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

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

  1. cbars

    another iteration

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

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: another iteration

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

      Once she does that she'll be just fine.

      1. sed gawk

        Re: another iteration

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

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

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

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: another iteration

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

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

          1. sed gawk

            Re: another iteration

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

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

            I wouldn't trust the current shower to

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

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

        2. Def Silver badge

          Re: another iteration

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

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

          1. cbars

            Re: another iteration

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

            1. A.P. Veening

              Re: another iteration

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

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

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: a figment of my imagination

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

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

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: a figment of my imagination

                  I think I think therefore maybe.

                  1. Spanners Silver badge
                    Boffin

                    Re: a figment of my imagination

                    I am, therefore I think

                    1. Pseudonymous Howard
                      Pint

                      Re: a figment of my imagination

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

          2. Wincerind

            Re: another iteration

            "minimum IQ requirement"

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

            1. tony2heads

              Re: another iteration

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

          3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: another iteration

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

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

          4. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: another iteration

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

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

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

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

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

              Smart people rarely think they are cunning.

              Cunning people often think they are smart.

          5. small and stupid

            Re: another iteration

            Whats IQ got to do with Politics?

            Politics is a mixture of ideology and self-interest.

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

            * replace with any mainstream political party

            ** replace with any extremist

        3. Kiwi Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: another iteration

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

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

    2. Anne-Lise Pasch

      Re: another iteration

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

      -- Yes, Minister

    3. David Shaw

      UK already has ID cards, just soft fuzzy ones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      not sure what the answer will be

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

      1. Def Silver badge

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

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

        1. David Shaw

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

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

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

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

  2. 0laf Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Here we go again...

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

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

    1. Steve K Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Here we go again...

      You missed "DevOps" and "Agile"

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Here we go again...

        and block chain.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Here we go again...

          Pink Cloud, yep, genuinely.

        2. Pete4000uk

          Re: Here we go again...

          'Multi-cloud' is next

          1. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: 'Multi-cloud' is next

            Nah, next up will be Fog Computing

            1. DaveMcK

              Re: 'Multi-cloud' is next

              as opposed to the flog computing we already have?

      2. spold Bronze badge

        Re: Here we go again...

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

        What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

        1. jamm13dodger

          Re: Here we go again...

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

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Here we go again...

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

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

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

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

      1. sed gawk

        Re: Here we go again...

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

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

    3. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again...

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

      To be promoted, way above their station.

      Shudder

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again...

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

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

    5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

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

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

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Proof

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

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Proof

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Proof

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

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

        ...

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

  4. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Megaphone

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

    -Wendell Phillips, January 28, 1852

    TL;DR:

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

  5. tfewster Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Three Databases for the NHS under the sky,

    Seven for the Civil Servants in their halls of stone,

    Nine for Security services doomed to lie,

    One for the Home Secretary on his dark throne

    In the Land of Britain where the Shadows lie.

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

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

    In the Land of Britain where the Shadows lie

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > In the Land of Britain where the Shadows lie

      And their politicians.

    2. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @tfewster

      Bravo, good sir!

      You have my axe!

    3. ArrZarr Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Five great charters knit the land

      Together linked, hand in hand

      One in the people who hold the power

      Two in the folk who heal the sour

      Three and Five became the civil service

      Four engineers this endless circus

    4. SVV Silver badge

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

  6. Toilet Duk

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

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

    1. onemark03

      @ toilet duk

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

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

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

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

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: @ toilet duk

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

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ toilet duk

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

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

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

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

        1. A.P. Veening

          Re: Dumbing down the general population

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

          They succeeded above all expectations but in a completely unexpected way they didn't like: a majority voted for Brexit, largely because of the nasty habit of Whitehall to unjustly blame all impopular legislation on Brussels.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: Dumbing down the general population

            They succeeded above all expectations but in a completely unexpected way they didn't like: a majority voted for Brexit, largely because of the nasty habit of Whitehall to unjustly blame all impopular legislation on Brussels.

            I think it's a bit presumptuous to assume that voting for Brexit = dumbed down.

            I voted for Brexit, and oddly enough one of the reasons was so that our fawning politicians wouldn't have a skirt to hide behind anymore and we could actually stand a chance of holding them to account.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Dumbing down the general population

              > I voted for Brexit, ... so that our fawning politicians wouldn't have a skirt to hide behind anymore and we could actually stand a chance of holding them to account.

              That sounds unusual.

              Did the politicians "have a skirt to hide behind" prior to our being an EU member?

              Were they generally "held to account"?

              Not really seeing where your belief it'll achieve that result has sprung from.

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                Re: Dumbing down the general population

                "Not really seeing where your belief it'll achieve that result has sprung from."

                Fair point, but it was only one of the reasons, and certainly not the main one.

                If this country had been exposed to European culture (as opposed to almost entirely US culture) then Brits might *feel* European. As it is I don't feel connected with Europe, so the idea of decisions being made in Brussels outside of my ability to influence (by voting) doesn't sit well with me.

                I was also rather hoping that this country would re-discover its collective backbone before it was too late and that once a decision was made that people would put aside their differences and make the best of the situation. Naive, I know, but without trying we would never know.

                As it is, the remainers (who lost the vote by the way) have done everything they can to undermine the process and spread FUD across the land. Bloody annoying.

                1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

                  Re: Dumbing down the general population

                  @Sir Runcible you had ample chance to vote the same as any EU citizen. If you chose not to take part in the EU Election like 65% of the country (a good 7% below average turnout) and elect MEPs who make one arm of the EU legislature.

                  The other two are the council, formed of the Member state governments (weighted by Population) that you vote for in general elections

                  and the commision, which is proposed by the council (that you vote for your represenative too) and confirmed by the Parliment(theat you get a say in)

                  So How are you not able to influence european decisions by voting?

                  oh and all decisions of the council need to be unanimous, so your elected representatives effectivley have a veto.

                  and dont get me started on the mess of how legislation actually gets through all three into EU law ....

                2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                  FAIL

                  "Naive, I know, but without trying we would never know."

                  So you and your pals thought you'd conduct a social experiment with the entire future of the UK's relationship with the rest of the world.

                  Hoping for a revival of the "Dunkirque spirit" were you?

                  How do you think that's worked out? 50% success rate? More? Less?

                  I'll leave you to guess how well I think it's worked out.

                  1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                    Re: "Naive, I know, but without trying we would never know."

                    So you and your pals thought you'd conduct a social experiment with the entire future of the UK's relationship with the rest of the world.

                    That's one way of looking at it, although I certainly took it a tad more seriously than you are implying - I'm not treating this as a game. From my point of view I was standing up for what I believe in.

                    Hoping for a revival of the "Dunkirque spirit" were you?

                    Guilty as charged.

                    How do you think that's worked out? 50% success rate? More? Less?

                    I will admit that I'm disappointed in the result. Whilst there was a slight majority vote in favour of leaving, it's hard to argue that there isn't an element of xenophobia there, rather than the positive viewpoint I had hoped would emerge. So I have to go with less than 50%.

                    I'll leave you to guess how well I think it's worked out.

                    I'm sure I have no need to guess, John. Any more than you need to guess that I was hopelessly idealistic in my faith that, when it comes to the crunch, people would pull together and show some solidarity.

