back to article Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

One of the first things Britain's home secretary Theresa May did on taking office was to abolish the previous government’s identity cards scheme. But while she made ID cards history, she is in the process of extending Britain’s range of identity document checks. The "sample" UK ID card from the previous government's 2008 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just tattoo a QR Barcode on you bum ...

    ... so that you can show it to officials when required.

  2. Dinky Carter

    This sort of law is the pits.

    Basically the government is saying "we're too incompetent to control our borders, so now YOU have to weed out the over-stayers, or land up with a fine."

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      That's Theresa May for you.

      She can't get her own house in order (remember that fiasco with her border staff just letting everyone through because they were "under staffed"), so she's very neatly trying to sweep the problem under someone elses rug.

      Most landlords have a hard enough time maintaining their properties. They have neither the time, nor the qualifications to verify the identity and eligibility of someone to stay in the UK. Hell, if the Home Office itself can't figure out who's legally entitled to live in the UK, how is a landlord?

      1. Don Dumb

        Re: That's Theresa May for you.

        Classic Tory thinking -

        Landlords, "good people, probably have titles"

        Tennants - "ghastly, could be anyone."

        I wouldn't be so annoyed about laws checking tennants if there were also laws forcing the 'landlord' to prove who they are and that they own the property or room they are renting out. I've been burnt by that particular fraud myself.

        It seems that the old fashioned, out of touch Tory thinking is still very much the way. It reminds me of a Tory MP quote during the fuel panic "just get some extra fuel and store it in your garage" - because anyone who matters has a garage.

        Disclaimer - I'm not a Labour supporter or feircely left wing, I don't even disapprove of all Cameron/current Tory policy. However the current Tory party do seem to be enforcing the out of touch, posh git stereotypes.

        1. M Gale

          Re: That's Theresa May for you.

          Hah, I think the best one I heard was over the plans to introduce a carrier bag tax. The plonker being interviewed said "Well, you don't have to buy anything."

          Really? Does one get one's butler to shop for one? Or is this simply stating that you're right, you don't have to buy anything, including food, as survival is not legally mandatory?

          Idiot in either case.

          1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: That's Theresa May for you.

            Or you bring a bag that you re-use. If you're walking your food any distance a pack is nice.

            Works just fine in the Netherlands. 25c gets you a decent quality plastic bag at the supermarket, or there are boxes for free, or they sell re-usable shopping bags. Retail stores just pass it on in general prices, much like gift wrap. It's not like you buy a laptop, and they stick 25c on the bill for the bag.

            It is of course a very Tory tax policy. Lots of small bits from the many, rather than collecting from the wealthy few. It's why even the mere suggestion of a wealth tax caused them to both deride it, and then flip the same policies back onto the Labour/Lib voters. Doing too well of the public teat? That's fine if you live in a Mayfair mansion, but you're out of luck if you live in Brumly and your kid is serving in the 'stan. That spare bedroom is paid for by the taxpayer don'cha knowit. We're a bit short of cash after spending unimaginable fortunes bailing out the gamblers when they lost. When they won they bought mansions in Mayfair. Or careers in politics.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's Theresa May for you.

          "the current Tory party do seem to be enforcing the out of touch, posh git stereotypes."

          Out of a Coalition Cabinet of 30 or so (not all Tories, obviously), there were initially 23 millionaires [1].

          I don't suppose any of them have recent experienced a routine PAYE job where your wages are carp and your job security is nil.

          When an MP loses the their job (when the electorate gets wise) they have a very nice financial cushion. When the rest of us lose our job, generally we're out of luck and we're "scroungers not strivers" from day 1.

          We are told to believe that this is a "representative democracy".

          Representative of Eton and Oxbridge, perhaps.

          Remember, we're all in this together.

          I see November 5th went by again and they're all still here.

          Scum.

          [1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/election/article-1280554/The-coalition-millionaires-23-29-member-new-cabinet-worth-1m--Lib-Dems-just-wealthy-Tories.html

          Of the 29 Ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings, 23 have assets and investments estimated to be worth more than £1million.

          1. LazyLazyman

            Re: That's Theresa May for you.

            I'm no fan of the government, but I don't like contrived "facts" and impotent rage:

            "Of the 29 Ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings, 23 have assets and investments estimated to be worth more than £1million."

            Thats not the same as being rich. Many middle aged people on modest incomes have "assets and investments" worth over £1million. Between a average middle class house and 2 modest pension pots a couple in there 50's could easily have that. They still would not be rich, or living a life of luxury, or able to not worry about loosing there jobs.

            The causes behind high house prices and large pension funds of the baby boomers is a different question, but not something unique, or even unusual, in MPs have over £1million in assets and investments. If anything given the pay of an MP (£65k) and age it is surprising that some who have been around long enough to get in tot he cabinet DON'T have that kind of wealth, whatever party is in power.

          2. PJI

            Re: That's Theresa May for you.

            "We are told to believe that this is a "representative democracy".

            Representative of Eton and Oxbridge, perhaps.

            Remember, we're all in this together."

            Remind me: who votes for them? Not that I do not agree in a sense, particularly in that they have forgotten who votes for them and that wealth is no longer a prerequisite to get the vote.

            A country gets the politicians it deserves (votes or abstains for).

            1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

              Re: That's Theresa May for you.

              Yeah, that's right mate....you can vote for anyone you like... Eton OR Oxbridge!

              A country gets the politicians its allowed to vote for.

            2. Vic

              Re: That's Theresa May for you.

              > Remind me: who votes for them?

              Hardly anyone.

              That doesn't stop them claiming a "majority", though...

              > wealth is no longer a prerequisite to get the vote.

              It is, however, a prerequisite for determining which options are available to voters. And if you control the question, you control the answer...

              Vic.

          3. MrXavia

            Re: That's Theresa May for you. @AC

            "Of the 29 Ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings, 23 have assets and investments estimated to be worth more than £1million."

            That is no shock really, as most people who want to be an MP would be people who do not NEED a job anymore, the big problem is that these MP's are out of touch with reality not that they have plenty of assets..

            I have to agree though that Theresa May is totally out of touch, she is probably no 1 on my short list for the B-Ark. Theresa May is an enemy of freedom and an enemy of Human Rights.

        3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: That's Theresa May for you.

          "I wouldn't be so annoyed about laws checking tennants if there were also laws forcing the 'landlord' to prove who they are and that they own the property or room they are renting out. I've been burnt by that particular fraud myself."

          There are surely? I know at least where I live now that for a couple of euro I can get the details of who owns a property. I did find in the UK that as soon as anyone realised I might know anything about rental law, the place would become unavailable. Even asking which deposit insurance scheme they use ("that's not any of your business") has caused me to be asked to leave.

          The whole "fake rental" scam seems to work because normal renting is so scammy. Hand me you rent, your rent in advance, and your contribution to my pension fund, I mean deposit. Then I'll only see you again if someones being turfed out or the rents not shown up. It's one of the reasons to pay by credit card or cheque, if they insist on cash walk away.

          Just signed the paperwork on my first house. Cannot wait to be done with landlords.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's Theresa May for you.

        It won't be the landlords that will suffer here, it'll be the tenants. Expect an extra £50 charge for use of a third party identity checking service when renting a new property, on top of the standard reference checking charges, 2 months deposit, 'professional clean', admin fee etc.

      3. paulc

        Re: That's Theresa May for you.

        I seem to recall that a previous Home Office Minister (Baroness Scotland) got caught out employing an illegal...

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8260088.stm

        that article is highly relevant to the current article here... :)

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      More than this it probably means anyone who is illegal will live in slums run by gangs because no reputable landlord will wish to risk having a tenant who is illegal.

  3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Stop

    Yawn.

    So your desperate shoveling amounts to a requirement for landlords to verify FOREIGNERS, not UK citizens; UK air companies - yeah, we all take flights every day; an hotel law which is openly ignored - I often stay in hotels across the UK every year for work and I have NEVER been asked for any ID other than a credit card for the bill; and very select and special circumstances such as a Palace party. Would you like to borrow a bulldozer to help you make a mountain out of that molehill?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. joeldillon

      Re: Yawn.

      How is a landlord supposed to verify a foreigner's right to stay without asking ID of everyone, foreign or not? 'You don't sound foreign, I won't bother checking' doesn't cut it under law. All renters, British or not, will have to show ID to prove they aren't foreign or are foreign and entitled to stay.

      1. PJI
        WTF?

        Re: Yawn.

        How would a passport verify someone's right to live in UK? Or do they mean see the residence visa? Who will train the landlords to recognise one? Will UK subjects be refused because they have not got a residence visa? Or a passport?

        Why not just bite the bullet and issued voluntary identity cards conforming to the European standard (as plastic driving licences do) and authorised by the government in the same way as passports? Living in Switzerland and having been accepted as a Swiss citizen, I immediately applied for my Swiss identity card (voluntary). It is invaluable: whenever I have to prove who I am (never yet been asked by the police!), I have it in my wallet. If I cross a border into EU land, including Great Britain and to several other countries, such as Turkey and non-EU East European countries, I just show my card - no creased, water-damaged, dog-eared, too-big-for-my-pocket passport. It's easier, quicker to check, machine friendly, cheaper to get or replace and I no longer have to get copies of the gas bill, a recent bank statement or other, more personal document.

        Of course, I could refuse one, then pay for a passport or find some other, clumsy way of showing the bank or some English internal airline or the pub or off-licence who I am and so on. But why bother? The identity card is recognised by every country, accepted by all and actually gives away less about me than a copy of my bank statement, my driving licence or even my gas bill. The same people who objected so strongly to a card probably used a network login to an American server to use email or twitter or some such to register their disquiet. That, of course, is totally private, anonymous and safe.

        1. Starkadder

          Re: Yawn.

          Those of us who objected to the last government's ID card scheme mostly had no trouble with the idea of an ID card per se (it contained the same info as a passport, after all). It was the monstrous register that was going to record every online use of the cards that stuck in our gullets. There were intended to be plenty of those, and the system would keep the records for all time. "We know where you've been buster, pay up or we'll tell your wife". Cardholders could look at the records, although the procedures for error correction and dispute resolution were vague? But the Security Service, UKBA, HMRC and (probably) anyone wearing a helmet could also look at your records without your knowledge. No thanks.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn.

      and very select and special circumstances such as a Palace party

      I've actually been to a Palace reception (Quee's Award for Technology event, Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Kent and in entrance line we shook all their hands, also Prime Minster and various other ministers in attendance) and recall being surprised by the almost complete lack of security .... was a mirror check of underside of the car we came in but apart from I think showing the official invite there was no check that we actually were that person and I don't seem to recall anything like a metal detector check either! Note, this was during the first Gulf War and while PIRA were still active!

    4. nsld
      Facepalm

      Re: Yawn.

      Unfortunately Matt under the Immigration Act 2006 you actually have to verify everyone, particularly with regards to employment so as not to discriminate.

      The only way that Landlords can comply without risking a charge of discrimination is to check everyone, and then repeat the checks every 12 months to ensure the person still has the right to stay in the UK.

      And that's before you consider secure document storage as colour copies of passports and leave to remain paperwork are valuable in themselves for identity theft.

      I would suggest that until you have personally had to deal with the system and the amount of crap involved with remaining compliant your opinion based on your singular personal experience has little value.

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Re: Yawn.

        My guess would be the requirements would be similar to the KYC financial regulations. As long as a landlord has a copy of [insert document] on file (s)he has done her/his best to verify the status of the applicant. If it looks okay (as in not a letter from the tenant's mum for example) then you'd be in the clear.

        As the article says the number of landlords (or indeed anyone) able to spot a fake ID from the myriad on offer will be insanely low.

        Don't forget how many MPs are also landlords - them getting it wrong would be newsworthy (witness illegal immigrant cleaners in the past for example) so you can't make the barrier too high for their sake.

      2. Adrian Midgley 1

        Colour copies of passports

        are illegal, IIRC.

    5. peter 45

      Re: Yawn.

      What. You mean you have NEVER been asked to fill in th bit on the registration form stating your nationality?

    6. peter 45

      Re: Yawn.

      What. You mean you have NEVER been asked to fill in th bit on the registration form stating your nationality? Hmmmmmm.

    7. Rukario
      Headmaster

      Re: Yawn.

      @Matt: "an hotel law which is openly ignored"

      Cue the grammar nazis...

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @matt Bryant

      I do hope your other writings are better informed.

      1. I used to be an "official". You would be surprised how often identity is verified, or at least tried to be identified.

      2. I now live abroad: whenever I visit Great Britain, I am constantly having to prove who I am: internal flights, some types of railway ticket, banks. That is after getting through immigration. I am white, blue-grey eyes, fair, native English speaker, born and bred in GB. My children, living there, between the ages of 25 and 36, all carry their passports all the time as they are asked for "ID" in the off-licence, in the pub, in the supermarket, the bank, festivals, music events, clubs …, as do many of their friends - expensive as the documents get worn out long before they expire. I have stayed in bed and breakfast and in hotels across Britain: I always have to sign a register and even if paying cash in advance, have to show a credit card or similar as "ID".

      Perhaps you are so used to it, you do not notice; or perhaps you do not get out as much as you imagine. When I ask friends and family about it, they all just accept it as part and parcel of normal life, barely noticing anymore.

