sed gawk

        Re: another iteration

        Amber "stop techies sneering at me" Rudd, would need a decent period of remedial education prior to reaching the heady intellectual heights of idiocy.

        Good to see that you can lie to parliament, and get back into the cabinet without any bother.

        FFS, please someone introduce a minimal level of understanding prior to appointment to cabinet posts.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: another iteration

          "FFS, please someone introduce a minimal level of understanding prior to appointment to cabinet posts."

          It might make it impossible to appoint a full cabinet, maybe not even a single minister. We need to require a minimum level of understanding to stand for any elected office.

          1. sed gawk

            Re: another iteration

            It might make it impossible to appoint a full cabinet, maybe not even a single minister.

            You say it like it's a bad thing..

            I wouldn't trust the current shower to

            "...understand things like when elections are fought, for example, in Northern Ireland – people who are nationalists don’t vote for unionist parties and vice versa.”
            https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/07/they-dont-give-a-damn-about-us-belfast-reacts-to-karen-bradley-remarks

            It's tragic that we have no way of removing them, and no way of moderating their behaviour, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/10/activists-convicted-of-terror-offence-for-blocking-stansted-deportation-flight

        2. Def Silver badge

          Re: another iteration

          FFS, please someone introduce a minimal level of understanding prior to appointment to cabinet posts.

          Even a minimum IQ requirement before being allowed to run for election in the first place would be a start. Either that, or a candidate's IQs should be visible on the ballot paper and any publicity leading up to the election.

          1. cbars

            Re: another iteration

            I suspect that the population used for calculating the IQ of politicians would allow them to come out quite favorably; I do not imagine, for example that they would be compared with the comentards here, which I think is likely to be toward the high end when considered c.f. all humans (I have zero evidence to support this opinion, in fact the only comentard I know to be real is myself, so things don't bode well for us)

            1. A.P. Veening

              Re: another iteration

              "the only comentard I know to be real is myself"

              Are you having a go at solipsism or are you complementing the AI of El Reg? And that is assuming you are real and not just a figment of my imagination ;)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: a figment of my imagination

                all "this" is a fi(d)gement of our imagination(s),

                I, for example, do not exist, yet I think that I think that I do.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: a figment of my imagination

                  I think I think therefore maybe.

                  1. Spanners Silver badge
                    Boffin

                    Re: a figment of my imagination

                    I am, therefore I think

                    1. Pseudonymous Howard
                      Pint

                      Re: a figment of my imagination

                      If I do not hear myself talk, how can I know what I think?

          2. Wincerind

            Re: another iteration

            "minimum IQ requirement"

            That's no guarantee of anything. I've known some quite intelligent idiots.

            1. tony2heads

              Re: another iteration

              It does happen, but usually people with higher IQ will try to follow a subject they speak about to avoid looking a complete fool

          3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: another iteration

            a candidate's IQs should be visible on the ballot paper

            Given the public's disdain for "experts", that would likely lead to even dumber politicians than the current batch (if that's even possible...)

          4. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: another iteration

            Problem are people like Boris Johnson. No lack of IQ, but total refusal to use it for anything remotely useful.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "people like Boris Johnson. No lack of IQ,..total refusal to use it for anything..useful."

              Don't be silly, he has parlayed his IQ into a very substantial salary (and multiple other income streams) and assiduous cultivation of Tory grass roots to get to be the PM (to the exclusion of actually doing the job when some fool puts him into a Ministerial job).

              On a side note I've met cunning people and smart people.

              Smart people rarely think they are cunning.

              Cunning people often think they are smart.

          5. small and stupid

            Re: another iteration

            Whats IQ got to do with Politics?

            Politics is a mixture of ideology and self-interest.

            Put another way. Lets say you are an average tory*. Meet Professor Redbeard here. His IQ is 30 points higher than you, and he is a revolutionary communist**. Does this convince you to join the revolution?

            * replace with any mainstream political party

            ** replace with any extremist

        3. Kiwi Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: another iteration

          please someone introduce a minimal level of understanding prior to appointment to cabinet posts.

          That's the problem. To qualify as a politician you truly need a minimal level of understanding!