                    I won't apologise for standing up for what I believe in, and I voted to leave because I genuinely believed that remaining in the EU would lead us down a path with fewer options later on, when an additional option or two could make all the difference.

                    It's just unfortunate that our political 'leaders' are so spineless and self-serving.

                    Lest we forget, the people of this country might have voted to join the EEC (an economic agreement) they didn't get a vote on handing over our national sovereignty. The very first time we had a chance to vote on that particular nugget was the Brexit referendum. Over 50% of the voters wanted to leave, and if you believe the pollsters the main differentiator appears to be age, i.e. the older people were more likely to vote to leave.

                    This has led to accusations of the older generation selling out the younger etc., yet you could also look at it as the older (more experienced) voters looking out for the younger generation (which are their children and future, remember).

                    Partisan lines have been drawn up along the most bizarre basis at times, but for me it's about the ability to stand up to the power brokers who see the little people as nothing more than cash cows to be milked and discarded, and I honestly believe we would have less power to do so within the EU.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: "Naive, I know, but without trying we would never know."

                      > This has led to accusations of the older generation selling out the younger etc., yet you could also look at it as the older (more experienced) voters looking out for the younger generation (which are their children and future, remember).

                      That's a good thought. Unfortunately, in this case it doesn't appear to be the case in general.

                      Instead it appears they're trying to look after their own interests, not caring they're reducing the opportunities and likely permanently damaging the lives of the next generation (apart from the exceptional high flyers).

                    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: "Naive, I know, but without trying we would never know."

                      "That's one way of looking at it, although I certainly took it a tad more seriously than you are implying - I'm not treating this as a game. "

                      Pity.

                      Most of the voters I'm familiar with seemed to view it as little more than some sort of petulant gesture against "something" ("Europe, innit" to coin a phrase) that they couldn't manage to articulate beyond "I don'ts like it."

                      "Any more than you need to guess that I was hopelessly idealistic in my faith that, when it comes to the crunch, people would pull together and show some solidarity."

                      No.Your mistake is not seeing the actual situation as it is. A stand up fight with odds of 27 to 1 against. In a Steven Segal movie he wins. IRL the 1 gets the s**t kicked out of him and if he's lucky an ambulance picks him up before he bleeds out. The accuracy of that metaphor you could have discovered for yourself with about 5 minutes work on Google.

                      "I won't apologise "

                      No one's asking you to.

                      If you're right and Brexit really is the precursor to going to getting to those "Sunlit uplands" people were spouting about during the referendum there will be nothing to apologize for.

                      OTOH (assuming you haven't fled to some offshore bolthole, as various Conservative MP's and former MP's seem to be planning to do. Why would they sacrifice their standard of living when they can sacrifice yours instead ) you'll be living with the consequences of your handiwork for some time to come.

                      Provided you don't have any conditions that needs some of the 45 million units of medicine the UK ships in from Europe whose supply might get delayed at one border check or another. In which case you might not be around so long.

                      "but for me it's about the ability to stand up to the power brokers who see the little people as nothing more than cash cows to be milked and discarded, "

                      And it never occurred to you to notice most of those "power brokers" you're talking about are actually British? and you actually expect them to be more restrained with less external influence?

                      You really are gullible.

                      "Lest we forget, the people of this country might have voted to join the EEC (an economic agreement) "

                      Since we're not forgetting let's not (also) forget that Margaret Thatcher and John Major both had absolute majorities. If they'd wanted you to have a referendum in 1992 you would have had one. when kwitters whine about "Remonaers" asking for a 2nd vote they discreetly forget they've been whinning on about a 2nd vote for 26 years.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Dumbing down the general population

                  > As it is, the remainers (who lost the vote by the way) have done everything they can to undermine the process and spread FUD across the land. Bloody annoying.

                  It's also more than just a bit annoying to have moved to the UK a few years ago, precisely to become an EU citizen (via UK ancestry)... then have this (to me) idiotic Brexit happen, where neither campaign was really a bastion of truth, and the vote only just squeaked through past 50/50.

                  Let alone that the "Referendum" (that's in quotes on purpose) wasn't actually supposed to be binding, so many (including myself) didn't bother voting as it obvious wasn't to be taken seriously. The joke's definitely on us though, eh?

                  So yeah. I've since left the UK. And even if the Brexit is dropped like completely stupid concept it was (yes, that's my opinion), I doubt I'll come back. Cannot trust the people running the country. It used to be safe to ignore them. Even that's gone. :(

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Dumbing down the general population

                    If you really wanted to keep your EU citizen status you could live for five years in Ireland due too the CTA and then apply for Irish citizenship.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Dumbing down the general population

                      > If you really wanted to keep your EU citizen status you could live for five years in Ireland due too the CTA and then apply for Irish citizenship.

                      Agreed, and that's an option. However, the weather and general lifestyle in Ireland are apparently significantly worse than in Wales.

                      Decided to move back to Oz for now, and see how the UK things shake out. The biggest shame was I was getting a London HQ'd business off the ground when this happened. Majority of founders (aside from myself) are EU nationals (eg Germany, Spain, etc), working remotely from their respective countries. Brexit... ugh.

                4. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: Dumbing down the general population

                  I was also rather hoping that this country would re-discover its collective backbone before it was too late and that once a decision was made that people would put aside their differences and make the best of the situation. Naive, I know, but without trying we would never know.

                  As it is, the remainers (who lost the vote by the way) have done everything they can to undermine the process and spread FUD across the land. Bloody annoying.

                  This is the defining issue of this generation, by this issue I don't just mean Leave-Remain but any difference care to mention because so much was promised, and none of it in writing, and people ended up voting Leave because they were unhappy with their lot.

                  Putting aside differences and making the best of the situation seems to mean the other side should like it or lump it, and that's not going to happen. This is going to run and hamstring the UK for decades.

                  1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                    Re: Dumbing down the general population

                    Putting aside differences and making the best of the situation seems to mean the other side should like it or lump it, and that's not going to happen. This is going to run and hamstring the UK for decades.

                    Unfortunately I'm going to have to agree with you there.

                    Just out of curiosity, if the Remain vote had won, do you think the Leave voters would have been expected to 'like it or lump it'?

                    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                      Re: Dumbing down the general population

                      Probably not, but something like a running a residency database, using the tools available in EU Directive 2004/38 to control freedom of movement, and doing something about austerity might have addressed the main reasons people voted Leave.

                    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                      Unhappy

                      "do you think the Leave voters would have been expected to 'like it or lump it'?"

                      We already know Farage was going to press for yet another go around.

                      All because an arrogant, over privledged PR type (one of those "power brokers" you seem to dislike) reckoned the referendum was the perfect way to a)Stop defections from the PCP and b) Kill off UKkip.

                      Which it's done. Superbly.

                      Of course the UK economy will probably end up economic road kill but that's a small price to pay for the key goal. Keeping the Parliamentary Conservative Party united.

                      WELL DONE YOU.

                      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                        Re: "do you think the Leave voters would have been expected to 'like it or lump it'?"

                        "WELL DONE YOU."