      So, "they" are winning: complacency rules.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's people like you

    Who let things like this happen with comments like "While Newquay’s strict rules can be understood as a reaction to the tragic results" What? About 5 years ago 2 people died, so it's fine to inconvenience everybody and waste millions on ID and extra policing in case we can stop someone else dying. People die every day, it's a natural part of life.

    Next you'll be telling us that spending millions following someone about because they might go to Somalia and add one extra potential terrorist to the countries hundreds if not thousands already in place is a great idea, rather than arresting and imprisoning him. Oh, I forgot, he hasn't done anything that the police can convict him for!

    This is all about Control over the UK population, just in case we see through their shite and decide there's a better way of being governed and you're part of this problem. Part of this Control is the "war" on terror, it hasn't saved any lives, it's just exported even the death to somewhere else and extered another form of Control in the UK.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: It's people like you

      In the Newquay case it's more likely to be fear of another drunk teenager falling off a cliff, after which the ambulance-chasing no-win-no-fee lawtards will be advising the parents, and everyone else who saw it, to sue the council for compensation on the grounds that "it happened before and they've not done anything."

      If the judges had the spine to tell these parasitic legal scum where to put their legal qualifications the whole country would be better off.

  5. Chuunen Baka

    I fly between Heathrow and Belfast City often. At City they always call flights with "have your boarding pass and photo id ready". BMI (now, BA) never actually ask for id at the gate but Aer Lingus insist. When I asked why, I was told it was a "legal requirement".

    1. Yet Another Commentard

      Interesting, BMI from the Isle of Man to and from the UK insist upon photo ID. I have no idea why there would be a difference.

      Consistency - we've heard of it.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      On flights back from Belfast people would often be asked for their ID on the jetway by a couple of men in suits with no obvious uniform or ID. Asking them why was met with a "just hand it over sonny"

    3. Trainee grumpy old ****

      Many moons ago there was a spell where, at least once a month, I used to fly BMI Baby from a southern UK airport to Glasgow (and back) for work. Invariably on the way out the check-in person would leaf through my well stamped and stickered double-booklet non-EU passport to the extent that I once told one of them "Scotland doesn't require visas yet". Funnily enough on the way back the check-in person rarely bothered with more than a cursory glance.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should also be noted if you go to those shitty night clubs / pubs in London (and I expect other cities) you'll be required to show ID to get in regardless of how old you look. I'd say about 30% require ID no matter what and some of those will take a copy of it. I generally use it as a good gauge of clubs/bars not to go to.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Red Bren
      Pirate

      ID for night clubs

      "Should also be noted if you go to those shitty night clubs / pubs in London (and I expect other cities) you'll be required to show ID to get in regardless of how old you look."

      Last time I went clubbing in the capital, I was well over the legal drinking age, but not only did I have to show my ID, they also wanted me to hand over some ID of the Queen before they could determine if the venue was full or not.

  7. Glostermeteor

    Some rules do need to be tightened

    I fly within the UK fairly often, mostly between London and Edinburgh, and I was actually pretty shocked that no identification of any kind was required to board a flight. No Passport, Driving License......nothing. While some people may say why do you need ID to go from one part of the UK to another especially when you can go on a train without ID. I think flying is fundamentally different, you are basically flying on board something that can be used as a massive bomb. If you want to hijack a plane, hijacking a domestic flight is probably what you would go and do (its what the 9/11 hijackers did in the US). A plane flying into a building doesn't care whether its a domestic flight or not, the result is the same. So I think for domestic flights you should have to present some ID even if its a driving license rather than a passport.

    I do however disagree with these new immigration checks for landlords, its onerous and pointless. Ultimately why is it the landlords problem if someone is there illegally?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

      "...could be used as a massive bomb..."

      Oh god, save us from ourselves.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

      What? Seriously?

      How exactly does a photo ID have any bearing on how likely or not somebody is to hijack an aircraft?

      You are a prime example of how Governments oppress and subjugate their population - by convincing them that "pink is a fruit", to give a harmless example.

      "We need photo ID before flying to stop terrorism"

      "We need to strip-search everyone flying to stop terrorism"

      "We need to sedate everyone and fly them unconscious to stop terrorism"

      "We need to lock everyone up if they look a bit foreign"

      1. Anomalous Cowshed

        Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

        The bit about sedating I would not be against, given how much I hate flying, especially the turbulence. Maybe they could set up a voluntary sedation service. They could have announcements in the airport along the lines of "Anyone wanting sedation please step over here" or "Please join the 'sedation' queue if you require sedation during your flight. They might sedate people BEFORE the 'security' checks, so that this way, with a special "I am sedated, let me through' card, and a fee of £10 (call it a tax or a bribe, call it whatever you want!) you could avoid having to go through the bogus security checks and just proceed at a stately pace on a mattress conveyed by a conveyor belt up to the aircraft, only to wake up at the destination at a 'de-sedation' station, completely relaxed.

        Disclaimer: THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY VIEWS ABOUT THE MAIN TOPIC OF ID, LET THERE BE NO MISUNDERSTANDINGS

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

          if you require sedation during your flight

          I self-sedate, at least on those airlines that still hand out free drinks...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

          "The bit about sedating I would not be against, given how much I hate flying, especially the turbulence. Maybe they could set up a voluntary sedation service.."

          Argh, I am fine with the flying bit, but the airport bit stresses me immensely. I don't like the crowds, and I don't like being dependant on the whims of so many layers of ill-informed cretins.

          Hell, you just need the printer in the machine that prints boarding cards to be a bit crap, and make stripey output, and you cause a massive jobsworth wave that means you need bloody sedation. Every single barrier involves fifteen minutes of explaining the same things VERY SLOWLY before you can then get through and onto your arsing flight. (...aaand breathe, true story)

          At least by the time you get on the plane, you have a seat that's yours and other people can fuck off out of the way, and you can jam earplugs in your ears to block out the screaming babies. The plane plunging into doom from a great height stressses me a lot less than the concept of having to deal with malfunctioning airport cretins.

        3. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

          Plane you are sedated on has undercarriage deployment problems and has to hard land. Sparks are created and the plane begins to burn. Awake passengers disembark down the slides. You and your fellow sedated people die from smoke inhalation in your sleep. That is if the g forces in the hard landing don't injure you of course.

          The authorities want you to be awake and alert on takeoff and landing for good reasons.

      2. NinjasFTW

        Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

        And the tactic works all too well.

        I had a conversation with my mother not that long ago that I started by moaning about having to take my belt off when going through an airport checkpoint.

        I said that next they will be wanting us to strip naked and then fly in airline provided surgical gowns.

        My mum replied that so long as it keeps us safe from terrorism that's ok.

        I'm still not sure whether to be angry or depressed at her attitude.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          WTF?

          Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

          > My mum replied that so long as it keeps us safe from terrorism that's ok.

          Are you sure she wasn't being sarcastic?

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: My flights

      No idea on my first flight as that was on a RAF Comet

      But a few years ago I went to Belfast from Birmingham.

      Driving licence was taken but I don't think it was even checked.

      Ferry to Ireland Fishguard Rosslaire - just drove on and off, get excited by 100 limit then told km/h not mph

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

      Aeroplanes different from trains? Say that in Madrid, I think it was, where a bomb did more damage to more people and property for longer than most bombs. The American ones are extreme cases and I am sure the pirates who seized control had perfect "ID".

      Perhaps all car drivers should show "ID" before entering the car: car bombs seem to be two a penny in some places and have been popular in UK in the recent past. Hmm. Perhaps showing ID would have stopped the bombs that destroyed a large part of Manchester city centre or the Birmingham Bullring or that pub in Guildford. How about ID for the London Underground or buses". Those bombs were not exactly harmless. Then, pedestrians and cyclists. A couple of bombs under the right motorway junctions, placed by a casual walker could paralyse half the country; the perpetrators would not have to buy a ticket even.

      What stupid reasoning.

      As for controlling immigration: is this the same government telling us we must accept more immigration to make up for lack of "skilled" workers and young tax payers? Telling China our doors are open? Recruiting nurses in the Philippines? Computer staff from India? Financial types from USA? Even senior policemen from USA as Cameron seems to believe that being British disqualifies one from being capable and being from a country notorious for its crime rate is a mark of ability? Rather than restore our education system to educate children properly and provide free university places (as before Blair) to enable them to be educated without fear of life long debt and added bureaucracy. No, silly idea: keep them unemployed and import the educated people we need - cheaper all round.

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

      "So I think for domestic flights you should have to present some ID"

      Why? To make easier to identify the bodies?

      Anyone intent on "doing a 9/11" isn't going to be too worried about using fake ID

    6. Sarah Balfour

      Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

      The only ID the 9/11 'hijackers' required was from the Pentagon. I CANNOT BELIEVE there's someone erudite enough to read El Reg who STILL believes that 9/11 was anything other than an inside job designed to garner support for the illegal Iraqi invasion.

      And here was I thinking I was amongst like-minded erudite, urbane and sociopolitically aware entities... Looks like I may have to revise that opinion.

      As for ID, I have none; I have a disability which precludes me from holding a driving licence, and I can't afford a new passport (where they think a disabled person who, by accident of misfortune, happens to be stuck in probably one of - if not THE - most expensive area in the entire country - is going to find £200+ I've no fecking idea! My financial situation is somewhat precarious; I stand to lose more than 50% of what they currently permit me because, when they introduce PIP (personal 'independence' payment - which is a total farce as many disability charities and organisations reckon that less than 0.1% of those currently in receipt of DLA will qualify! 'Independence payment', my arse!)).

      Even if I COULD afford a new passport, I'm not sure I'd apply for one as, the way this country is rapidly becoming a 21st century version of '30s Germany applying would probably be an extremely invasive experience (full cavity searches I shouldn't wonder!).

      Call me paranoid if you will, but we all know this ain't a democracy (it's not even pretending anymore!).

      This will only begin to resemble summat like a democracy when we get shot of those parasitic inbreds! A 'democratic monarchist state' is an oxymoron.

      Okay, rant over. Hopefully, you're all used to me and my Opinions by now... XXX <3

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had full id but I was still denied...

    I turned up at Luton Airport from my work abroad, I had a reserved rental car from _____ , I produced my internet easyjet car booking, my UK passport, my UK driving license AND the fiddly paper-bit, my UK credit-card - the rental guy did some typing - computer says no.

    'Nah mate - can't rent you this car, you've got no data footprint in the UK' - but even tho I had a handful of tangible, valid, legal hard identity tokens I was being denied a service in the UK due to a missing soft-identity. This has happened at different UK airports to colleagues of mine with a similar work situation, nominally being based in the UK, including a postal address - but required by my employer to be physically present overseas. I have no debts in UK, no mortgage, but I do have full bank account.

    This explains parenthetically why I could never guess the stupid Braklays Bonk/Experian captchas when trying to buy stuff online, I guess my credit-file is pure junk, I've never lived in any of the addresses that it throws-up, but that's not an option that leads to a completed shopping purchase.

    Welcome to the digital age, forget this irrelevant token based hard id, GIVE US YOUR METADATA!

    1. corestore

      Re: I had full id but I was still denied...

      Interesting and probably illegal; discrimination.

      If you had had a foreign passport, foreign driving license etc etc you wouldn't have been *expected* to have a UK 'data footprint' of course, and there would have been no problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I had full id but I was still denied...

        I was on my way to an ISO/IEC Standards working group meeting on Machine Readable Travel Documents hosted by the Home Office! When I mentioned this discrimination to the meeting it was pointed out by an expert from the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik that, as others below have mentioned, it's purely due to Blighty's lack of a population register. "This would never happen in Germany!"

        We can take from this that UK does have a 'virtual' population register - service offered by the Data-Broker community.....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          This would never happen in Germany!

          "...it's purely due to Blighty's lack of a population register. "This would never happen in Germany!"

          Well, on the other side Germany's cities and district offices who hold the population registers make quite a bit of money by selling address data to companies, with little leeway for individuals to prevent this.

          The only reason for the existence of population registers in Germany is that it gives the state more control over its citizens. Dare you living somewhere without anyone knowing.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This would never happen in Germany!

            I thought it was more to do with taxes, and somewhat to do with levels of legal autonomy. It's more about the equivalent of local councils being able to collect payments for utilities based on who uses them.

            In the Netherlands at least, you have to register if you're staying in an area (over 4 months I think is considered staying rather than visiting) and there are firm rules on where you can and can't register from. Essentially you have to be a tenant or owner of some residential property.

            If you're registered as living there, getting tax and ID is pretty easy. They have a digital ID that acts as a formal ID for online interactions like applying for university, getting bank accounts or insurance.

            This might sound a little crazy, but I put more faith in the German or Dutch states wanting my data for good purposes, like planning and supplying services. Not that any of my data is ever going to be private from a State :)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This would never happen in Germany!

            >>The only reason for the existence of population registers in Germany is that it gives the state more control over its citizens. Dare you living somewhere without anyone knowing.

            You are joking? UK has the electoral roll and companies trawl through that all the time, no cost I believe. I imagine you have got a National Insurance Number, since birth and, if you ever have a child, you may be pleased by the sudden attention you receive from firms selling items for new parents. Do you pay taxes? Drive a motor vehicle? Live in a house or flat?

            I live, now, in another country where we are all registered. In practice, I feel much more free as I am not asked constantly who and what I am and, if I do need some state service, it is much faster and more efficient to provide it to me. I certainly seem to be less subject to petty checks and questions than in UK, where every jumped-up petty bureaucrat, private or state, and policeman demands that I prove who I am at the drop of a hat, because I could be a terrorist or a con man or "rules".