    2. Anne-Lise Pasch

      Re: another iteration

      "You might get away with it if you call it Euroclub Express"

      -- Yes, Minister

    3. David Shaw

      UK already has ID cards, just soft fuzzy ones

      although I'm (this week) still British - as my employer requires me to live outside the UK, I accidentally have little to no data footprint in the UK. A bank account yes, children yes, address, yes, driving license, passport etc yes..

      but when I flew in recently, the oik at Stanstead would not rent me the the hire car that I had booked and paid for.

      I had all my pieces of *hard ID* to give them, even a super code newly minted from t'DVLA on A4, but as he couldnt find me in equifux, or experian , or MI5 or whatever they look mainlanders up in, I wasnt getting the Fiat-500.

      for me, it would be more convenient to have a UK ID card, to add to the stack of other bits of paper/plastic with numbers and my picture and digitally verifiable etc etc, No? No!

      No, these hard IDs manifestly are not trusted, unless the new Tory/Labor 'Council ID', or perhaps 'Poll ID' somehow is online/validated to Equifux, or eXperian , or MI5 , all the time. These databases are also shite, as when my bank pathetically challenges me for online purchase - "Which Road in Glasgow did you live in Mr. Shaw?", "I didn't" is the wrong answer for fuquifux, or neksperian , or ... , but it's actually the real right answer. I am denied many purchases.

      Eventually, pulling out a real hard Eu ID, issued by the local town council, no biometrics, iso14443 light, I got my rental car at the airport - as they could connect me to a cloud of supermarket shopping/loyalty cards.

      I think UK seems to have a bit of a problem with identity, identities, and I don't think a new bit of plastic will solve anything. Didn't a previous gov work out that they have three seriously broken databases, and cannot afford to make one real working one, that is up-to-date, reliable enough to go round arresting people or downgrading their online social status for terrorism for using mathematics or whatever the next problem might be.

      not sure what the answer will be

      I see no point to "get over it", privacy is not quite dead yet, Scott

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: UK already has ID cards, just soft fuzzy ones

        Which car rental company was that? Asking for a friend...

        1. David Shaw

          Re: UK already has ID cards, just soft fuzzy ones

          @Def: It has happened a few times as I have several thousand enforced expat colleagues. Some had problems in Glasgow.

          My case it was easyjet partner Car-rental, bought at the same time as the ticket , so europcar.

          I get around the ‘ghost’ problem now by choosing sixt, and creating a large paper trail with head-office. many of the official “brands” are subcontractors, with a very complex stack of things between customer & car. I suppose they are risk averse.

  2. 0laf Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Here we go again...

    Been involved with government IT for many years. This idea of "just get over it" tends to come in with any minister who sets up a new division and then staffs it with the hip, cool, trendy, inexperienced, overconfident and under 25. The solution for every problem involves "cloud", "Google AI", and "iPads".

    Basically anyone who points out a flaw in the design is shouted down as inhibiting transformation (or other such buzzword shite) and moved aside. Invariably the issued pointed out come to fruition the project collapses in a frenzy of finger pointing. Then everyone moves onto the next project to fuck that up too.

    1. Steve K Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Here we go again...

      You missed "DevOps" and "Agile"

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Here we go again...

        and block chain.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Here we go again...

          Pink Cloud, yep, genuinely.

        2. Pete4000uk

          Re: Here we go again...

          'Multi-cloud' is next

          1. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: 'Multi-cloud' is next

            Nah, next up will be Fog Computing

            1. DaveMcK

              Re: 'Multi-cloud' is next

              as opposed to the flog computing we already have?

      2. spold Bronze badge

        Re: Here we go again...

        If you apply facial recognition to crowds and match it to our ID database you will be able to view them with AR (Augmented Reality - bingo!)... linking to other databases we can have floating AR bubbles above people saying "troublemaker". On the upside if we splice in social media we can have big AR arrows above people saying "arsehole".

        What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

        1. jamm13dodger

          Re: Here we go again...

          Isn't that essentially what China is doing with their Social Credit system?

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Here we go again...

      "Then everyone moves onto the next project to fuck that up too."

      There's your problem right there. Unless serial failure has an impact on the career of the idiot(s) responsible, there is no reason not to glug down whatever kool-aid is on offer this week.

      Something similar appears to be affecting senior management, where incompetence is increasingly rewarded with "another go" somewhere else.

      Meanwhile out in the Real World, people who consistency fuck up eventually end up unable to get another job.

      1. sed gawk

        Re: Here we go again...

        Meanwhile out in the Real World, people who consistency fuck up eventually end up unable to get another job.