                        That seems a bit harsh. I don't believe my one little vote can be conflated to me being responsible for the mess the politicians have made of the situation any more than your vote could be considered a failure to stop it.

                        You raise some valid points, but I certainly don't agree with all of them. At this point perhaps we should agree to disagree? I see no reason to sour the forum by continuing to dissect this particular beast, we're not going to change each others mind and it won't achieve anything substantial imo.

          2. Chronos Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Dumbing down the general population

            They succeeded above all expectations but in a completely unexpected way they didn't like: a majority voted for Brexit

            Do you honestly believe that this was the undesired outcome? Look at it from their side: No oversight, no ECoHR, no ECJ...

            The disMay is purely a front and explains yer wan's determination to push on in the face of, well, pretty much everyone else saying she's talking nonsense with The Best Deal For Britain™. The EU was a convenient place to hang blame but they always have the opposition as a backstop - or they would if it wasn't a rump government sitting to the right of the speaker now that the DUP have abandoned the sinking ship and she could trust the members of her own party not to emulate Marcus Brutus.

      3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: @ toilet duk

        "

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

        "

        It will be the latter. If everyone is required to have an ID card, then inevitably more and more services will require you to present it ("To improve your user experience"). Pretty quickly it will be needed to enter a train station, to buy prescription medicines, phones, booze or other age-restricted items. Slowly the requirement to present your ID card will widen, until so many everyday activities will require it to be presented that you will be forced to carry it. That's assuming that it does not become an offence to not have it to hand when the nice police officer demands to see it.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: @ toilet duk

          If everyone is required to carry an ID card, can I suggest that we all carry Ms Rudd's?

          I doubt this would actually be a problem, since it will all be computerised and so the only requirement will be that it is a card, not that the picture or name corresponds to the person presenting it (which the "AI" won't be "I" enough to figure out).

        2. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: @ toilet duk

          I live in Spain and have an ID card, here I have no objection because I trust the government here more than I do the British government, who's attitude to abusing bureaucracy is if they can they will.

          Spain can be a little difficult sometimes with paperwork due to mostly inept system design but the UK likes to control the people who pay their wages and to keep an eye on them.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: @ toilet duk

            You should have gone on to explain that your Spanish tax return comes pre-filled (from loads of data sources) for maximum downvote fun.

            Personally I think something like The Netherlands does, which is maintain a residency database without ID cards, is a reasonable middle ground.

            1. onemark03

              Re: @ toilet duk

              I think you'll find that the Netherlands do have an ID card.

              See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_identity_card .

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: @ toilet duk

                First paragraph says Dutch ID cards are not compulsory.

                1. onemark03

                  @ Dan55: Re: @ toilet duk

                  Right.

                  But look at the paragraph on "Use": "All Dutch citizens from the age of 14 are required to be able to show a valid identity document when the police or other enforcement officers ask for identification." IAW, if you don't have a Dutch driving licence, you will "need" an ID card or something similar.

                  The same applies in Germany, except citizens are required by law to have either an ID card or a passport (they are allowed to have both). And in Belgium, Spain and Portugal you are required to both have AND CARRY an ID card on pain of a fine. (I don't know what these last three say about passports.)

          2. Ken 16 Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: @ toilet duk

            European ID card systems have two related differences from those proposed in the UK;

            1) because they were designed to work with paper files, they're administered locally. The information is on the card and if they need to validate the card, they communicate with the office of your local region.

            2) being decentralised, they work for their intended purpose

            The UK wants a single centralised dataset covering all UK residents and accessible from any government department. It increases the number of uses the government can put that data to at the expense of increasing complexity to implement and operate.

        3. Someone Else Silver badge
          WTF?

          @Cynic_999 -- Re: @ toilet duk

          So, you're angling to make Benedict Donald right when he (erroneously) states that you have to have an ID card to buy a loaf of bread. Seems to me, that that would be the prime mover to not have that happen; do you really think that even the likes of TMay would want to do anything to validate Herr Lügenführer Drumpf?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ toilet duk

          > Pretty quickly it will be needed to enter a train station, to buy prescription medicines, phones, booze or other age-restricted items.

          So, a drivers license then?

      4. JimC Silver badge

        Re: unless ... made so difficult that carrying an ID card makes things ... easier.

        What's more a fictitious need for them will appear on every government form. I was recently called up for jury service, and the form contained a list of all the acceptable ID you were supposed to bring, photo id mostly. I plain didn't have it - I have a paper driving license etc etc. so I contacted the court:

        "I don't have this ID"

        and back came the answer

        "doesn't matter, anything will do"

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ toilet duk

        well, once the ids are sorted, what shall we think of next... perhaps the overdue brilliant idea of getting rid of cash? All those banks accounts, so easy to control. And if need be, you just pull the plug and - gone. Genius! :(

      6. Shadowmanx2012
        Big Brother

        Re: @ toilet duk

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

        And that is precisely What will happen! It will start out “voluntary” then become compulsory, because that is the way of governments.

        And it will be necessary as I can see a time where in order to “combat terrorism” you will be required to use it every time you want to access some government service.

      7. Kiwi Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: @ toilet duk

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

        gentle civil disobedience often wins in the end. If you don't like it don't live with it.

        Are they there for your benefit as a citizen, or theirs? If the government is for the benefit of the citizen then the citizen must remind them of this from time to time, and unpopular acts by the government must be dealt with and even punished by the citizens who employ them.

        But as Franklin(?) said, those who give up liberty for security deserve to lose both.

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: @ Toilet Duk

      My concern is that if ID cards are required to access certain services, and are biometric (read, expensive) I would only want to carry it when I needed it, for fear of losing it, and becoming a non-person until it was replaced (which I presume would cost me some money, ~the cost of a new passport (£75 or £85).

      A Driver's License is just £14 if I need to renew online,... hence I'm happy to keep that in my wallet.

  7. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    There is no advantage in universal ID

    There is no advantage in universal ID. ID by itself is not particularly useful.

    There is an obvious advantage in using universal ID as an indexing mechanism to collate and organize the data the government has on you.

    The question is simply - do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. There is a plethora of current databases using all kinds of data as an index. So the question is plain and simple: does a unified ID reduce the cost without any additional expense to privacy compared to the current HMRC, NI, NHS, Passport, DVLA etc data sources (I would be surprised if there is a single citizen left who is not any of them).

    If not f*** off.

    If it reduces privacy further than the current requirement to supply a number of "additional documents" some of which like bills are actually an invasion of privacy, then it is f*** off too. If not, well, there is no point to go into post-WW2 reminiscence mode about it. There are plenty of "database nations" out there where every single bit the government has on you (even your parking tickets) is organized in a central database and neatly indexed by your national ID. A lot of them are actually at least as free as UK and have better human rights/surveillance/etc situation. So clearly, a national ID is not an impediment to that.

    In any case, it is quite likely that it will end up being a requirement for most version of Deal/No-Deal arrangement for visa-free travel with the Eu so there will be little choice on this matter. In that case it will be indeed: "Get over it".

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: There is no advantage in universal ID

      "There are plenty of "database nations" out there where every single bit the government has on you (even your parking tickets) is organized in a central database and neatly indexed by your national ID. A lot of them are actually at least as free as UK and have better human rights/surveillance/etc situation"

      This.