            All that UK does is fragment the system between state and private (barely regulated) bodies, creating endless scope for abuse, mistakes, duplication, irritation and inefficiency. This gives the worst of all worlds, with bells on. Google and Tesco are the only ones really good at pulling this all into one place and having accurate data on just about everyone in the country, probably including most illegal immigrants.

    2. Dr Wadd

      Re: I had full id but I was still denied...

      Another supposedly "useful" data footprint is now apparently your credit record. A while back the local council were questioning whether I was eligible for the single occupancy discount on my council tax (I am). They were arguing that they weren't sure if I was actually living at the address in question, or if anyone else was living there. There explanation for raising these questions was because they were unable to locate any recent credit activity at that address. This was for a very good reason, I'd engaged in no activity in recent years that would result in a credit check. It took a reasonably lengthy fight with the council and getting my local councillor involved to get them to back down and stop demanding "evidence" I refused to provide, primarily because, as I explained to them, it would be trivially simple to produce "evidence" that calmed their fears but did not objectively prove that I was entitled to the discount.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I had full id but I was still denied...

      Ever tried Lloyds Bank International's telephone banking? Many questions, all answered truthfully and then told that they can not verify you - every time. Now they tell me, to do certain transactions one can use ONLY telephone banking, not even a signed letter or email.

  9. Silver
    FAIL

    What on earth?

    "Rob Andrew, joint project manager for the partnership, says that the town’s venues saw the wide range of Pass-approved card designs as confusing."

    Maybe I'm missing something blindingly obvious ... but why on earth did the Pass scheme not mandate one single design (or possibly two, depending on the age bracket) for all cards produced?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What on earth?

      Was n't that the national Identity Card that our freedom-loving parliament vetoed in favour of the much more pervasive, confusing and hidden collection of much more data? Anyway, think of all the money to be made by private issuers, the state for passports etc. and so on. Think of all the loopholes now open for the state or any private firm to deny you something or suspect you because your particular form of identity paper is not recognised.

  10. Joshua Murray

    Seaman Books...

    ... /chuckle

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seaman Books...

      He came earlier than Seaman Stains.

  11. Ted Treen
    Big Brother

    Humph!

    At 63, I'm past the age where pubs & baccy shops ask for proof of age.

    I have neither a Passport nor a Driving Licence.

    Big Brother can go take a flying f***.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Humph!

      Past the age? Don't you believe it. No sireeeeee....

      My local ASDA asked for my ID a few months ago when I tried to buy a bottle of wine (yeah I know but they were the only place open at the time). I'm 60 years old. They quoted all sorts of laws that require then to get positive ID. I asked to see the min writing. Naturally a standoff ensued. Even the manager said, 'I can see you are over 25 but I am afraid it is more than my jobsworth to sell you the wine without positive proof.

      ASDA shops countrywide are not on my personal DO NOT SHOP list. Tesco joined them earlier this week.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Humph!

        Past the age? Don't you believe it. No sireeeeee....

        Our local Waitrose has just been "upgraded" and among the changes is "improved QuickCheck/QuickPay" terminals. One of the "improvements" is that if you have the temerity to attempt to purchase alcohol via QuickCheck then lights start flashing and the screen tells you to wait for an assistant to come to vaerify your age (n.b. to use QuickCheck you have had to use a credit card to release the scanner when you arrived and then again to identify yourself to the quick check machine). This is just one of the increasingly long list of aspects of our "new improved Watirose" that we've found to be much worse than it was before the changes (and its only been reopenned for 4 days!)

      2. Don Dumb

        Re: Humph!

        Don't expect to have any places left that you can shop.

        I've been IDed in most decent places recently (but so far not Sainsbury's, I imagine that is simply down to luck). I'm healthy and in my 30's, so I don't look old but do not have the appearance of a teenager. I never agree that I "shouldn't take offence" at being asked to prove that I'm older than my mid-teens. It may be a (sort of) compliment for women but being called possibly a 17 year old is an INSULT to men in their twenties and older. Especially when challenged by someone much younger.

        Challenge 21/25/200, is stupid, asking someone who looks much older than the legal age to prove that they are in fact older than the legal age. And then refusing them if they happen to be with someone who cannot proove their age as well. It's especially annoying when the sales clerk says "you look much older than 18, but it's challenge 25 here", they know I'm of legal age but still have to check because I might be a different age. It seems to be just enforcing a policy of ID for alcohol for everyone but by the back door.

        1. Andrew Norton

          Re: Humph!

          Sorry Don, I'm mid-30s and get ID's all the time, because people think I'm 14-15.

          Which REALLY annoys my 17yo, because she never get's ID'd

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Humph!

            I grew a beard in the end to stop being asked for ID, mid 30's now so no idea if I still look like a teenager without one...

      3. JaitcH
        Thumb Up

        Re: Humph!

        On my last trip to a UK supermarket, one older lush had the answer.

        Get a plastic cup, park yourself in the corner table facing the wall. Then surreptitiously fill it from a bottle purloined from the booze section.

        I was sitting there 'stretching' what they called 'coffee' and the guy finished the whole bottle before I finished my drink!

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Humph!

        Me too! Just arrived back in the UK after 15 years and was asked for ID in Asda to purchase a bottle of wine and I am 62 - obviously don't look a day over 16!

        Can't wait to leave - and this time won't be back.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Humph!

          I don't think they can enforce this. Correct me if I'm wrong but if I offer to pay for my purchases and they refuse to accept it (for whatever reason) I may leave with the items in my bag and it's their responsibility to send me an invoice.

          I did this once a few years ago after waiting thirty minutes for a till to be fixed. In the end I got an apologetic letter from the manager and was allowed to keep my shopping for free.

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: Humph!

            > Correct me if I'm wrong but if I offer to pay for my purchases and they refuse to accept it (for whatever reason) I may leave with the items in my bag and it's their responsibility to send me an invoice.

            You're wrong.....

            The shop has the right to refuse to serve anyone, for any reason, they don't even have to tell you the reason (and if they do, they might open themselves up to charges of discrimination).

            Tangent: Actually, it's all a little bit weird. You'll often hear people say "Well the shelf says it's £x.xx so you have to sell it at that price". In reality, from a legal sense, the price on the shelf is considered an offer to negotiate. Most shops will just adjust the price if the shelf is showing lower (because deliberately mislabelling would upset Trading Standards) but they don't actually have to.

            The point is, you offering to pay for something isn't enough. The retailer has to be willing to enter into the contract to (that, after all is what a sale is - exchange of a consideration for goods/services). If they're not willing, then you walking out without paying is theft.

            You'd hope most retailers would take the sensible line and apologise and/or invoice, but you're really opening yourself up if you do this too regularly, they could equally well decide that they can't be arsed with invoicing and report you for shoplifting instead.

            IANAL, but did study law a little while back

            1. Matt 21

              Re: Humph!

              I don't think you're right about the shelf price thing. I worked in a super market as a student and we were told that we had to charge the display price (be it a shelf price or in those days a sticker price) or the shop could face a hefty fine. In fact the shop where I worked was done for this at least once.

              I think the "invitation to treat' holds true and they don't have to sell something at an obviously wrong price but otherwise it could come under "The Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations" so most shops will charge the lower price rather than risk a prosecution/pissing off the customer.

    2. Don Dumb

      Re: Humph!

      Only for now. Challenge 25 has risen to challenge 30 in some shops and for anyone you are with. Supermarkets seem to be the worst, but of course that won't stop underage drinking, so challenge 35 will come into affect, then challenge 40, etc. At a rate faster than 5 years I'd guess.

    3. dogged

      Re: Humph!

      During the height of the "knifecrime" government distraction - I mean, hysteria - I was asked for ID in Tesco for buying some serving spoons, because knifecrime!

      a) I'm 43 (and I look it)

      b) They're fucking spoons.

      At that point, I decided expecting anything other than a particularly petty police state was folly.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Humph!

        A valid response to being denied for not having your entire life printed on government approved and stamped documentation when at a supermarket checkout is to say

        "That's fine. I'll come back later when you've come to your senses" and leave your full trolley for them to put all the stuff back on the shelves.

        Rinse and repeat.

        1. Captain Hogwash
          Thumb Up

          Re: Humph! @ Sir Runcible Spoon

          You, Sir, deserve to be elevated far above the lowly position of Knight.

      2. Andy Miller

        Re: Humph!

        I was in a branch of a well known DIY store with my 12-year old son. They seem to only have self check-out tills these days. Being 12 he wanted to put the items through the till. All was well until we came to a set of putty knives (about 100mm long and made of flexible plastic). For this the till needed approval. The large, steel brick bolster had gone through without complaint....

        PS B&Qs self service tills are by far the worse I have ever used. They are a complete heap of junk.....

        1. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Humph!

          Our B&Q still has ONE checkout desk and I use that regardless of the queue as a form of protest at lost jobs. Checkout jobs may not be wonderful but they are still jobs. Our Sainsburys has yet to install even one self checkout but I expect it is only a matter of time. I will boycott it when it comes in. The Co-Op show no sign of introducing them and I have never been asked for ID there. It might help that I'm a member and carry my Co-Op card at all times so they know who I am.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Knifecrime

        During the knifecrime hysteria I sent my 14 yr old son to a local hardware store (one of the larger chains) to buy a roll of plastics cord for my grass trimmer. They told him that he is not allowed to buy a string of plastics at his age.

    4. Havin_it
      Trollface

      @Ted Treen Re: Humph!

      >At 63, I'm past the age where pubs & baccy shops ask for proof of age.

      Also, you're, y'know, a Treen. Nobody's seen your sort since about the early '90s, so it's reasonable to assume you're of age.

  12. tkioz

    I honestly don't get the full on hate for 'ID cards'. Honestly I'd love if Australia brought out a Federal ID card. I recently became legally blind and had to hand in my drivers licence... coz you know can't drive anymore.

    Trust me, you really, really, miss having access to the defacto ID card that is a drivers licence. Passports just aren't as easy to carry around (if you've got a current one, which I don't), and other ID is hit and miss if it will be accepted, and even when it is it's generally not worth as 'much' as a drivers licence.

    Try opening a bank account recently without a drivers licence? It's hellish.

    I can understand people not wanting to have a mandatory ID scheme in place, especially those that grew up under dictatorships, but honestly an optional government recognised ID would be worth it's weight in gold. Hell they could even offer one that had all your different government 'permits' (drivers, truck, firearms, etc.) all on the same card.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      re: hate for ID

      it's simple - this is Britain. The basic principle is that everyone is free to do what they want, without interference by the state, so long as they are not actually breaking the law. If I want to buy X (unless it's a gun) and I have legal tender to pay for it, it's no-ones business but my own what my name is.

      Providing there is no intent to defraud then I can legally call myself anything I want, so what is the point of ID? The concept of 'fake' ID is an interesting one once you realise that - if I have an ID card that says my name is Zaphod Beeblebrox and my date of birth is 3 days after my actual DOB, then that IS a valid ID providing that I'm calling myself Zaphod when I use it, providing I'm not using it to claim that today is my birthday and I'm entitled to a free pizza (which would be fraudulent).

      1. tkioz

        Re: re: hate for ID

        Oh please, services and companies ask for ID all the time. Don't just go saying "This is Britain, we're free". Stop living in the 19th century.

        A national ID that is mandated to be accepted as valid ID would do nothing but make life easier for people.

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: re: hate for ID

          But the point is that all these people asking for ID frequently have no right or justification for doing so. This is the 21st century, but the basic principles of the law are still the same.

          1. JonP

            Re: re: hate for ID

            Rights & justification - lol. Rights can easily* be changed & justification is whatever they say it is.

            *except on rare occasions when some politicians act like they've actually got principles...

            It's all very well saying this is Britain and you can do what you like within in the law, but let's face it these days that isn't very much.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: re: hate for ID

              ===== This is Britain ….

              That must be why some people had difficulty taking photographs in public places.

              That must be why police visit people because some silly neighbour thought someone's behaviour "odd".

              That must be why men near a school or playground had better be prepared to justify why they are relaxing on a bench, in the sunshine, reading a book.

              That must be why police meet trains of holiday makers arriving in Newquay to reject or report to their parents and schools youngsters who do not meet with their approval.

              That must be why British police seem to be shorn-headed and dressed as paramilitary occupation forces (I'm an ex policeman from when policeman were of the people and not apart from the people). Do n't tell me that life today is more dangerous: look at the figures. It is not. But the police are.

              That must be why May and Cameron make stupid statements and want to control the press by statute.

          2. Stuart Castle

            Re: re: hate for ID

            Another point: It's perfectly possible to live in Britain and not own any form of ID whatsoever. It does impose certain limitations on your life, such as having to pay for everything in cash, but it is doable.

            With a mandatory ID card, it would not be.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: re: hate for ID

            one quick fix: make it a requirement that those demanding to see your ID have to show their own equivalent ID to you first - so if a council official for example wants to see a bank statement, they have to show you their own bank statement first; if someone in a shop wants a proof-of-age with your name and DOB on it, and won't accept your work ID, then they have to show you their own personal ID first.