        Sadly this is just not true, we are outnumbered by the idiots.

    3. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again...

      And some one 'mis-places' all the data on two DVD's

      To be promoted, way above their station.

      Shudder

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again...

      "The solution for every problem involves "cloud", "Google AI", and "iPads"."

      I think it's a red flag anytime someone refers to any tools as a "solution". Tools aren't solutions. They can be used to create and implement solutions. There's a vast difference between those two things, but marketing people are doing their best to prevent people from understanding that.

    5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      "anyone..points out a flaw..is shouted down..transformation (or other such buzzword shite)

      I smell a briefing by the cabal of data fetishist mandarins in the Home Office.

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Proof

    That comment is total vindication of the idea that today's politicians have not even the most tenuous contact with reality.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Proof

      Give her a day or two and it'll suddenly strike her that Brexit is an excellent idea because it'll remove the need for the shiny new ID system to support UTF.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Proof

        quite the opposite, brexit is a proof it is absolutely ESSENTIAL to have an effective ID system in place to ensure that the system is fair and just for everybody involved and to implement it in a measured and appropriate manner in conjunction with our trusted, reliable partners from the business sector.

        p.s. anything can be a proof for any claim in the world of politicians (truism, sorry). By the way, nice holiday she's had, eh. A couple of months on a dole (rotfl), and then back in business. Perhaps not for long, if mad boris gets his way...

        ...

        TROLL, TROLLL!!! Yes, I'm a Cremlin troll toiling for my rubles :/

  4. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Megaphone

    “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day or it is rotten. The living sap of today outgrows the dead rind of yesterday. The hand entrusted with power becomes, either from human depravity or esprit de corps, the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continued oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot; only by unintermitted agitation can a people be sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.”

    -Wendell Phillips, January 28, 1852

    TL;DR:

    Politicians, like nappies, should be changed frequently and for the same reason.

  5. tfewster Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Three Databases for the NHS under the sky,

    Seven for the Civil Servants in their halls of stone,

    Nine for Security services doomed to lie,

    One for the Home Secretary on his dark throne

    In the Land of Britain where the Shadows lie.

    One Database to rule them all, One Database to find them,

    One Database to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,

    In the Land of Britain where the Shadows lie

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > In the Land of Britain where the Shadows lie

      And their politicians.

    2. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @tfewster

      Bravo, good sir!

      You have my axe!

    3. ArrZarr Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Five great charters knit the land

      Together linked, hand in hand

      One in the people who hold the power

      Two in the folk who heal the sour

      Three and Five became the civil service

      Four engineers this endless circus

    4. SVV Silver badge

      These repeated calls for ID cards linked to national databases by clueless politicians are becoming a bit of a bad hobbit.

  6. Toilet Duk

    This will go well. Vast government IT projects have a magnificent track record of coming in on time, on budget and working flawlessly.

    They can start warming up a jail cell for me too because I'm not carrying any ID card.

    1. onemark03

      @ toilet duk

      If ID cards are introduced, you may not be required to carry one but you will probably be required to obtain one. However, if you fail to do even that, I guarantee you will not end up in the clink: the authorities will simply whack your bank account for the prescribed fine. Cheaper for the them all round: no court trial, no money involved in keeping you as a guest of the UK govt., etc., etc. and grossly inconvenient for you - theoretically to the point of financial ruin/loss of job/loss of apartment etc., etc. You get the idea.

      Sorry, mate, but they've already got that one taped.

      My suggestion: if you're required to obtain one, do so and simply leave it at home in your drawer unless you're required by law to carry one at all times or unless life is deliberately made so difficult that carrying an ID card makes things incredibly easier.

      Don't get me wrong: I don't like the things myself but ultimately the state has ways of making us comply.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: @ toilet duk

        Ms James you say? Can you show me you ID card please. That picture does not look like you. Let me take a closer look. Whoops... it fell in the shredder. Sorry - I cannot help you unless you have an ID card.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ toilet duk

        "Don't get me wrong: I don't like the things myself but ultimately the state has ways of making us comply."

        The only obstacle to people realising that *they* have the power, is their level of awareness (i.e. lack of).

        Too many people cave in because *difficult* - no matter what they are told about where that particular road leads.

        Dumbing down the general population and hooking them on bullshit TV and material posessions was the most effective path for TPTB to take. Unfortunately for them, history teaches us that they will eventually fail.

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