      IT professionals used to handling unique IDs across multiple systems should understand that having a unique identifier for each citizen is not substantially different to having multiple identifiers such as passport, driving license or whatever, which can anyway currently be linked if they have a mapping between the various ID types (which for example GCHQ certainly have).

      The defence against oppression and invasion of privacy comes from oversight and transparency. Not having ID cards is just a fig leaf without that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There is no advantage in universal ID

        "The defence against oppression and invasion of privacy comes from oversight and transparency."

        ^^This, this, a thousand times, this.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: There is no advantage in universal ID

        "There are plenty of "database nations" out there where every single bit the government has on you (even your parking tickets) is organized in a central database and neatly indexed by your national ID. A lot of them are actually at least as free as UK

        Might that not be the crux of the reservations the public has?

        Not that they are against ID cards, but that they don't much care for the kind of society the current British Political Parties would create in future years with the an all-encompassing ID card system (and techies know the ID card system will be woefully broken and like it even less).

      3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Gimp

        "defence against oppression and invasion of privacy comes from oversight and transparency. "

        And given how p**s poor the UK is at that then not having an ID card seems about the only other way to stop data fetishists (of which this is one of their wet dreams) from gaining complete satisfaction.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: There is no advantage in universal ID

      There is for spies, criminals etc.

      How secure will the database be?

      People believe what the computer says.

      Read Wilfred Greatorex's 1999. Or watch the series.

      I think May's Home Office, "Hostile Environment," PIP, Universal Credit are part of same scheme with the ID card, which will be done badly.

      See also Harry Harrison's "To the Stars" Trilogy:

      1980 Homeworld

      1981 Wheelworld

      1981 Starworld

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Big Brother

        "Read Wilfred Greatorex's 1999. Or watch the series."

        Highly ironic.

        "1990" is actually about a Left Wing police state Britain. Greatorex seemed pretty Right Wing

        But the real truth is that there would be little practical difference between a Left Wing authoritarian police state and a Right Wing authoritarian police state.

        The politics is just window dressing for the Authoritarian state of mind.

        The real "enemy" is the democratic process and the people who practice it. IOW Everyone. not them.

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: There is no advantage in universal ID

      "There is an obvious advantage in using universal ID as an indexing mechanism to collate and organize the data the government has on you."

      You are assuming that the different government departments that wish to collate and organize the data have used similar standards of verification. They haven't. Mixing these data sets will produce a big pile of poo, not a database.

      There will be a few months of complete chaos, during which the government will be unable to perform any functions whatsoever, except issuing re-assurances to the House that the project is on schedule and will be a great success, and then every department will go back to using their old system. Afterwards, the only evidence that this was even attempted will be the non-refundable fees in the bank accounts of various large consultancy companies.

    4. onemark03

      @ Voland's right hand: There is no advantage in universal ID

      True. Germany (where I live) would be a typical example.

      However, you may recall that the National Identity Register was intended to contain 51 separate items of data on all UK citizen and other legal residents and that, as Tony Blair openly proposed, a civil servant would have needed to just enter someone's name / card no. / whatever and all that cardholder's data would have been available to the civil servant immediately.

      That is not the case here in Germany, where the recording of such data is very limited and compartmentalised.

      Just FTR, German citizens are required by law to have either an ID card or a passport (they may also have both) but are not required to carry it on their persons at all times. However, as most people find they need to identify themselves fairly frequently, they find it more convenient to voluntarily carry a card or a passport on them all the time anyway.

      Also, German law requires all residents (citizens and us foreigners alike) to report our addresses to the local town hall. This address is then printed on German (citizens') ID cards as well (not passports). In the same vein, all residents are required by law to be able to identify themselves to the authorities with an official document showing their photo. Informally, this includes a driving licence but a DL is not an officially-recognised ID.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: @ Voland's right hand: There is no advantage in universal ID

        That is not the case here in Germany, where the recording of such data is very limited and compartmentalised.

        It is also a requirement which Germany has enforced via the Shengen agreement on EVERY signatory to Shengen, every Shengen aspiring country and most countries which were seeking some form of visa free travel from Eu _AFTER_ the first Shengen went into force. Even Turkey had to put in access control and limit scope of access to its own National Identity register for their civil servants.

        That is something which has earned them eternal gratitude of the rest of Eu (and not just Eu) and it is also the REAL reason why UK Home Office continuously insisted about "not wanting" to be part Shengen. It is also the real reason why certain political circles in the UK continue to beat the "No Papieren Bitte here". The current ID-less means and ways give them a nearly unfettered data access to the subject data which they hold today. Very few departments have any access controls on it (police has some and AFAIK that is about it). A national register done to current Eu requirements will instigate fine grained access control and logging of all requests and put an end to that. No Whitehall mandarin will allow that.

  8. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    It's like a hamster trying to juggle snakes

    Except it's us that get bitten.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: It's like a hamster trying to juggle snakes

      I'm hoping that one day the snakes mistake a mongoose for a hamster.

  9. Velv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    arguing that people were perfectly happy handing over their data to tech giants, so they should give it to the government

    We know what tech giants want to do with it - they want to sell it, or leverage it to persuade someone else to sell us something.

    Governments aren't trying to sell us something. So what do they want to do with the it?

    1. onemark03

      @ Velv

      Among other things, the government wants a better idea of who's (legally) living in the UK and, more generally, who you all are. Just because.

      (As I have said elsewhere on El Reg, ID cards are essentially an instrument of public administration.)

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: @ Velv

        "Among other things, the government wants a better idea of who's (legally) living in the UK and, more generally, who you all are. Just because."

        They should stop throwing away the records they've got, then.

      2. sed gawk

        Re: @ Velv

        (As I have said elsewhere on El Reg, ID cards are essentially an instrument of public administration.)

        Bollocks

        I have a passport, I don't need an ID card.

        I don't want to be stopped in the street and told to produce papers, without the right, nay, the obligation to direct the questioner to employ the advice given in arkell vs pressdram - http://www.lettersofnote.com/2013/08/arkell-v-pressdram.html

        I'm more than capable of understanding that the kickbacks are ready and waiting to be spent on yet another shitty oracle frontend, with bored, underpaid, and untrained staff in some hellcage merrily conflating people with names like "Nish Kumar" with names like "Nish Patel" https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/03/my-name-is-nish-kumar-so-please-stop-calling-me-nish-patel

        Sorry, I'd rather the existing mess of ID which makes life harder for fraudsters, viv la confusing hodgepodge of identity documents.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Velv

          @sed gawk

          "I have a passport, I don't need an ID card.”

          A passport isn't a proof of address. Nor voting rights.

          However do you expect the Government to take back control of the streets and deport foreigners etc. if you don't submit to compulsory ID, hmmmm?

          Just think of the sovereignty!!!

          1. sed gawk

            Re: @ Velv

            A passport isn't a proof of address. Nor voting rights.

            However do you expect the Government to take back control of the streets and deport foreigners etc. if you don't submit to compulsory ID, hmmmm?

            Just think of the sovereignty!!!