      2. T_o_u_f_ma_n
        Big Brother

        Re: re: hate for ID

        I find it quite ironic that Britain has this historical hate of ID cards while every corner of every street in the country is constantly under CCTV surveillance. Surely if the people are truly free to do what they want, they wouldn't authorise everyone to film their whereabouts ? Who's worried about having their picture on a laminated card when a quick scan through the last hour of CCTV footage can positively track you around the place ? Never have I been feeling more spied on that when transferring through Heathrow and getting very nearly anal-probed by the security staff there... It's like not having an ID card is seen as the last bastion of privacy in a country where there is scarcely any left in the first place.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. poopypants

      @tkiox

      I don't know if they are still around, but you might want to check out http://www.keypass.com.au/

      This is not a recommendation - merely the result of a quick Google search.

    3. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      I could, actually, get behind a voluntary ID scheme provided two specific things were discussed and planned for:

      First, anti-fraud/ID theft mechanisms. It has to be shown that the data cannot be easily stolen and doesn't provide a "one stop shop" for fraudsters. Last thing we need is a situation where a criminal can take a single card from you and then masquerade as you in *all* regards.

      Secondly, data ownership - It must be the case that the State does not own the metadata generated by the system and that data controllers (those you hand the data too) have no right to retain that data indefinitely. The data ownership must remain with the individual who is the legal holder of the card and that data cannot be changed without the card and cardholder both being present and the consent of the cardholder being implicitly given, much like we would use a debit/credit card now. Furthermore any data handed over should come with a specific lease from the legal owner; a data on which that data MUST be deleted by the data controller, perhaps at the end of a contract or immediately after a transaction has been made and authorised. If you get on a plane then your data is verified and immediately deleted (this can be done by certs. held on the card, in a similar way to SSL certs, for instance, requiring no "central authority" to constantly check against but instead using a hashing algorithm). If you're renting a property then the landlord could be legally permitted, even possibly required, to retain the leased data for the duration of the tenacy and a given period afterwards.

      Take the system out of the hands of the government and the "secret database" fans and we might, just might, be able to cut a deal.

  13. Pen-y-gors Silver badge
    FAIL

    More ill-thought out government 'bright ideas'

    As always, there is a wee loophole. All a prospective tenant has to say is 'Civis Britannicus sum' then the landlord can't do any more checks, as there is no requirement for a British subject to have a passport, which is the only official document that proves nationality and right of abode. Are the government saying that British subjects must take a foreign holiday before they're allowed to rent a flat?

    And they're now thinking of requiring GPs to do the same checks before they treat you.

    Simples - check documents at the border, after that it doesn't matter. And if the Home Secretary/Daily Mail really, really think the foriners need to be easily identifiable then rivet a dayglo 'DANGER: ALIEN' steel collar round their neck with a flashing red light on it and built in GPS and siren that sounds continuously.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: More ill-thought out government 'bright ideas'

        Possession of a birth certificate is not proof of identity. If it is then I'm going to rent a flat as Florence Butterworth, born 17th March 1868 in Manchester - obviously a British subject!

  14. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Alien

    Passport? What passport?

    It's been years since I had a valid passport. I had a provisional drivers license ... about 20 years ago. About the only means of identification I have is my birth certificate, and I'm not sure if that even qualifies for the sort of checks being proposed, as it doesn't bear my photo, current or otherwise.

    I suppose that makes me an "alien", anecdotal evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Which planet will they deport me to, I wonder?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Passport? What passport?

      "It's been years since I had a valid passport."

      Same here. I do, however, have a driving licence but I've never felt the need to pay for a new photo type one when the old paper one is still more or less readable and is valid until age 70 or something so won't cost me for a replacement every 10 years.

      The only photo ID I have is my works ID badge. It's laminated but looks like it was printed on an old 75dpi inkjet printer, ie it looks just like what anyone could knock for themselves at home (although a home made one would probably look better!)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hotels

    Every single time I have stayed in any hotel in any other country, including Europe and Ireland, I have had to provide ID, usually in the form of a passport. In most of the places they photocopied it.

    22 of the European member states are also signatories of the Schengen Convention (not the UK or Ireland). This requires all hotels and other commercial accommodation to have foreign guests complete, in their own hand, a registration form and provide valid identification documents.

    Spouses, children and travel groups have different requirements.

    1. Chemist

      Re: Hotels

      "This requires all hotels and other commercial accommodation to have foreign guests complete, in their own hand, a registration form and provide valid identification documents."

      Well I've traveled to Europe, mostly by road, 3-5 times a year for the last 20+ years and I've never needed anything other than a booking number for a hotel, occas. filled out a form, hardly ever shown a passport (except flying) , maybe once or twice at the Swiss border - but always traveling back into GB

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hotels

        Article 45 section 1(a) of the Schengen Convention:

        (a) the managers of establishments providing accommodation or their agents see to it that aliens accommodated therein, including nationals of the other Contracting Parties and those of other Member States of the European Communities, with the exception of accompanying spouses or accompanying minors or members of travel groups, personally complete and sign registration forms and confirm their identity by producing a valid identity document

        I guess you keep finding hotels that don't follow the rules.

      2. Mayhem

        Re: Hotels

        Within the Schengen area, you won't need to show a passport at the border if travelling by land.

        Switzerland you may do, depending on where and how you enter the country. Once you leave the Schengen area, you always hit a border post where they should check documents - that's part of the agreement for the free travel area.

        Taking the eurotunnel, its a 50/50 on if you get checked at the border - we had a minivan full of people waved through on the way out as "too hard" but all were individually checked on the way back into the UK for example.

        Flying you always do, as they don't have separate entry points for Schengen flights and other EU flights.

        In terms of accommodation - every hotel,hostel, backpackers and even campsite I have stayed at in Europe has taken a record of my passport, whether in a heavy tourist area or rural. The only ones that didn't were when we rented accommodation, at which point only the lead name needed to provide ID.

        You may find that when you made the booking for the hotel in advance, you provided ID. I know my details are saved with a range of websites so they automatically get sent through and I don't have to fill them out each time.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Hotels

          "You may find that when you made the booking for the hotel in advance"

          No, and as I have a motorhome I spend a lot of time on French campsites too - some ask for form filling but hardly any ask for passports.

          "Switzerland you may do,"

          Almost never, and I travel there by road a lot as we have a holiday home. Infrequently at the motorway crossing in Geneva. A few years ago (~2009) we crossed near Belfort on a fine road (E27) with brand new huge customs/border area which was completely deserted

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ryanair

    while I'd love to bash those [%$*!], I have had an opportunity to fly with them recently, around Europe, and no, they do NOT require passports. You can present your national (EEC) ID instead. But yeah, if you're a British national, ID cards have never really made it here (thanks God). I guess Brits might feel discriminated, but then, hey, Ryanair will argue it's not their fault, they would allow British national IDs, if they exist.

    p.s. they're still [%$*!]

    1. dogged

      Re: ryanair

      I'm sorry, I couldn't read some of your post.

      Did you mean "cunts"?

      1. markw:

        Re: ryanair

        Yes, but only because there isn't a worse word available.

        A deficiency in the English language ...

        1. LazyLazyman

          Re: ryanair

          Yes there is.. Ryanair. Far worse word.

    2. Vincent Ballard

      Re: ryanair

      Ryanair have been sued in Spain more than once in the past couple of years for refusing to allow people on internal flights with just their national ID card. Spanish law says that for internal flights, airlines must accept ID cards. Not sure about international ones.

  17. JamesTQuirk

    UK Gov should keep up with times !

    Maybe they could buy everybody in UK, a Iphony & let it track you all like that, and you pay the bill, it would save taxpayers money ...?

  18. EddieD

    Not my driving license...

    Being good-twoshoes and having not had the money to move house for many years, my driving license is just a large (and now somewhat foxed, badgered, and possibly beared) piece of paper, no photo, nada... I do have a rather impressive array of vehicles I'm allowed to drive compared to more recent passers as well. This was a bit of a problem when my car was in for an insurance repair, as the garage refused to accept it for a courtesy car. I told them to get my car ready for when I needed it. I also doubt if the major airlines would accept it, or my staff card - I'm not sure a University counts as a "nationally recognised company".

    Susan Calman relates a touching tale when she tried to check into a hotel in London - they insisted that she show a passport as she was a "foreigner".

    I can't wait for a Glaswegian hotelier to return the compliment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not my driving license...

      Being good-twoshoes and having not had the money to move house for many years, my driving license is just a large (and now somewhat foxed, badgered, and possibly beared) piece of paper, no photo, nada

      Just don't get stopped by the Police in various European countries as, I think, they will not accept the old paper licences and expect you to be able to produce a (EU standard) photo card.

      1. smudge Silver badge

        Re: Not my driving license...

        Just don't get stopped by the Police in various European countries as, I think, they will not accept the old paper licences and expect you to be able to produce a (EU standard) photo card.

        I have an old-style no-photo licence, and have never had the slightest problem hiring cars in Greece, Spain, & Portugal.

        I've never been stopped by the police there, but I'd have thought that if the police didn't accept them then the hire company wouldn't either, because surely they would also be in trouble with the police?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        (EU standard) photo card

        No, not true. The old paper licence is valid. I drive through Europe regularly from the UK to Italy and have had my (paper) licence checked a number of times. The don't like it of course but that's a different thing altogether.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: (EU standard) photo card

          I've had no problems using my paper licence to hire cars in Europe and use courtesy cars in England.

          I refuse to incur the inconvenience and cost involved in getting a plastic photo card. But it's getting to the stage where I need to charge for wear and tear on my paper licence every time I'm required to show it, as I don't know how much longer it will last. The licence I paid for when I passed my test was a nice little red booklet. I don't know who thought it would be a good idea to replace it with a folded sheet of A4 paper - these things are supposed to last a lifetime.

          1. LazyLazyman

            Re: (EU standard) photo card

            Come 2015 you will need to change it for a card license...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: (EU standard) photo card

              Evidence or link please.

          2. PJI
            Headmaster

            Re: (EU standard) photo card

            Having another European licence, I gave up on my UK driving licence when I found out that, despite the standard plastic card, with photograph, UK still expected me to carry a piece of paper as well, whereas other countries give just the card, no paper, in the same, standard format.

            Typical UK: take a basic, European idea; gold plate it and blame Europe.

            By the way: I know education in UK is suffering; but I could swear the majority of posters here are unable to spell "licence", as in the noun. Only the verb contains an "s". Perhaps you are all illegal immigrants after all.

  19. corestore

    Newquay

    I've just read, and re-read, the stuff about Newquay.

    Good grief.

    OK it's an overused and cliché metaphor, but this time I think for once it's valid; the Stasi really would be proud.

    I left the UK in 1998.

    When and how did the British people spinelessly surrender to these kinds of authoritarian policies? Don't people see it?

    I guess the old adage about boiling frogs applies...

  20. Frankee Llonnygog

    Campaigning against ID cards

    Well done William Heath on your successful campaign. Well done also on your firm, Mydex, being one of the firms chosen to leak, sorry, I meant 'store', the UK Gov's new Digital ID. I don't mean to imply any connection at all between those facts, obviously

  21. Morzel
    WTF?

    What exactly is the problem here?

    I honestly have a very hard time to understand what the big deal is with you Britons and ID cards.

    As a Belgian (you know, the place you have to drive through when going to France or Germany) I'm baffled by your persistence in making your own lives more difficult... I would think that one of the primary responsibilities of a state should be to vouch for the identity of its inhabitants in a simple and non-ambiguous way, so you don't have to jump through umpteen hoops to "prove" to anyone else who you are exactly, and you can easily verify the identity of someone else in case the need arises.

    Just going through the "proof of identity" requirements at different institutions in the UK make me cringe. I would not be very happy having to offer multiple forms of "proof" that may contain sensitive information -- e.g. bank or credit card statements, utility bills, benefits/state pension status... Not having a proper ID card for "privacy" reasons clearly isn't working.

    I also don't buy the "cost" reasoning: the economic impact on having to deal with x superfluous ways of being able to identify someone will far outweigh the cost of having a proper compulsory ID card. While the latter is clearly paid directly by tax money, don't think you're not paying anything right now for the mess you are currently in.

    As for identity theft: surely it's simpler to fake a utility bill or bank statement than to fake an ID card that contains a proper cryptographic signature.

    So I have a compulsory ID card, and can easily identify myself whenever I need to for whatever cause. Need to identify to a state official? ID card. Need to identify yourself to any kind of institution? ID card. Want to get cigarettes or alcohol from a vending machine? ID card. Want to access any level of government service online? ID card. Get prescription medicine? ID card. Need to prove your medical insurance status? ID card.

    It may very well not be perfect, but it seems far better than what you are dealing with right now. So... What gives?

    1. corestore

      Re: What exactly is the problem here?

      Well that was part of the *fear* with ID cards in the UK; create them, and you'll immediately see a demand for them to be presented in all kinds of situations. 'Identify yourself!' would become the new normal.

      Of course, we seem to be headed in that direction anyway, despite the fact that the ID cards themselves got canned.

      Heads I win, tails you lose...

    2. bigtimehustler

      Re: What exactly is the problem here?

      "the place you have to drive through when going to France" ?? What, perhaps I would have read your post but the fact you think that to get from England to France you have to drive through Belgium kind of killed your credibility for me.