            The .gov will apply the time honoured tradition of using the ethnicity of the people to decide if they are entitled to stay in the country or not, see the Windrush trial which worked a treat, some minimal outcry, but no real consequences.

            Just ask the xenophobe in chief, too afrit to allow Parliament the "control" she claims to be returning to them.

  10. Mycho Silver badge

    Not a bad plan actually

    Force people to use ID based on NHS numbers.

    A non-zero number of people stop using the NHS

    Cut the NHS to reflect lower usage rates.

    Plebs die, never mind.

    1. Kane Silver badge

      Re: Not a bad plan actually

      "Plebs die, never mind."

      Your implication that non-plebs don't die? Sorry to tell you, but everyone dies.

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: Your implication that non-plebs don't die?

        I would imagine that the implication is that only plebs die as a result of cuts to a service used only by plebs. TPTB are rich enough to go private and that is what they do.

  11. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Could someone sell her the notion that it can all be handled by blockchain?

    1. Victor Ludorum

      As long as they can find someone who understands the right hashtags, we'll be fine...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Could someone sell her the notion that it can all be handled by blockchain?"

      There'll be a doazen consultants queuing up to do that right now.

      1. sed gawk
        Trollface

        Consultants

        User: My wife left me, I've lost my job, and I'm about to be deported.

        Consultant: Have you tried blockchain?

  12. PTW
    Facepalm

    "...universally acclaimed digital ID system which nowhere in the world has yet,"

    Apart from Estonia with it's universally acclaimed digital ID system!? Fuckwit

    1. hititzombisi

      Re: "...universally acclaimed digital ID system which nowhere in the world has yet,"

      Try Turkey.

      You obtain a digital ID simply by visiting the post office with your plastic ID card, then all of the Gov depts can be operated via your digital ID linked to your phone.

      Hospitals also have (limited) access to the database, so your health records can be accessed and amended by any hospital which means you don't carry a file of docs anywhere. Visit the doctor, hand over your ID card and they can check older reports instantly.

      It is linked to phone contracts, so they know who owns which phone (which makes the police job of hacking and listening to people via their phones).

      It is linked to the driving license DB, I have lost my TR licence, all I have to do is book an appointment via the gov police gateway.

      And so on.

      It is incredibly convenient and at the same time incredibly oppressive since all doors can be shut down in a sec and the police will come and grab you from your mobile tracking data pretty much instantly - whenever they like it.

      1. Lotaresco Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "...universally acclaimed digital ID system which nowhere in the world has yet,"

        "Try Turkey"

        Are you sure that you want to use Turkey, with its dreadful human rights record, as the poster child for ID cards? It's a country where people practice self-censorship because they know the cost of speaking out against government abuse of power.

        Even membership of Amnesty International can see one facing charges of being "a member of a terrorist organisation". And the Turkish government has a clever wheeze of putting people into indefinite "pre-trial detention" so that they don't even have to take them to court.

        "An ongoing state of emergency set a backdrop for violations of human rights. Dissent was ruthlessly suppressed, with journalists, political activists and human rights defenders among those targeted."

        --Amnesty International

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Big Brother

        It is incredibly convenient and at the same time incredibly oppressive

        Funny how that works.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: "...universally acclaimed digital ID system which nowhere in the world has yet,"

      "...universally acclaimed digital ID system which nowhere in the world has yet,"

      Bulgaria has had a complete national ID database and a complete national digital register indexing all the stuff state has on the individual since 1977. That includes even stuff like parking tickets.

      Funnily enough - it was the LEAST OPPRESSIVE Eastern Block regime.

      It kept every single bit of it after 1989 and it has improved it to comply with the Shengen standards (*). Did anyone, even one person in the whole country ask for this to be burned ceremonially on the Yellow Bricks in front of the Parliament as a symbol of totalitarian oppression? F*ck no. Nobody. Not a single person had that thought.

      By the way, even today it is a significantly less of a privacy invasive one nation under CCTV than UK.

      Estonia is a whipper snapper - its national ID dates from a late 90-es projects which the Scandinavians ran for themselves and donated some of the results to the Baltic states. Estonia just cranked the dial on the "hand-me-down" stuff a bit to pretend that it is very advanced on the subject.

      (*)There are also nowdays digital certificate annexes to it and you can sign digitally anything and everything (that part is optional) - title deeds, contracts, tax returns, etc. I used to have one as far back as the early 2000s to deal with all the business I do there.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: "...universally acclaimed digital ID system which nowhere in the world has yet,"

      In Italy all new ID cards are "digital" ones - and it's been since the beginning of the year. The system has been in test for some years, with only a limited number of cities issuing them (they are issued by municipalities - the one you have your legal residence in -, albeit being state documents).

      But I understand when a Briton speaks, "world" means "English-speaking countries". The fact, for example, that US has a lot of issues even to understand who has the right to vote where - and attempts can be made to hinder a basic citizens' right, is not an excuse nor a good example.

  13. iron Silver badge

    "people were perfectly happy handing over their data to tech giants"

    People were also perfectly happy to vote for Adolf Hitler, watch the Black & White Minstrels Show and let their kids hang around with Jimmy Saville. Why should we copy 'people'?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Blast from the past

      I can hear my mum yelling "Just because Simon put his hand in the fire doesn't mean you should!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blast from the past

        > I can hear my mum yelling "Just because Simon put his hand in the fire doesn't mean you should!"

        Wouldn't a horribly deformed hang allow one to skip out of the draft (re: War) back in the day?

        Simon may have had the right idea, depending on which country "Simon" lived in.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      People were also perfectly happy to vote for Adolf Hitler, watch the Black & White Minstrels Show and let their kids hang around with Jimmy Saville.

      Perhaps, but Adolf was invited by the Weimar President to take up the role of Chancellor, I don't believe he even held a seat in the Reichstag, although the Nazi party had a large number of seats.

      As for the latter two, there were no known issues with either at the time, but I blame the BBC who have a tendancy to overuse popular TV hosts, so much so that even the most unassuming and humble eventually either collapse into illness, mental health of drug problems or develop huge awkward to work with egos.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why don't we have a referendum...

    ..and discover the 'will of the people'?

    We can piggyback it on the second EU referendum.

    <running & cackling>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why don't we have a referendum...

      If I ever meet Will Ofthepeople I'll probably punch him in the nose, he's caused enough trouble for a lifetime.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Why don't we have a referendum...

        You can't go around punching people, even if their ethnic background is Irish

        Bill Posters is Will O'Fthepeople's cousin. People keep threatening him.

        1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

          Re: Why don't we have a referendum...

          Bill Posters Is Innocent!!!

          1. VikiAi Bronze badge
            Go

            Re: Bill Posters Is Innocent!!!

            So are the sheep dogs. But we still have trials for them!

      2. MGJ

        Re: Why don't we have a referendum...

        Sid Vicious paraphrased this beautifully; "I've met the man in the street, and he's a c***"

    2. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: Why don't we have a referendum...

      "We can piggyback it on the second EU referendum."

      I think you mean the third referendum. We already had two.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long before.....

    After we (perhaps) get national ID cards, how long before there is a thriving underground traffic in fake IDs? Mine will say that my name is David Cameron (or perhaps on some days I'll be Michael Gove).

    *

    Maybe I'll be able to get one in the name of Anonymous Coward!

    1. VikiAi Bronze badge
      Happy

      Re: How long before.....

      National ID cards are great! I have several, all with my name spelled slightly differently. Confuses the hell out of the machine at the dole office, but it still coughs out all the cash for each one!

      - from a comedy skit on the telly back when the 'Australia Card' was first proposed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How long before.....

      It is much harder to fake an ID - and impersonate someone - in countries using ID documents (and having records well kept) than in countries where that doesn't happen. Usually, to fake an ID you need to have some kind of access to the system. It's not impossible, sure, bribing of course could work, but proper auditing could make it difficult, raising its costs. Stolen documents could be used, but digital ones can be easily "flagged" as such.

      It is much harder to fake an ID card that some utility bills or bank statements. And you can't have here utility bills or a bank statement without an ID card to prove your identity first.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: How long before.....

      After we (perhaps) get national ID cards, how long before there is a thriving underground traffic in fake IDs?

      In this day and age - nope. The ID is simply a manifestation of a (need to know) fraction of your digital record in the national ID system and it can be queried at the roadside by any cop. At least that is how it works in Eu. In fact, some forces now have the relevant apps on the phones to read the biometric/rfid chips at the ID and do a 3 way check - what's printed, what's written on the chip and in the database.

      A fake ID to pass that will need 3 letter resources and is pretty much outside whatever is available to fakers.

  16. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Boffin

    Re: people were perfectly happy handing over their data to tech giants

    Yes, and of course we're all the same aren't we?

    1. cbars

      Re: people were perfectly happy handing over their data to tech giants

      well, there are 120million* UK facebook accounts, so clearly literally everyone has provided not just 'their data', but an honest and accurate reflection of it

      *this might be a made up number, but without ID cards we can't be sure how many people actually live in the UK so it's our new baseline

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: people were perfectly happy handing over their data to tech giants

        You're going to have to explain to me exactly how ID cards will make it possible to increase anyone's certainty as to how many people live in the UK.

        Are you assuming that the numbers of people who get multiple ID cards (for whatever nefarious, or simply incompetent, purpose) will exactly mirror those who refuse to get one at all?

      2. Da Weezil

        Re: people were perfectly happy handing over their data to tech giants

        Along with many others, I do what I can to frustrate the data fetishes of big tech - including avoiding posting my life on social media (I actually talk to my friends directly - or even hang out with them), I dont Tweet, I even mix it up on forums like this.

        Its OUR country, the politicians need reminding THEY work for US, not the other way around. They demand privacy for thier families and private lives, we should be entitled to the same. One database to rule them all is a totaltiarian device, and not the way a real democracy does things - but having said that, theres a lot of things happening that DONT reflect "living in a democracy".

        Oh and lets not forget that like the driving licence, this will become a taxation device, with issue fees and renewal/replacement fees (with a profit margin built in for whichever "services" company is allowed to fleece us) - We already pay far too much for governmental wet dreams.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: people were perfectly happy handing over their data to tech giants

      No, we're not!

      At least those of us who are not ADHD-addled Millennials or brain-dead fuckwits aren't. (Note: Those are not necessarily disjoint sets....)

      1. cbars
        Trollface

        Re: people were perfectly happy handing over their data to tech giants

        that's it, point your finger at the millennials, the brain dead fuckwits etc

        it's always someone else's fault

        (This one cool trick to scan your ID card has been checked and there is an increase in hot singles in your area!! Click here to find out more)

  17. Number6

    Tracking

    Having an official bit of plastic that says the government is happy that the person pictured has the name on the card is not in itself harmful, and is useful when you do need to prove your ID, such as at the bank when you want to do something to your account that you'd prefer others not be allowed to do. If you've got a UK photo-ID driver's licence then you already have such an ID card. In the US, such things are officially recognised as ID, and it's possible to get a similar card to act as a state ID that is not a driver's licence.

    The line is crossed when the bank, or other entity is required to report your use of that ID to a central tracking system, which is pretty much what the last UK attempt at ID cards was all about and why we all kicked up a stink about it. It's the difference between the ID card being a tool for you to use, and it being a tool for the state to keep track of everyone.

    The problem arises that once the first one is introduced, where you have an ID card with no requirements imposed on carrying it or its use, it's easy for a future government to suddenly declare that you're supposed to carry it at all times, or introduce a reporting requirement on its use, or to require it to be presented for certain transaction types. Far easier to hold the line at "no government ID card" than give them that bit of ground and then hold back on the rest.

    1. onemark03

      @ Number6

      Agree.

      Readers will recall the former Labour government's proposed ID card scheme would have required every transaction involving an ID card to be recorded on the cardholder's "file", thereby virtually leaving a a papertrail of the cardholder's life.

      Charming.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Number6

        So, a blockchain?

  18. John Sager

    Go Forth & Multiply like a Mayfly

    Nothing more really needs to be said.

  19. analyzer

    Bloody typical

    It would be really nice if they actually did this with every single person holding either an elected or a civil service pen pusher post so that security can be properly and fully tested with information that will harm no one important.

    1. MGJ

      Re: Bloody typical

      Have you been to a government office recently? All staff wear passes at all times, and they are required for entry and used for various systems (flexi, printing etc)

  20. onemark03

    @ analyzer: Bloody typical

    That's actually not such a bad idea.

    Require all politicians (i.e. of both houses) and all public servants (local, regional and national) to have these things (no exceptions), let the scheme run for a decent test-period of, say, five years and then have a look at the results (perceived usefulness, popularity, loss, card theft & forgery, theft of info from database, database hacks etc.).

    Equally interesting would be annual surveys within this period of the degree of dis/satisfaction with the scheme and then consider whether it would be worth unleasing the scheme on the country as a whole.

    Just a thought.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: @ analyzer: Bloody typical

      Require all politicians (i.e. of both houses) and all public servants (local, regional and national) to have these things (no exceptions), let the scheme run for a decent test-period of

      P1: It'll never fly

      P2: Have you tried pushing it off the cliff?

    2. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

      Re: @ analyzer: Bloody typical

      distorted satisfaction survey response

      People go into the public service because they enjoy making other people miserable.. The worse it is the more they will try to inflict it on the population-at-large

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @ analyzer: Bloody typical

      nonono, this is a TOTALLY wrong way of doing things!!!! I'll give you another example of how NOT to approach pesky problems: hold a parlimentary debate on whether your country should leave / stay in the EU, then give the plebs some time to think it over and let them have their say, aka people's vote, aka referendum. Thanks God in the real world, things are done differently!

  21. onemark03

    @ Sir Runcible Spoon

    Course it wouldn't fly. I never expected it to.

    But it would have shown that if the British Partliament and the British civil administration weren't (hypothetically) prepared to have ID cards, there would be no reason to foist them onto the British people as a whole. ("Goose, gander.")

  22. Christoph Silver badge

    They will have trouble with the protests this time round

    Last time they tried this the police attacked the demonstrators and then claimed the demonstrators were rioting.