      1. Morzel
        Go

        Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        Depends where you're coming from in the UK and where you're going to in France, but I still see a lot of you islanders (with or without caravan) coming from Dover, Hull or even higher up north, joining the summerly tourist tsunami on our Belgian roads to get to the French cote d'azure.

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        the place you have to drive through when going to France

        As @bigtimehustler points out, Belgium isn't a sensible route from England to France. Actually, I thought Belgium was the place the Germans always invade on their way to France. Perhaps the frequent German presence has inured its citizens to the imposition of identity papers.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        Depends upon your route and, I think, your sense of humour. Looks like, if you are British, you have got none. However, pick up on the irrelevant and ignore the rest. That seems like the current government of Britain too.

        The point is: one, government verified identity document rather than a number of dubious ones, some of which betray very private information that you do not tell even most government bodies (well, the tax inspector and the divorce court may be able to require your bank statements under some circumstances).

        Then again, with ever better face, vehicle and gait recognition systems in the land of world-highest-number CCTV cameras and now face analysis in Tesco, who is worried about mere documents in either plastic or paper? Or have you got interests in any of the private firms supplying this stuff?

        What the hell, Google and the NSA have got you all taped anyway.

      4. Vic
        Joke

        Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        > the fact you think that to get from England to France

        I assumed he was talking to the Germans...

        Vic.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What exactly is the problem here?

      > I would think that one of the primary responsibilities of a state should be to vouch for the identity of its inhabitants in a simple and non-ambiguous way

      Of course, they already do that for us. The document in question is the passport which is acceptable everywhere and available to everyone. Crucially, we are not required to have one and are not required to carry one.

      We are deathly afraid that having a national ID card "for our convenience" is the first step down the road that leads to the Gestapo demanding our papers in the street.

      1. Morzel
        Black Helicopters

        Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        >> Crucially, we are not required to have one and are not required to carry one.

        Even if you don't have to carry an ID card, you are required to be able to identify yourself in certain situations, ID card or not.

        >> We are deathly afraid that having a national ID card "for our convenience" is the first step down the road that leads to the Gestapo demanding our papers in the street.

        Either there is something terribly wrong with your government, or with the way you think about them. Neither possibility is fine with me. You do have democracy over there?

        It is not because there is a national ID card that you're suddenly living in a police state. In fact you might even argue that you're already there without an ID card given the ubiquity of CCTV monitoring in the UK.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What exactly is the problem here?

          Either there is something terribly wrong with your government, or with the way you think about them. Neither possibility is fine with me. You do have democracy over there?

          Indeed we do. Liberty too, we haven't been successfully invaded by a foreign power in almost 950 years. We'd like to keep it that way.

          1. stu 4

            Re: What exactly is the problem here?

            "Indeed we do. Liberty too, we haven't been successfully invaded by a foreign power in almost 950 years. We'd like to keep it that way."

            bullshit - wullie wallace did a pretty good chance of invading down as far as York and slaughtering a fair number of you.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: wullie wallace

              From what I can make out wullie wallace got as far as Derby, then his army got bored since there hadn't been any real fighting to speak of since they crossed the Cheviots, one of them said "Did you spill ma pint?" and got back "Aye, what ye gunna de aborrit?" and that was that for the invasion of England.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What exactly is the problem here?

            "Liberty too, we haven't been successfully invaded by a foreign power in almost 950 years. We'd like to keep it that way."

            In 1688 William of Orange invaded with a Dutch fleet and army and overthrew King James II of England and he became King William III

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What exactly is the problem here?

              William of Orange was of course invited in to help out with the Jame II situation and refused to leave. I doubt he would have considered a "hostile" invasion.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What exactly is the problem here?

              In 1688 William of Orange invaded with a Dutch fleet and army and overthrew King James II of England and he became King William III

              He was invited in by one side, that doesn't count :)

            3. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: King William III

              William III was invited in. Nobody really liked the Scotsman and his heathen Papist ways.

              1. Red Bren
                Trollface

                Re: King William III

                By "Nobody", I assume you mean amongst the nobility who had done rather well during the protestant ascendancy and didn't fancy their chances under a "Papist" monarch. I doubt the average peasant cared either way.

                Now why do you feel the need for the sectarian name-calling?

                1. Stevie Silver badge
                  Trollface

                  Re: the need for the sectarian name-calling

                  "Cold weather is just God's way of telling us to burn more Cathoilics". Lady Whiteadder.

                  As for the nobility being the only ones supporting William'n'Mary, t'was the nobility that supported or rejected every king of England or Scotland since by and large the hoi polio of both countries did as they were told by their betters in those days on pain of being severely killed.

                  James was unpopular because his rein presaged yet another round of purges in the name of the One True Faith and everyone who had a vote in the matter was a bit sick of it all.

                  Or at least, that is how I interpret the mass desertion of the commanders of his army upon learning that William'n'Mary had set foot in the country and would very much like to be King if it wasn't too much trouble.

                  The prevailing mood of the merchant classes of the time seemed to be that there was too much money to be made to bugger about in yet another round of religious murder, crippling the economy (again) and forking-up the nation's market potential (again). William'n'Mary signified the ascendancy of Trade-capital-T becoming the primary concern of the government, seen in them days as Anne Goode Thynnge because everyone could get rich at home instead of getting dead in Johnny Foreigner land. Didn't end well in every case, but that's another story.

                  Why do you feel the need to euphemism-quote "Papist"? Don't Catholics have a Pope any more? I'll admit the new one is saying some pretty strange things of late, but I hadn't heard he'd been sacked.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: King William III

                And those who did the inviting should have been hanged for treason.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What exactly is the problem here?

            Because we get other people to do our fighting for us. That's how the English built an empire out of other people.

            The Russians and Americans won WW2. Without the US maybe the UK would have held out, but without the Russians who kills all ze Germans?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What exactly is the problem here?

              Well without the Russians the US/British/Canadians would have ended up nuking the Germans as the war would have drawn out longer...

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What exactly is the problem here?

            Invaders do not stop to show passports anyway, so irrelevant. By the way, the English/Scottish border moved about a bit until just four hundred years or so ago.

            I doubt that you mean that the lack of identity cards prevented invasions. In that case, why was Hitler not successful when all Britons carried papers during and after the second world war?

            As for liberty: you are talking about a country with cameras on most streets, motorways, in public transport and buildings, whose government and security services seem to be at the behest of the USA (that attacked Britain when at war with it in the 19th century and dithered about supporting us or our enemies at the start of WW2, then supported the IRA against us, subbed some anti-colonial activities against Britain …). Even now, Cameron is too frightened to discipline GCHQ or decry the USA actions against our closest neighbours and commercial partners or look too deeply into what the NSA was doing within Britain.

            Liberty - nice idea - may have existed in 18th or 19th centuries.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        =======We are deathly afraid that having a national ID card "for our convenience" is the first step down the road that leads to the Gestapo demanding our papers in the street.

        One problem: at that time, every British resident also had to have official identity papers. It was not abolished until, I think, the 1950s. The British police do, routinely in some areas, check "identity". Soon, so will your GP and your landlord. Your bank is required to do so, by law (money laundering or some such) even if they have known you for forty years.

        So, catch up. Clearly, a single, official card, voluntary or not but requiring to be recognised and usable as a passport, would be rather simpler, useful and less intrusive.

    4. Grant Mitchell

      Re: What exactly is the problem here?

      The problems with ID cards are many. Once you have them, people will insist on using them all the time when they are not at all neccesary. Ok, you say, that might be an inconvenience but you'll live with it. Imagine however, you are a homeless person living on the street. Everything you own you pretty much carry on you. How would that person prove their identify? How would they apply for new identity if they lost their existing id? They have no utility bill, not credit cards, nothing. Here is the real flaw. Today, right now how do you prove who you are in order to get one of these cards? The card doesn't prove who you are, it proves you persuaded the issuing body you were that person. How do you persaude them if you own nothing (or very little in terms of current ID)? So homeless people won't get ID's. As they become more pervausive in society they will be excluded from more an more services as they cannot prove entitlement. Seeing the problem yet?

      The use cases when having an uber-ID are, in general, things that happen quite infrequently today (getting a new back account, etc). This translates to a small saving of time today - but I'd be prepared to guess that over time, given that "there is now an easy way to check, you know, just to be sure" this would soon be swallowed up in the new checks that get introduced - because we can, resulting in a net loss of time.

      Incidently, the oft used banking dilema has other non-ID related issues. My partner moved to the UK some 12 years ago, and despite having a clean bill of health with her mastercard in Germany, could not get a credit card in the UK because UK mastercard couldn't confirm her credit history with their German colleagues. Linking up data across borders is another issue for another day.....

      1. Morzel

        Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        >> The card doesn't prove who you are, it proves you persuaded the issuing body you were that person. How do you persaude them if you own nothing (or very little in terms of current ID)?

        The same goes for any other form of identification/services (be it passport, birth certificate, benefits application). That is not the exclusivity of an ID card. Besides, if you're indeed homeless, my guess is that you have different priorities altogether. I don't see how it becomes any easier for them to get any kind of service by not having an ID card.

        >> but I'd be prepared to guess that over time, given that "there is now an easy way to check, you know, just to be sure" this would soon be swallowed up in the new checks that get introduced - because we can, resulting in a net loss of time

        In reality, those "new checks" don't exist. We are asked to provide proof of identity for exactly the same things that you are right now (e.g. open a bank account, rent a car, ...). Privacy laws are pretty strict in Europe, and having an ID card does not automatically give everyone the right to require you to show it.

        1. Grant Mitchell

          Re: What exactly is the problem here?

          >The same goes for any other form of identification/services (be it passport, birth certificate, benefits application). That is not the exclusivity of an ID card. Besides, if you're indeed homeless, my guess is that you have different priorities altogether. I don't see how it becomes any easier for them to get any kind of service by not having an ID card.

          At the moment here, it's pretty easy for people to get health care. If ID were required to get healthcare, them I'd imagine that would affect the homeless (who, through no fault of their own don't have a good track record on health). It's incredibly likely that if ID cards were introduced, they'd be required for health care. There are factions of society here already whipped up into a frenzy about supporting people sponging off the state or health care tourists visiting the uk to get treatement. I for one would not be surprised if healthcare required an id to prove entitlement - unfortunately, that's just how the UK mentality works. It sucks.

          >In reality, those "new checks" don't exist. We are asked to provide proof of identity for exactly the same things that you are right now (e.g. open a bank account, rent a car, ...). Privacy laws are pretty strict in Europe, and having an ID card does not automatically give everyone the right to require you to show it.

          Yes, and the UK has a track record of obeying those laws doesn't it? We don't keep DNA samples from innocent people now do we? Relying on European laws is fine if you have a government that follows them... mine doesn't. We have a crap record - http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/mar/23/dna-database-idcards-children-index

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        I live in a country with ID cards: I get asked for mine far less (pretty much never except at a border) than I get asked for evidence of identity on my visits to UK or dealings with firms there.

        I suspect the bank problem is to do with data privacy. The Germans take it very seriously and you should be impressed by that and depressed by the idiocy of the British banks. International banking has become trickier only since British banks have been required to check I am not a money launderer.

        My wife had her wallet stolen recently, including her ID card: getting a new one is no problem as, unlike the sinister fantasies apparently raging in CCTV land, one does not become a non-person without a card. Getting a new driving licence, when I lost mine, was achieved on the spot when I went to the office, needing just a police report to verify I had reported it.

        UK, on the other hand, is a nightmare. When living there and moving into my house, it was bizarre, the different bodies requiring copies of private documents to prove my address and name. Even from abroad, some transactions involving British banks or services (I let the house) want copies of a utility bill or bank statement via post or email. Even a copy of my British passport will not do. People are carrying such things just to buy a bottle of wine or a penknife or a season ticket or enter a club.

    5. Graham Marsden
      Big Brother

      @Morzel - Re: What exactly is the problem here?

      There is a fundamental principle of English Common Law that I and everyone else have the right to "Go about our lawful business without let or hindrance" ("let" meaning "permission" in this case).

      Our law is based on the idea that any thing that isn't expressly forbidden is permitted (or was, successive recent "democratic" governments have been trying to whittle away away at these rights, but, the point is that, at present, I do not have to carry an ID card simply to prove that I have the right to walk down the street.

      To argue that introducing an ID card "seems far better than what you are dealing with right now." only demonstrates that what we are dealing with right now is fundamentally fucked up, an ID card would just make the situation worse, not better.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: @Graham Marsden

        " I do not have to carry an ID card simply to prove that I have the right to walk down the street."

        And yet, in my yoof, I was never surprised to be stopped by the rozzers for driving on the A45 in Coventry after 2pm and asked why I was out at that time of night. Since I was in a TR6 the answer "for the sheer joy of having the road under my wheels and the wind in my hair" was the usual response, and they always expected to see License, MOT Certificate and Insurance.

        The gasman doesn't have the right to go about his business without let or hindrance unless he carries his ID, nor does the electric meter chap. Indeed, the number of specific instances in which ID must be carried while one goes about one's business are legion.

        You can be lawfully ejected from University premises for not having a student or staff ID card, for example.

        I see no problem with having to prove you are who you say you are if you are getting on a plane with me, though personally I am so fed up with the other horseshirt I rarely fly anywhere these days. It is my hope that others are following suit and that air travel agencies will, as a result, have to confront the real problems in their security rather than go through the current expensive and inconvenient bread and circuses pantomime that does nothing to increase passenger safety from determined terrorists.