    This time everyone is carrying a video camera. They can't confiscate all of the videos showing gangs of police charging down the street attacking everyone in sight including bystanders. Or of someone chucking a stone in the general direction of the police, then calmly walking up to and into the police lines before the police charge the crowd for throwing stones at them.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: They will have trouble with the protests this time round

      re:stone throwing...do you have a link to this video?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Folly - again!

    What could possibly go wrong - apart from hackers getting their greasy mitts on every bit of information about every resident of the UK? I'm definitely against it myself. Tech. firms can't be trusted with data (are you listening, Faecesbook, Twatter and others?), let alone the completely inept and incapable techno-ignoramuses that pass for governments these days...........So there, with brass knobs on!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "on every bit of information about every resident of the UK?"

      You fail to understand those data already exist in government databases. You should ask to destroy any electronic storage and return to paper archive only. Maybe better if they are on parchment, or clay tablets. Only approved scribes should know how to write, so less risks of fakes and leaks.

      A psychical "token" may even make harder for a remote hacker to impersonate you. Think it as a 2FA - something you know, and something you have, and can't be easily duplicated.

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: "on every bit of information about every resident of the UK?"

        You fail to understand those data already exist in government databases. You should ask to destroy any electronic storage and return to paper archive only. Maybe better if they are on parchment, or clay tablets. Only approved scribes should know how to write, so less risks of fakes and leaks

        Clay tablets you say? Pretty sure the Sumerians could tell you some stories about data leakage in the long term

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Do a test run first, using politicians only and see just how long it takes for all their personal info. to be hacked.

    1. A.P. Veening

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      "Do a test run first, using politicians only and see just how long it takes for all their personal info. to be hacked."

      For best results, use current Australian encryption standards.

  25. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    But you need

    ID to access things like the NHS.....

    OK... this is the chat had when I had a TIA and managed to get a friend to come round and help me.

    <m8> This is Boris, he managed to call me, found him collapsed on the sofa with a severe headache and unable to speak, I called 999 instantly

    <paramedic> hello Boris. blah blah blah... nope... very confused and unresponsive, you got his full name and DoB?

    <m8> yupp its ******* ************** and dob is ********

    <paramedic> ok details done... lets get him to hospital ASAP

    The hospital took those details and was able to look up my medical record including what drugs I was on and what treatment I'd had in the past few years..

    SO WHAT IS THE FUCKING NEED FOR AN ID CARD FOR THE NHS?

    Anyway... the bunch of numpties in parliment cant even organise a brexit so whats the chance with something simple like an ID card project?

    And knowing this sort of project how long before it says "Buttle" on the arrest warrent when you're really after a guy called "Tuttle"?

    "We've got the right guy and we have the ID card to prove it"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "you got his full name and DoB"

      And if they couldn't find your full name and date of birth? And if it happened there was someone with the same data? It could happen easily in cultures where names and last names don't vary a lot.

      Here my card can - if I approved it explicitly before - give quick access to doctors to my health history for emergency reasons - the access is audited, and I can see it (if I survive, of course). It an evolution of having your blood group with you.

      1. Probie

        Re: "you got his full name and DoB"

        umm that is what an address is for. The statistical likely hood that you have the same address, somone with the same name and someone with the same DOB is very very low, unless of course you are a twins and your parents were sadists.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ID cards aren't the problem

    The cards themselves are not the problem as it's simply an attempt to replace the mismanaged NHS number system which has resulted in duplicates and frankly unbelievable abuse. ID cards can be found in many countries and tend to work OK, even if people like me have some misgivings about passwords and smartcards.

    The problem lies in both its usage by government and the protection against any abuse, who this large barrel of development pork gets handed to this time around, and how that is managed and supervised.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      "The problem lies in both its usage by government and the protection against any abuse, "

      And the f**king huge back end database the data fetishists (who crave this) want to log every single aspect of your existence 24/7/365

  27. SNAFUology
    Big Brother

    Just "Lie back and think iof England'

    Not too many people like the idea of a national Identity device, card or whatever.

    Yet they ID+IoT at home, EFTPOS [Electronic Funds Point of Sale] across the UK, Credit purchase around the world and Passport to EU elsewhere. but spit the dummy at an National Identity card.

    You already have it, albeit thru a bunch crap products with a rag tag of security systems & managements.

    Get Over It is right, just ensure Gov cannot use it for political or ideological purposes.

    Opportunity:

    Do it right once or allow the Gov to create it via another rag tag bunch of processes that are much worse.

  28. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "Get over it"

    Given that quote, Home Office disasters over the past year or two, and the spectacle of events like today in Parliament, that's reason enough to be against ID cards being introduced to the UK.

    MPs and civil servants seem to have collectively lost their tiny minds. The last thing they should be trusted with is the ID card plans from a decade ago.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Patrick McGoohan is dead

    In other words, it's time the peasants realised they are just a number...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If uk.gov wants ID cards ...

    ...they should just talk up the 'taking back control' of who is in the country angle and then call a referendum.

    Easily 50.1% of voters would fall for it.

  31. Flywheel Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "ultimately the state has ways of making us comply."

    It won't be a problem - they could probably capture a large percentage of the population by getting the ID card to double as a loot box unlocker for whatever moronic falling fruit app people are playing on their mobiles.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    albatrosses around the Government Digital Service’s neck

    verify, not. I did waste about 20 min trying to register on that system, got SOMEWHERE, but I never f... found out how far / deep into the black hole, because I never got further verification e-mails or whatever the "system" promised I would get. That said, it was before the stage they'd ask me to upload proof of my address, scanned copy of my passport, birth and death certificate, etc, etc.

    But I'm SURE it's going to be fine and a wonderful experience to be tracked in real time by the Masters, once we get back control (aka brexit)

  33. UberMunchkin

    The U.K. Government (regardless of which party is running it) has proven time and time again that they cannot run an I.T. project on any kind of scale without messing it up and leaking the data to literally everyone.

    That isn't the only reason why national ID has to be opposed every time but it certainly is high up on the list. If you can't trust the identity provider then the whole thing is worthless anyway.

  34. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    "I think there are advantages of a universally acclaimed digital ID system which nowhere in the world has yet"

    Not particularly. Other countries that have ID cards seem to get along fine without one, so why exactly does the UK need one - unless they want to install a Chinese-style "social credit" system?

  35. Herring`

    The problem is no ID cards per se, it's how they could be used or abused. There are a few advantages - particularly with the upcoming confusion over who does and does not have the right to live and work in the UK. The Windrush scandal was caused by the Home Office demanding unreasonable amounts of documentation - stuff that no person would have kept.

    Also, I recall many years ago being nicked for something (drunken stupidity). Turned out that there was another person with the same name as me, whose place of birth started with the same four letters and was a "proper villain". The police would not have it that I wasn't this person.

    But yeah, if we had ID cards, there would have to be comprehensive oversight, strict rules about scope and it would have to be implemented competently. The chances of all that happening are pretty much zero.

    1. onemark03

      @ Herring`

      Did it not occur to the police to simply compare your respective birthdates?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Balancing the interests of individuals as well as risk holders

    So much depends on the technical details of the cards used in an Id scheme. If the cards hold a unique identity, readable by anyone (or, more particularly, any organisation) then they will be used by "tech giants" for non-consesual tracking.