        1. Graham Marsden

          @Stevie - Re: @Graham Marsden

          Driving a car is a privilege, not a right and you accept that as part of that privilege you are required to 1) Pass a Test to demonstrate you have, at least, achieved the minimum level of skill to be allowed out on the road, 2) Make sure your vehicle has an MOT (and thus is safe to be on the road) and 3) Insure the vehicle to protect others if you behave irresponsibly and damage them, their vehicles or their property. None of these are requirements to be allowed to walk down the street.

          Your references to gasment, electric meter readers and students/ lecturers are irrelevant to the situation under discussion.

          If you have no problem with me (or anyone else) having to prove who I am to get on a plane with you, what about a bus? What's to stop me forcing the driver out of his seat and then running a load of people over? (GT Omnibus!)

          Finally, I find it odd that you *do* object to the "other horseshit" involved in flying. Why is it that you object to all the other bits of Security Theatre (removal of shoes, limits on drinks, restrictions on what you can carry etc) but think that having an ID card to prove who you to be allowed on the flight is acceptable?

          1. Morzel

            Re: @Stevie - @Graham Marsden

            >> Finally, I find it odd that you *do* object to the "other horseshit" involved in flying. Why is it that you object to all the other bits of Security Theatre (removal of shoes, limits on drinks, restrictions on what you can carry etc) but think that having an ID card to prove who you to be allowed on the flight is acceptable?

            The ID card on a plane has a lot more to do with administration than with anything else. Figuring out what meaty bits belong to whom after the thing has ploughed into the ground becomes a lot easier if you have a passenger manifest to start with. Bus accidents tend to be far less gnarly, and mostly occupied by local folks that should be more easily identified post-mortem.

            And most countries require you to disclose your identity when entering their borders, so the onus is on the airlines to make damn well sure that everybody they drop inside is capable of doing so.

            1. Graham Marsden
              Thumb Down

              @Morzel Re: @Stevie - @Graham Marsden

              But road accidents are a *lot* more likely than aircraft accidents, so expecting everyone to have to prove who they are just in the *extremely* unlikely event that they are involved in an air crash is really grasping at straws.

              And whilst, yes, countries require you to disclose your identity when crossing their borders, why should such proof be necessary for *internal* flights which are the (safer!) equivalent of catching a bus?

          2. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: @Graham Marsden - @Stevie - @Graham Marsden

            Actually, I object to horseshirt. If you are gonna quote...

            I'll tell you why I object to Airport Nonsense. I object to it because it is not a serious attempt to address the issue of plane hijacking but a sop to the public who think this is "something being done". There's almost nothing more dangerous than "pretend security measures", and I see them everywhere these days.

            In the specific case of airport security:

            Problem: The vetting for the staff that conduct the searches and operate the machinery turns out to be an off-again, on-again affair, with convicted felons being discovered at the gates every time a journalist cares to look hard enough. See, it costs *money* to do the vetting and low bid is the order of the day. Now, not every felon is unrepentantly evil, but some are and none are legally allowed to work airport security.

            Problem: The out of sight part of the airport operation is still as wide open security-wise as it ever was.

            Were I to want a box cutter on an aircraft badly enough the last thing I'd do it try and carry it on myself. I'd get a cleaner or maintenance tech to plant it.

            I am happy to provide ID saying I am who I am to anyone who asks if I think they have a good reason for asking and I want what they are offering in return for the ID. But more than that, I *don't* want to be travelling with someone who won't provide ID under the same circumstances any more than I want to be in a room with someone who can't wait five days for a handgun.

            I don't ride busses. People who do are on their own. They know what they are risking when they get on board. If you can't take the hijacking, don't get on the number 23 is my motto.

            I'm not sure why, but after your post I have the picture of someone hijacking a bus by threatening to pour a kettle of boiling water over the driver's head.

            However, the bus scenario is as easy to address as the aeroplane scenario, without recourse to elaborate technology. Easier in fact because more weight can be contemplated in the solution.

            The solution is: GET RID OF THE ACCESS FROM THE PASSENGER COMPARTMENT TO THE PEOPLE AT THE CONTROLS.

            The Bus Case:

            Surround the Bus Driver with a partition of the same stuff put between bank tellers and the public. Bulletproof is also Kettle Proof.

            The Aeroplane Case:

            Replace the idiotic door into the cockpit with a bulkhead. No door means no-one can be blackmailed into opening it. Remove one of the First class toilets and move it into the secure control cabin, and provide a microwave to reheat preprepared meals inflight.

            I also suggest two further modifications lest a kettle-wielding maniac also has an axe. A waiver on the ticket indemnifying the airline from damages in the event of an attempted hijacking and a valve that allows the cabin to be depressurized to about 5 PSI, which will put everyone out (a very, very few for good) including the mad axe-toting Al Qeda headboiler.

            And yes, if I was going to fly in such an airplane I'd accept the waiver. Anything's better than a mid-flight headboiling.

    6. BongoJoe Silver badge

      Re: What exactly is the problem here?

      As a Belgian you ought to be aware of the problem.

      I have lived in Antwerpen and I have seen on a number of occasions the police stop people in the street for no good reason and demand to see their ID card. No ID card? Then off to the police station with you and an immediate fine of (in the 80s) of around 7000 BEF and a night in the cells.

      The police were just picking on people in the street for no good reason other than to pick on them.

      1. Morzel

        Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        >> The police were just picking on people in the street for no good reason other than to pick on them.

        Sadly, those things still exist -- more often than not based on racism, but in those particular cases the ID card is just the stick to beat you with. The key issue here is abuse of power by the police, which I assume exists just as well in the UK. Getting rid of the ID card won't solve that particular issue.

        As I've experienced first-hand, if a police officer wants to get you, there'll always be something he can pin on you. And I don't know how it is in common law, but over here the written statement of a police officer (procès verbal) is considered 'special evidence', meaning that it stands as correct unless you can disprove it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Bongo Jo Re: What exactly is the problem here?

        I doubt that you can prove why the Antwerp police stopped people. I have seen reports of London police doing just that in areas of London.

        Actually, I was a policeman in the West of England many years ago, in holiday resorts. We stopped people routinely to check their identity, holding them under some pretext for minutes at a time for a Criminal Records Office check. Have to say, we caught an awful lot wanted for minor things such as non payment of fines and some more serious matters. A proper ID card would have saved them and us much time in some cases as verification just takes longer without it, slowing down the rest of the check.

        I live in a European country with ID cards. I travel, on foot and public transport, in neighbouring countries with cards. I've never been asked for my card; I know no one who has and I have never seen it. No doubt, if they decided to do a British-style sweep for illegal immigrants or "terrorists" this may occur. The difference is, that in Britain it would be much harder to show evidence of who you are and you would be more likely to be arrested while they test your case.

        1. Graham Marsden
          Big Brother

          @AC Re: @Bongo Jo What exactly is the problem here?

          "I was a policeman in the West of England many years ago"

          Reading what you wrote after this, I have to say I'm damned glad you're no longer a policeman in this country because your attitude is what brings the Police Service into disrepute (just like the behaviour of some of your colleagues in the Plebgate Affair and many others)

          I'm sure you did catch "an awful lot" of people. I'm also equally sure that you harassed a whole lot more people who were completely innocent of any crime, but had their Rights and Civil Liberties violated by some arrogant Jobsworth who liked throwing his weight around and abusing his power.

          Arguing that we should all have ID cards to save *our* time when *you* and yours illegally hassle us for the sort of "crimes" that Constable Savage would have been concerned about is ludicrous and to compound that by suggesting that we should be able to "show evidence of who we are" the next time someone decides to engage in a bit of Security Theatre demonstrates that you were quite happy to piss all over the Rights and Liberties which you were supposed to be *protecting* just because you could.

        2. BongoJoe Silver badge

          Re: @Bongo Jo What exactly is the problem here?

          Well, I can't "prove" why, but being there and witnessing this many a time I can give evidence.

          You there. Moroccon chap. ID now. No, not you dozens of clearly white Europeans, you move on.

          The racism of the police in Belgium was horrendous at the time; I don't know what it's like now. We used to have a few of the Rikswacht (the 'red' or state police) drink in our local bar and they made no bones about their attitudes to how they picked on people. Again, can I prove this? No, but I have heard it from them.

          It goes further.; run a cafe and soon you'll be asked to pay to enter an offical tourist guide of bars and restaurants that no-one has ever seen. Refuse and you don't get your sticker in the window and then the fun starts. Expect to then be raided frequently by the police and shut down repeatedly for fire hazards until you pay for a sticker in the window and, lo and behold, your care/bar is now safe from fire risk.

          Again, I can't prove this but I have first hand evidence of this.

          And the police in the UK? My father was a copper in Yorkshire. He left the force after what he had seen within the ranks. I was thinking of coppering as a career until the Miners' Strike. So, kindly don't give me any bollocks as to how good the police anywhere are.

    7. Mycams
      Childcatcher

      Re: What exactly is the problem here?

      Our police service is untrustworthy and will lie without compunction to get their way. see Plebgate, Hillsborough, Orgreave etc.

      Until we have a trustworthy Police Service (I know service, ha) no Id for me thanks.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think we should become more European with this

    Here are the ID card rules for other European countries

    Belgium - Compulsory to carry after the age of 15

    Bulgaria - Must have one at 14 and must always carry some form of ID

    Croatia - Must have one at 16 and carry it at all times

    Cyprus - Compulsory to carry one over the age 12

    Czech Republic - Compulsory over the age of 15

    Denmark - Not required

    Estonia - Compulsory over the age of 15

    Finland - Optional

    France - ID cards not compulsory but it is compulsory to be able to prove your ID to police, customs etc.

    Germany - Compulsory to own but not to carry.

    Gibraltar - Has an ID card, not sure about requirements to own/carry.

    Greece - Compulsory ID card from age 14 and compulsory to produce at police request

    Hungary - Compulsory from age 14 to have one of ID, passport or driving license.

    Italy - Optional. Police have right to hold you in custody until your identity is proven.

    Ireland - None

    Netherlands - Optional but must be able to show valid ID document upon request by officials.

    Poland - Compulsory over the age of 18. Not sure about requirements to carry

    Portugal - Compulsory from age 6. Not required to carry but must present on request.

    etc etc

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: I think we should become more European with this

      I say follow Ireland on that list

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: I think we should become more European with this

        The countries on the list with the least stringent ID requirements seem to be the places where you might want to live.

    2. Chris_B

      Re: I think we should become more European with this

      So if all those european countries have ID cards, why is it so difficult for our government to establish whether or not a foreign national should be allowed into our country or not let alone whether or not they can rent a property ?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think we should become more European with this

      Are there any countries where you don't need ID for either getting something important (bank account, car etc) or there isn't some law that requires you to have to ID yourself to the cops? It's all well to not have to carry it, but if you can be asked for it at any time, then what's the difference?

      In NZ it's pretty common for the cops to ask you your name and not ask for ID. So if you lie, you can be charged with something right off. Even if it's so they can book you over night, never outright lie to the cops. Stony silence works well ;)

      1. OhDearHimAgain

        Re: I think we should become more European with this

        living under a different chosen name (pseudonym) is not an offence in the UK.

        It was one of the changes that Labour were going to bring in with the identity card bill.

  23. Lee D Silver badge

    The problem with the ID cards was not, and never was, about whether I have to carry ID on me and produce it on demand. Almost every other country has such a law so, if you go on holiday, you cannot avoid having to do that with a foreign police force.

    The problem with the ID cards was that an awful lot of databases would be combined for no good reason. It did not act as just an identification (i.e. this is who I am and you can prove it's me) but as a gateway to joining up everything the government knows about you and putting it in front of the bod who, in this instance, you might be renting a house from.

    If you don't already get that your passport is ID, and your driving licence is ID and, although you can live without either (my brother does, in fact, but not for paranoia reasons), you still have to produce some form of ID somewhere at some time in order to live (his getting a bank account was interesting and you have to produce much worse documents, like birth certificates, which contain no "ID" at all but whose very possession is considered to be able to "prove" who you are).

    An ID card on it's own is a great idea. Bring it in. Make it optional. Don't make it compulsory for ANYTHING. And don't tie it into a billion other databases or make it so that I have to produce it to rent a house. And then, you know what will happen, it will be in the same kind of place as every other country's ID cards are in now. And we'll be quite happy about that. We've had them before, we'll have them again and it's a damn sight better than having to carry your passport or birth certificate around with you.

    Oh, and don't make me pay more than a minimal administrative fee for it (I'd say £10 is about the maximum, and I'd suggest you make the first one "free"). Don't make me have a legal requirement to change the damn thing every time I change address or put on 10lbs or change my hairstyle (it's an ID card, not a tracking device). And don't half-arse the implementation.

    Fact is, if I go for a job, they will ask at some point for ID. In my industry it's a necessity to perform the appropriate criminal record checks. It's not that big a deal to provide it to them (but, of course, I watch where the original documents go quite carefully). The big deal is that what you issued was NOT an ID card. And people wasted lots of money on them. And there was a lot of resistance BECAUSE of all the shenanigans you pulled with them over-and-above the remit of an ID card. And then ALL of those people now have a useless piece of plastic (including some commenters on here, if I remember correctly).

    I'll take an ID card, despite being vehemently against the last attempt. Because what I don't mind is an ID card, nothing more. Hell, you can stick my biometrics on a chip on it if you really want to. But don't expect me to pay for it (except out of taxes that I already pay), and make sure there's some advantage to it, and don't half-arse the implementation - just go straight to nationwide voluntary availability and make it COMPULSORY that airlines, banks, etc. must take an ID card as a form of ID on its own (i.e. I don't need to renew my passport this year, or provide ten other documents beside it).

    And if you want to do it properly, encode my image and biometrics onto a central computer system and have the card store nothing more than a number electronically. When you type that number into an appropriately authorised computer system, the central computer sends back your current image AND NOTHING MORE. As a user / owner of one of these terminals, you can't change it, you can't modify it, you can't fake it. Then you have an ID system worth having (i.e. you can verify that the card I present to you is mine within seconds within reasonably doubt) and something that I've been saying credit cards should have had decades ago ("I'm sorry, sir, but you don't appear to look like the registered cardholder of this card"). Then you might even be able to do a bit of fraud detection by seeing who has two ID's with the same prints on them.

    But don't force me to spend hours in a photo booth to take images that you then say aren't good enough. (If they aren't good enough, provide them your damn self and I will come to you, but don't make me drive a hundred miles to do so and then make me queue for 8 hours). Don't make me interview for a damn card. And don't make my airport queue any longer than it already is (because I already think it's taking the piss and am quite happy to announce that loudly in the queue itself - can someone tell me why I still have to take fluids out of my bag and strip outer clothing off and queue for an hour in order to do so, and then get the same treatment at the other end where I queue for an hour to see if the guy at Stansted wants to let me back into the country. (Hint: If you don't already know who I am, what right I have to live there, and whether you're going to let me through or not by the time I've landed at Stansted, or you are doing anything more than looking for suspicious behaviour and checking that my documents correspond to me, then you're DOING IT WRONG).

    Nobody really objects to "another form of ID" in the shape of an ID card. What we object to is all the junk that surrounds that. And with recent revelations about what you're doing in terms of spying on innocent civilians and doing things that are definitely illegal but getting away with it because "nobody knows", then it's only right that we should question your motives and query exactly what goes on an ID card and where that information comes from and, most importantly, who should pay for it.

    I have no objection to an ID card. Just make one that is an ID card.

    1. OhDearHimAgain

      I think this is how most people felt about the ID card - it wasn't the card, but the tracking & tracing they objected to.

      A smarter government would have implemented it in stages...

  24. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

    Why all the ID?

    I can understand the need for ID when going to places that sell alcohol; thats a legal requirement and a sensible one at that, but I also think the retailers should be obliged, if not mandated, to use the IDAware system too. I can also see the use of positive identification in other situations - when dealing with a financial transaction for instance, or claiming for a benefit or other legal right. But, as for the rest, booking hotels, renting property and taking internal flights etc. I have to question why we need to present ID in those cases. I don't need to present my papers when getting on a bus, or hiring a cab, I don't need a passport if I get on a train so why for internal flights? As for renting and hotels, well surely the immigration & border services should be sufficiently funded and resourced to render this additional scrutiny unnecessary? If not, why not?

    If this data isn't contributing to a reduction in crime, illegal immigration or some database intended to track movement then what is it even for? If it is for one of these things, can we see some evidence that it helps in some way?

    In the meantime "papers please, citizen" will be met with "no".

    1. glen waverley
      Big Brother

      do you mean ID or do you mean Proof of Age?

      Bernard M. Orwell says "I can understand the need for ID when going to places that sell alcohol"

      Beg to differ.

      Actually the legal requirement is proof of age - all that the rubbidy or bottle-o or Uncle Dan's needs to know is that you is over 18 ('cos that's the age here where I live).

      They don't need to know yr name *, but rather that you are legally old enough to buy the demon drink. But the prob is that they (meaning the employer of the slightly-older-than-18 uni student who scored the late shift at the drive thru) *think* they need POID instead of POA. I realise that the "document" that proves yr age needs some sort of binding to the person showing it to the attendant, but they don't need to know yr name or actual date of birth or address.

      Thumb print? Iris pattern? Lipstick impression of chocolate starfish? Signature on doc matched to signature signed in front of attendant (but no printed name on doc)? Starts to make it complex. Much easier to ask for a document designed for another purpose.

      * may need to know yr name in some parts of Oz, but that's for different reasons**

      ** Northern Territory, I'm looking at you with yr banned drinkers list

      1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

        Re: do you mean ID or do you mean Proof of Age?

        POID vs POA - I hadn't thought about it that way. You raise a good point!

      2. Stevie Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: they don't need to know yr name or actual date of birth

        And how the heck is anyone going to be able to tell someone's age without some way of knowing their birthday? That is the exact definition of a person's age - the difference in years, months etc between now and their date of birth.

        1. glen waverley

          Re: they don't need to know yr name or actual date of birth

          Perhaps I wasn.t clear enough. The bottle shop attendant only needs to know that yr 18th birthday is in the past. They don't need to know exactly how old you are.

          So what is needed is an Over-18 card. (Which is what they are called in some places,except such cards also get overloaded with name, photo, address,date of birth.* ) What I was suggesting was a document that says "The true holder of this card is over 18" - and nothing more.

          *which turns them into a general purpose ID card. and a general purpose ID Card is thought by some people to be a Bad Idea.0

  25. frank ly Silver badge

    They lie

    "Having initially claimed this was a HM Revenue and Customs matter, and after HMRC pointed out it wasn’t, the Home Office simply said it has no plans to change the regulation."

    It's a reflex action. It's in their blood and the marrow of their bones.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For once, it looks like the Irish government got something right.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    404 documents?

    While 404 types of EU ID document might get you into the country, surely EU nationals still need to register in order to stay more than 90 days?

    I've been resident in both Germany and Portugal, and in both cases I have to go to the town hall or some other body in order to get residence papers if I am working (or doing anything that permits me to stay more than 90 days). I assume it is the same for other EU nationals in the UK, so I don't understand why they cannot just get EU nationals to provide proof of residency rather than rely on their own country documents (which might prove they are EU citizens, but not that they have a right to stay in the UK beyond 90 days).

    1. LazyLazyman

      Re: 404 documents?

      Nope. I guess you need to do that in those countries because they have mandatory ID requirements.

      1. Rukario
        Coat

        Re: 404 documents?

        404 error. Document not found.

  28. Bob Hoskins
    Facepalm

    You need ID to get on a plane or into the Palace.

    No fucking shit.

    1. bernhard.fellgiebel

      Re: You need ID to get on a plane or into the Palace.

      I recall visiting Buck-Palace as a tourist and I am not sure I had to display ID. I also got onto HMS Victory without ID but overheard an old lady saying "oh if they bomb victory". I reassured her it won't happen, but of course I knew technically it was possible.

      But maybe that was because they received some sort of warning of "strange German guy visiting your" or something.

  29. Why Not?

    Usual government tosh.

    There is a deposit scheme Landlords have to use. Its Government mandated and provided by the usual suspects.

    https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection

    If both the Landlord and the Tennant have to register with this and be verified (proper certificates, insurance, ID etc ) just like the DVLA do with cars and you extend it to hold deposits half the fraud, non compliance and identity issues associated with renting would disappear. The minimal fees required for this would be worth it for tenants and landlords.

    Renting or subletting without using the deposit scheme would be illegal.

    of course its easier to make the landlords take the blame for poor immigration control.

  30. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    Default passwords

    A problem with the Hong Kong ID card is that the number gets mis-used as a default password by phone companies, ISPs, banks, and any other dumb company that feels like it.

    Does the same problem occur in other countries that have a national ID card?

    1. bernhard.fellgiebel

      Re: Default passwords

      I think the Americans abuse the SSID for similar purposes. Here in Germany it's often the birthdate and your current address.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More stupid security theatre...

    While applying for a mortgage at a well-known high-street building-soc, in order to "comply with anti-money-laundering legislation" I was supposed to provide countless bank-statements showing where my deposit was going to come from. Apparently ANY self-printed (online) banking statement was acceptable "as long as it has the 'https:// '-footer printed at the bottom". Like that'd be hard to forge! Meanwhile a mini-statement from a bank counter wasn't acceptable as I "could have helped myself to the slips and printed them myself."

    Of course in the end when I paid the deposit to my solicitor there was no proof that the money had actually come from the accounts I'd supplied statements for anyway. Daft.

    Airport security-checks (esp. in the USA) make my blood boil and I've come far too close to saying something that'll land me in trouble...

  32. BongoJoe Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    My ID Card...

    ...when I lived in Norway* stated that my date of birth was the 32nd of February 2099.

    I had no end of fun and games with that. I was often requested to ask for a replacement but I always refused.

    *yes, I know they don't have an official ID card, at least not then, but you got an offical bank card with your official Person Number which included the date of birth as above.

  33. hooch
    WTF?

    Neither Passport nor Birth Certificate were acceptable....

    Yesterday my 17-year-old daughter went to an interview armed with the requested proof of identity - her birth certificate and her full UK passport. Would you believe that neither were acceptable? The birth certificate because it was a 'short' certificate that we were given when she was registered and not a 'full' certificate. The passport was not acceptable because it is due to expire within six months.

    And the high-security role she was applying for? Seasonal waiting staff at the local racecourse.

    I feel like I should be reading the Daily Mail.....

  34. charlie-charlie-tango-alpha

    Royal Palace security

    "You will also need strong identification to get into a royal event such as a Buckingham Palace garden party – Palace police are quite strict on checking ID"

    I disagree.

    Several years ago I was doing some work with the Royal Palace on behalf of the UK Gov Dept I then worked for. Entry to the site was controlled by Police Officers who insisted on two pieces of identfiication. My official pass sufficed as one piece, but they needed another. On my first visit I gave them my ID pass and my passport. On a subsequent visit I forgot my passport so the officer on duty asked for an alternative to add to my ID pass. I furtled in my wallet, but all I could come up with (beyond the usual bank cards etc) was a fishing licence. He said, "OK, that'll do, it's an official document."

    You can buy fishing licences at a post office.

  35. Tim99 Silver badge
    Coat

    Re: @AC 12:47

    You know that the Cabinet believe in a classless society? They don't care what class you were in at Eaton.

    Mine's the Savile Row British Warm...

  36. Nigel 11

    It's the database, dammit!

    I have no objection even to being forced to carry photo-id at all times and produce it on demand to reasonable persons of authority in reasonable circumstances (which is the law in several European states). I'd get a photographic driving license if the government didn't charge me for trading in my non-photographic one (and again every ten years thereafter). I have a passport (which I don't carry in the UK only because it's too big) and an employer-issued photographic staff-ID card (which I do).

    What I object strongly to is the centralized database of everything which the former Labour government planned to introduce on the back of its ID cards, to log and control every aspect of our lives, and to make a start on constructing a UK-sized panopticon prison camp. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should, and nowhere more so than in taking away the right to any sort of privacy at all (except, probably, for a privileged few rulers).

    So keep the recordings of ID completely decentralized, and forgotten after a reasonable time. That's a time-tested way of making life somewhat harder for the criminals, that really doesn't harm the honest very much.

    BTW provided you lie and say you are British, you *can* check into a hotel as Mr. and Mrs Smith. You can even do it legally. In the UK, there is no law saying you cannot call yourself whatever you want, provided it is not with criminal intent. Sleeping with someone else's spouse may be immoral, but is not a crime. It's also an example of a freedom that would be all but gone the moment a national ID database went online in every hotel.

    1. bernhard.fellgiebel

      Re: It's the database, dammit!

      In Germany we have national ID, but the register is supposedly to be decentralized with the mayor of your town/village/city. I am not sure how secure this scheme is, as the ID cards are made at a central location, the Federal Printing/Minting agency. Then, there are systems like INPOL and CEVIS which are supposed to help police catch wanted people but I would not be surprised to learn that they can also check the validity of passports and ID cards with said systems.

      You have to register yourself in a few days after moving to a new address, renting a new address and so on.

      The Nazis didn't use ID cards to identify whom they wanted to gass though. They used the birth registers to that end. From that intelligence they stamped "J" into the ID cards for the jews.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's the database, dammit!

      You claim to be BRITISH? Then learn to spell and the difference between nouns and verbs.

      LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe

      LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe

      LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe

      LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe

      LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe

      LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe LicenCe

      1. Rob 5

        Re: It's the database, dammit!

        In the UK, yes. Other countries (eg the USA) do spell it with an "s", however. It follows that the correct spelling depends upon context. If, for example, one was referring to the UK then it would be correct to write "driver's licence". OTOH, when referring to the USA, "driver's license" would be correct.

        Though you could probably lose the apostrophe in both nations, since no cnut seems to understand when or how to use it in either place.

  37. Swiss Anton
    FAIL

    Print-it yourself ID works.

    Yesterday I used a copy of my bank statement, freshly printed on plain paper, and this was acceptable as a proof of address by a building society. In this case my bank actually printed the duplicate statement (long story...), but I could have produced the same document using any half decent word processor and laser printer. What exactly is being proved here, my identity, or the pointlessness of these identity checks?

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Print-it yourself ID works.

      I think in the case of opening a Building Society account, the account details on the possibly faked bank statement will be checked with the bank. If they deny that a person of that name has an account with that number at that address, the new account will be locked and your money imprisoned until you explain yourself (probably to the police - I think such a misrepresentation is fraud).