    However, the card technology could could easily maintain different unique Ids for each organisation with whom an individual interacts, with each enrolment process rescording more or less information about the basis on which the unique Id was assigned. Each organisation manages its own risk, depending on what / how much information the individual consents to make available. This would not require a global database of all unique Ids.

    The privacy flaws in the ID card scheme proposed a few years ago were there by HMG design rather the technical or business necessity. Those were the days of the "War on Terr0r"".

    It should certainly NOT be assumed that any scheme proposed now should be like that (or like Verify, which has failed ti verify my identity).

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Holmes

      "It should certainly NOT be assumed that any scheme proposed now should be like that

      "Should be" like. No

      "Probably will be like" is rather more likely.

      Who could possibly see that coming?

  37. illuminatus

    No thanks.

    Here are just a few things that leap to mind when thinking about how government would run an id project. I currently do not trust the government to:

    1. look after what might be extremely sensitive data properly

    2. uphold their duty to properly safeguard what would be a single, hugely attractive point of attack for any number of malfeasants

    3. not overstretch their remit to use the data in ways which are appropriate or sensible, and not to indulge in progressive feature creep

    4. be able to define sensible standards or protocols for accessing and using this data for third parties who would need to have some kind of access to it.

    5. deliver what would need to be a large, highly available, secure system with sensible time and budget constraints given past endeavours

    6. run me a warm bath

    7. find its collective arse with an atlas

  38. localzuk

    First step - ID cards...

    Second step - centralised database linking all government data

    Third step - mandatory registration of CCTV systems with government

    Fourth step - mandatory facial recognition and linking to the central database

    Fifth step - mandatory tracking of all vehicles, to replace outdated fuel duty and VED.

    Paranoid? Me? Nahhhh...

    1. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: First step - ID cards...

      "Second step - centralised database linking all government data"

      Already exists.

      "Third step - mandatory registration of CCTV systems with government"

      Already required.

      "Fifth step - mandatory tracking of all vehicles..."

      Already done.

      "... to replace outdated fuel duty and VED."

      Probably a good idea.

      One problem with conspiracy nuts is that they don't seem to be aware of which systems have already been implemented. ID Cards will be the last piece of the jigsaw, not the first.

      1. localzuk

        Re: First step - ID cards...

        Last I checked, the UK had not implemented a central database - they had specifically been told they couldn't under our existing laws, and every time they've tried to implement new laws they have failed to get them through parliament.

        Also, my comment regarding CCTV was less about the requirement to register for data protection purposes, but more "give remote access to government". My mistake.

        There is nothing in the UK that tracks all vehicles. Doesn't exist. They might be discussing such ideas, but they are not "already done".

  39. adam payne Silver badge

    But James has apparently pooh-poohed these concerns, brushing them aside in an interview with The Telegraph by saying people should "get over" privacy and security concerns associated with ID cards.

    Yes of course we'll get over the governments inability to deliver an IT project on time, on money and not a complete mess.

    I fail to see the benefit here and throwing millions from tax payers at it will not change that.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh lord, what fools these mortals be!

    It didn't take long for someone to suggest Brexit was linked to this somehow but here's something the Remoaners don't like to have mentioned; the nascent Fourth Reich emerging on the mainland is far more of a threat to people's liberty and individuality but Remoaners are clasping at straws in an attempt to overturn a perfectly legal and fair vote and keep us in the Franco-German Benefit Club.

    And before some sad-sack halfwit demands I provide evidence the Eurocrats are assuming more and more control over the people (Macron's temporary reversal of his crippling tax rises is the exception, not the rule), how about they provide evidence of whatever crystal ball or tarot cards they are using to give their PREDICTIONS and ESTIMATES of what will happen post-Brexit - or maybe whatever glue-pot they are sniffing might be more accurate.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Capita

    I hate the smell of Capita in the morning

  42. small and stupid

    Clearly, all the benefits* will actually stem from having a central ID register.

    So any politician enthusiastically harping on about the benefits of "ID Cards" is either a liar or an idiot.

    *Of course it has costs and dangers as well

    1. onemark03

      @ small and stupid

      And what costs and dangers do you see?

  43. onemark03

    Brexit

    Just as an aside, I find it extremely ironic that the UK seems both hell-bent on leaving the European Union while more people are still hell-bent on introducing ID cards to a population which still generally finds them "unbritish".

    (And is it me or do I detect somewhat more support for ID cards nowadays than in the period leading up to the 2010 general election?)

  44. Mookster
    FAIL

    FFS

    Living in a country with ID cards life is so much easier.

    - Open Bank: use ID card

    - Hire a car: use ID card

    - any Council Service: use ID card

    No faffing around, trying to prove your identity with Gas bills ever again...

    (besides, the security services already know what you are)

    1. onemark03

      @ Mookster: Re: FFS

      If the security services know who I am, why is it legal here in continental Europe for the police et al. to require me to produce some form of official photo documentation (ID card, passport, DL etc.) on demand?

  45. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Third mention of ID cards by someone senior in the government in recent months

    The Home Office is up to something...

  46. simonb_london

    It's not just ID cards that the problem

    It's just the fact that the government generally has no concern for our privacy and security seems to have an insatiable appetite for mass surveillance and zero tolerance for encryption they can't break.

  47. cutterman

    ID books/cards and numbers

    Why the fuss about ID books/cards and ID numbers?

    I've had 'em in two of the countries I've lived in and never seen a problem.

    Very useful because it makes it quite difficult for someone to impersonate you

    Mac

  48. HelpfulJohn

    And when the Nickies are fully integrated ...

    "No, sir, you can not buy 20. Your Nickie (contemptuous term for National Identity Card) is telling my till that you bout 20 on Friday and are entitled to only one per day. Your next allotment is due in two weeks."

    "No, Miss, you can't board this bus. I don't care how wet it is out there or how far from home you are. Your Nickie tells my ticket machine that it has expired. You need a new one. Or you need to correct the database by calling or visiting your local Council."

    "No, Miss, you can't use this telephone kiosk to call home. It doesn't matter that your Telecoms Company has suspended your smartphone or that you're drenched. You need a valid Nickie to activate any telephone, anywhere so we can track calls for the public safety."

    "No, Miss, you can't enter this Police Station (or Council Office, School, Unemployment Bureau or Library) without a valid Nickie. Honestly, Love, we've had these buggering things for a decade and more don't you kids learn *anything* at school?"

    "No, Ma'am, we can't look for little Suzy. She's listed on our records as a non-valid entity so she is not a citizen which means she can never accrue credit in her national account to repay the cost of a Police Operation to search for her. and before you ask, no, we can't debit anyone else's accounts for work that would be done on her behalf. It just doesn't work that way ..."

    "You don't have a valid Nickie? Hmmm. I have this friend who can provide you with a warm meal ..."

    Well, that went quite dark fairly rapidly. I'm sure and certain the governments have no intention of *ever* linking our Nickies to vast databases that drive shopping, access to telephones and other goodies. Not *our* governments.

    Why, that would mean they would have total control over everything we buy, say, eat, drink and do, everywhere we go and just about when we breathe. No government would ever want that.

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