      Of course you could fake someone else's ID and operate the account until the first statement is sent to the person whose ID you have purloined. Maybe you can find a person who has gone away (say to another country) without closing an account of little value, at an address where mail to former residents just gets thrown away instead of returned to sender. So the checks aren't 100%. 90% will suffice. Organised crime will be deterred to the extent of recruiting a slightly-paid army of real-ID low-lifes and small fake businesses to launder its dirty cash. Which in turn lets the authorities subject illegal money to some degree of taxation.

  38. Chozo
    Devil

    ... and here's my receipt for your receipt

    Tennants could play this game as well by asking for proof that their potential landlord is entitled to be in the country, declaring the income, not sub-letting or otherwise fiddling the Housing Benefit system.

  39. Bogle

    electronic ID

    I worked as a software developer for a firm that are trying to do electronic ID: miicard.com.

    tl;dr You let it see your bank accounts.

    Once you've set up your account you let the requester, whoever that is, see just the info they need and no more (claims-based identity). For instance, they want to know your age? That's all they get to see.

    It would cut through a lot of the nonsense around easily forged paper documentation and there's a lot more that it could be used for if it took off. It's *not* a government ID database but as it's mainly based on US services (Yodlee/Azure) the Patriot Act does apply.

  40. Keith Langmead

    Not just Newquay

    It's not just Newquay, I believe most places in Exeter don't accept them either any more. Certainly a few years ago when I had some young friends at the Uni they confirmed that some or all pubs wouldn't accept NUS cards or even PASS cards as proof of age, so many of them had to permanently go around with their passport when on a night out.

  41. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Is one of the 404 methods a gas bill?

    Because nothing is a more authoritative identity document than a recent utility bill.

  42. John Savard Silver badge

    Passport?

    If an airline in the United States or Canada tried asking for passports on domestic flights, they'd pretty quickly go out of business. Of course, that's because both of these countries are so large that most people there have no occasion to travel to foreign parts, and doing so would be expensive.

    Of course, depending on where you live, some Americans find it convenient to vacation in Mexico, and some Canadians find it convenient to shop in the United States. But it's not like Europe, where foreign countries are almost next door to everyone.

    1. bernhard.fellgiebel

      Re: Passport?

      I hear they have your detailed phone records, <strike>Amazon</strike>almost entire(from rebate cards) buying habits and juvenile rants of the last 15 years in lieu of a passport.

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: Passport?

      In the USA the universal photo-ID is a driving license, to the extent that some (most? all?) states issue non-drivers' driving licenses!

      1. DavidAtEeyore
        Happy

        Re: Passport?

        Here in Oz, some of the states do this, my youngest, who doesn't drive, has a proof-of-identity card issued through the same process as the local Driving Licence. You rock up to an authorized Photo Point (often larger Post Offices) they image your face, and certify the ID documents that you bring with the form you have filled out and had witnessed by a 'suitable person' from a list, Birth Certificate/Passport and bank account statements. You then pay money, and several weeks later, your new shiny POID/POA card arrives in the post.

    3. PJI

      Re: Passport?

      === But it's not like Europe, where foreign countries are almost next door to everyone.

      Umm. Think you need to buy a new atlas. Germany, Italy, France, Spain for example - these are rather large countries in which the majority would have to travel some way, further than most Canadians (most of whom live in a relatively narrow strip along the border).

  43. Rob 5

    Concealed Handgun License

    Like many here, I object to the trend of every petty little twat demanding to see ID for the most trivial transactions.

    For that reason, when I'm asked for ID in shops etc, while visiting the UK, I show my Texas Concealed Handgun License, then smile smugly as the little oik shits himself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Concealed Handgun License

      === For that reason, when I'm asked for ID in shops etc, while visiting the UK, I show my Texas Concealed Handgun License, then smile smugly as the little oik shits himself.

      This from the land that demands the social security ID for almost everything. I know Texas claims the biggest of everything: I see that that includes heads and egos too. Try that on me and you wait until the police come to check what else you are carrying. Silly little shit.

      1. Rob 5

        Re: Concealed Handgun License

        Having a bad day, petal, or are you just a sad little racist?

        Incidentally, please do try to detain the next person who shows ID from a country that you don't like. The sentence for racially aggravated false imprisonment should be quite severe.

        1. JamesTQuirk

          Re: Concealed Handgun License

          @

          Posted Thursday 7th November 2013 01:24 GMT

          Rob 5

          Arh the American way ....

          Think that YOUR laws/rules apply to everybody, if they question it then threaten people, to get your way, if people have problem with that, threaten to sue them .......

          I am so glad Islam is fastest growing religon in USA, they are good people, they might improve the place ..

          1. Rob 5

            Re: Concealed Handgun License

            > Think that YOUR laws/rules apply to everybody, if they question it then threaten

            > people, to get your way, if people have problem with that, threaten to sue them ...

            The post that you're replying to clearly referenced English law. The AC was the only one threatening violence - I merely pointed out the likely consequences. Finally, it dealt exclusively with criminal law and there was no mention whatsoever of any suit under civil law.

            All of which makes your little outburst look rather silly, wouldn't you say?

            But what really makes all this anti-American bullshit hilariously funny is - I was born an Englishman. Bet you didn't see that coming. Cnuts.

            (I'm not touching the last bit of trolling - the NSA can deal with that as they see fit). :-D

            1. JamesTQuirk

              Re: Concealed Handgun License

              NSA, can waste of much of YOUR taxes as they like, but I give them a hand I am Australian, so go figure ...

              You are the one who likes "while visiting the UK, I show my Texas Concealed Handgun License, then smile smugly as the little oik shits himself"

              "(I'm not touching the last bit of trolling - the NSA can deal with that as they see fit). :-D"

              I sure they know about Islam being America's fastest growing religon, its in the press, TV, UTube, so it will be OK ....

  44. bernhard.fellgiebel

    ID Cards - Pathetic

    People carry an electronic beacon these days. They even spend voracious amounts of money on The Beacon. And of course most of people connect The Beacon with their bank account and that means with their real identity; in almost all cases.

    Then they have these nasty black camera apertures everywhere. They never need a picture of you - all they need to do is to match the set of pictures they acquire in the tube (or MARTA, whatever your local train-with-tons-of-cameras is called) to nail down your current picture to your bank account.

    If you have acquried the phone and SIM anonymously, they can use the voice fingerprint you leave at your bank, your airline, your business/holiday airflight and many other places.

    For each new face and new phone this will take a few days to calibrate the system. But if you take a train or bus for a few weeks, they know with almost total precision where you are and who you are. All the time.

    And then they have some sort of pretext (use the imperial religionists for that end) to "clamp down on people riding the train without a cellphone".

    After they have your face in the database attached to your real ID, you can from then on ride the system without a cellphone and they still know who you are.

    And don't tell me they don't do this - the Americans love this sort of thing and Britain is "anxious" to please America. As one US air force colonel told me "you can never collect enough".

  45. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    The answer to not being ID'd in supermarkets seems simple: lobby for and then enact a law that states unequivocally that if someone is slashed with a broken winebottle or boxcutter by a disaffected yoof, the store that sold the original item later used as a weapon cannot be held in any way liable for monetary damages arising from lawsuits brought by or on behalf of the victims or their families.

    Because I'll bet that is where these practices get born. Tesco has no other stake in what age you are when you buy a Stanley Knife. All they (or rather, their legal departments) care about is shielding themselves from massive monetary judgements arising from the sale.

  46. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    It's not the ID that's a problem, it's the incursion of Star Trek science into the business of ID credentials (as in science that only works on Star Trek).

    Example: The beyond stupid biometric passport I was forced to invest in this year, along with the equally pointless (and potentially much less secure than before if stuff I've read in these pages is to be believed) biometric Alien Registration Card.

    Expensive and dangerously insecure, but I suppose you can say that about anything originating in the head of a politician.

    The kicker is that the machines used to do the face-to-photo recognition at the immigration points apparently cannot cope with glasses so they made me take mine off for the photo despite being told I never do so on account of me crashing into things if I do. This time I was mature enough to refrain from asking what would happen if I shaved off my beard, but within three months I went from full beard to Colour Sgt Bourne/Nigel Green muttonchops for the fun of it.

    In closing, let me say hello to my NSA monitor and wish him or her the best for what's left of their shift.

  47. phil dude
    FAIL

    ID != intent, ID != citizen rights

    It is simple really. Having an ID does mean any proof of intent. This is the security theatre of checking ID at airports. Let us remember the bad guys on Sept 11th 2001, used their real names on valid visas and still nothing was done about it. Locks on the doors of cockpits was the fix. what did we get instead...?

    Producing ID for age is pointless when judgement is out lawed. Especially these "ID creep" campaigns in the UK where us PhD students who are all guaranteed to be at least 25 get asked for ID, even though the limit is 18. We produce our student ID's (says graduate) and say "prove it otherwise".

    This is plain and simple discrimination by a coercive legislation. If you are an employee it is not your "jobs worth" to use any judgement. Hence stupid checks of pensioners. Hence, the govt keeps turning the crank upping the "check age limit" until you are old enough to tell them to get lost. Defy the govt, business loses money, but citizens pay the price either way.

    No one EVER asks you for your age for YOUR benefit. The elephant in the room is that guardianship of children in the UK used to be parents and older siblings looked after the safe introduction of alcohol to children in the family and then society. Even in pubs that had owner landlords, they could use discretion if it is THEIR responsibility to maintain order. Pubs have largely gone "corporate", so no risks there. Why penalise the responsible for the behaviour of the irresponsible?

    In the US they forced citizens who can be drafted to fight in a war (i.e. >18) , to lose the ability to drink alcohol on the back of the threatened withdrawal of federal road funding. Mission creep, again.

    If a citizens identity was only used for the original purpose of its production, I think this would be less of an issue. Why do UK companies need your UK passport for you to use a credit card?(yes a major online retailer asked me and I told them to get bent and bought the item from amazon for slightly more).

    It all comes down to trust and potential abuse. Govts and Big biz demand the former with weak or impossible redress for the latter.

    P.

  48. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    All this hoo-hah-ing over the British Common Law, a set of statutes that includes Suss.

    For the uninitiated, that's the law that lets the police arrest you because they think you are thinking about committing a crime.

    I can't say for sure but I'd bet real money that this is the most grossly abused law on the books in the UK. I've been gone from the place for nearly 30 years and I'd have thought, given the outrage it was generating in the 1980s, that it would have been repealed decades ago.

    Doubleplus Ungood, people.

  49. timhowarduk

    Often the airline staff do not know their own policies. I travelled with [well know airline] from Luton to Inverness with a 9 month old baby. Their documentation on their website said (at the time) that children under 2 didn't need photographic ID. Fine. Had no issues at all at Luton.

    Then I try travelling back a few days later and the lovely lady at Inverness tells me the 'rules have changed' and your baby needs a passport. I showed her the printout from the website and pointed out that she can't reasonably expect me to anticipate rule changes between an outgoing and return journey. She remained adamant and I suggested maybe we could find a manager to discuss it. Suddenly she said she would let me off with a warning, and let us go. But oddly enough I was selected for random extra security checks. Guess they have to exact their revenge somehow! When I got home I checked the website and the rules were exactly the same.

    Lesson I learned was to always take a printout of the rules with you if you rely on them.

  50. John Munyard

    Ryanair

    Of course it makes total sense for Ryanair to madate a passport when travelling with them.

    Because with Ryanair that ticket which you thought would take you to "Belfast East" will more likely instead drop you in some out-in-the-sticks airport outside Dublin with a 80 mile bus trip to get you where you thought you were going.

    Hence passport.

  51. bsimon

    National id number and the end of privacy

    In my country government assigns us a perpetual and public national ID number when we are born and we are required to carry a national id document since we are 18 year old. National ID cards are asked everywhere, I even have to show it every time I pay for something with my credit or debit card. National id numbers are used every where with out restrictions to index personal information. Anyone can query public databases using my id number to find out details about my car, house (with full address), companies I own shares, wife, children, parents, etc, even some home banking systems ask for your id number and password to log in.

    In my country a thief can quickly gather a lot of information about a potential target just grabbing his id number or a car plate number. Identity theft is a nightmare cause forged id documents. If you don't know your target id you can download a public database with a listing of ids and names.

    Once government manages to impose a national id number/document surrender any hope of privacy or security.

  52. Michael 28
    Angel

    Ryanair bashing.

    Why no mention of Aer Lingus in this article? And why are all the other Uk-Irish carriers mentioned UK based? Hardly a balanced article in that respect. The only problem I have with Ryanair is that their flights are from airports way WAY out in the sticks, and after DECADES of operation, the road-rail links to the airports are

    1. MASSIVELY overpriced in relation to the flight cost

    2. Take a MINIMUM of half a day from even the most reasonably connected town.

    Something else that would never happen in Germany.

    Guess who a lot of us Irish regard as pro-European role models?

  53. OhDearHimAgain

    A lawyer friend of mine says it is his opinion this would not stand up in court as it is unreasonable to expect a lay person to be suitably qualified to make the correct assessment of the documents it takes border officials many months to train for.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What?

    "and, if you are from outside the UK, Ireland or Commonwealth (which as far the original order is concerned makes you “an alien”)"

    Wait? What? Alien is chiefly American when referring to illegal immigrants, or are we actually meaning ET this time?

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