* Posts by onemark03

44 posts • joined 9 Aug 2018

Not a death spiral, I'm trapped in a closed loop of customer experience


Re: This requirement for paper bills/statements...

Not quite.

German citizens (who get a German ID card) who move house get an official sticker with their new address stuck over their old one. The ID card is re-issued only when it expires (like a passport). But I did get a certificate with my new address for my records.

And for what it's worth, I didn't have to provide any documentary proof of my new address (like a bank statement or power bill) when I moved from my old address to my new one here in Germany. Maybe it's because I live in a smaller town (15,000 residents).


Re: This requirement for paper bills/statements...


In Italy and Belgium you get a visit from town hall officials who check that you actually do live where you said when you registered.


Re: This requirement for paper bills/statements...

No, it's only an administrative offence but it is still fined quite heavily.

Here we go again: US govt tells Facebook to kill end-to-end encryption for the sake of the children


Re: "Outside the digital world, none of us would accept the proposition that"

To repeat a post of mine in El Reg. from 2017, someone seriously suggested back in the 1990s that all residents here in Germany be legally required to hand a copy of their house-key to the local law for emergency entry during absence. The idea was dropped after a howl of public protest.

Shadow state? Scotland's IT independence creeps forth


We're already more than half way to a National ID Card anyway

Nobody is legally required to obtain a driving licence.


Creating an all-purpose Scottish ID system.

Right. And the Irish have had a Public Services Card since 2011 which is de facto a national ID card. And they're already independent!

Them Celts...!

600 armed German cops storm Cyberbunker hosting biz on illegal darknet market claims


Here in Germany, police training lasts between two-and-a-half and three years.

Welsh police use of facial recog tech – it's so 'lawful', rules High Court


So having something to hide is automatically proof - or assumption - of guilt? Yeah, right.

Talk about unintended consequences: GDPR is an identity thief's dream ticket to Europeans' data


Re: Flawed in so many respects

@ Dr. Mouse: Re: Flawed in so many respects.

However, as we're on this, here's how I see the ideal government ID cards working:

A few thoughts of my own:

1. Cards free but voluntary: Agreed, but can't see the former happening.

2. Data not stored by the gummint: Are you kidding? Very tempting but not going to happen: the civil service/police/security services etc. are always going to want rapid and direct access. Y' know: just because.

3. Use online. Agreed: car registration etc. and all other similar interaction with officialdom. Potentially very useful.

4. Electronic cash, bank card details, membership details etc.? No! No! No! The more separate functions you pile onto an ID card, the more attractive it becomes as an object of theft / forgery. Compartmentalisation (separate cards for separate functions) is absolutely vital!

5. Also voluntary: having one's address on the card for ease of proving address. Does away with the need to flash utility bills etc. Admittedly debatable because potentially disastrous in case of loss.

6. Absolute no-no: having a National Insurance Number (or similar) on the card. Makes it more attractive as an object of theft and / forgery. (Admittedly tempting.) Alternative: a "card no.". (similar to a passport no.) which would expire with the card, e.g. after 10 years.


"This booth could contain retinal, fingerprint & vocal scanners as well as facial regognition."

Yebbit how transparent is the citizen supposed to be?

UK cops blasted over 'disproportionate' slurp of years of data from crime victims' phones


1. If some data are irrelevant, why are they collected; IOW, why blanket searches?

2. Why go back seven years?

3. And if the perpetrator has been identified via his DNA, why search the victim's mobile at all?

Loose tongues and oily seamen: Lost in machine translation yet again


Dear Mr Dabbs,

As a professional translator from German to English, I can warmly recommend the DeepL machine translation tool. It's not perfect and is about 95% effective but is getting better all the time. You do have to check your work, but you would do that anyway.

It also works both ways.



To Grumpenkraut:

The German translation of paradigm shift is "Paradigmenwechsel" (= "paradigm change").

Just saying.

Former UK PM Tony Blair urges governments to sort out online ID


Re: Need for ID cards

I agree with you entirely about not being required to prove who you are when exercising your right to be at large. But how do you feel about flashing ID when you wishito use a credit card (very common here in Continental Europe) or borrow a library book? May I assume you would object to that as well? I'm not quite clear about where you stand on these latter issues.


Re: "trying to come up with new forms of ID card"

Well, not quite.

The police simply calls in your name and date of birth to the police station which has access to the computerised information about you. That's what happens here in Germany.


Re: Bad

In France you are not even legally required to obtain an ID card. However, most people do as it is a lot more convenient.


Re: Digital ID

No, this is precisely what we DON'T want!

Think about it: a single number for all these services makes it all the more attractive to thieves and forgers. Once this number's been nicked, your life can potentially be really messed around with (identity theft).

Look at the consequences of social security number fraud in the US. Far better would be individual numbers for individual services (yes, compartmentalisation!), so that you can still exist after reporting a lost number.

Numbers for ID cards (if introduced at all, which I hope never happens!) should be issued for the duration of the life of the card only (c.f. passports) and then expire when the card does. It's safer and the risk of identity theft is a lot less.


Re: German ID cards

Oh, dear!


Cynic that I am, I suspect that identity theft does go on here in continental Europe (I live in Germany) but hardly gets reported simply in order to perpetuate the myth of "secure" ID systems.


For example?


Re: German ID cards

Under German law you are, in fact, required to be able to identify yourself to the authorities (on demand) with some form of official document showing your photo. This may be an ID card, passport, driving licence, medical insurance card or similar. If you can't, the police (to use a popular example) are legally entitled to take you downtown and use other methods to identify you. This usually includes taking your fingerprints - whether you like it or not (in law physical force can be applied). This is why Germans prefer to carry their national ID cards on them at all times anyway, in spite of the fact that this is not a legal requirement. It's simply more convenient than the alternative.

Contrast this with - for example - Belgium and Spain, where are you are, in fact, legally required to carry your ID card on your person at all times when in the public arena - no exceptions, no excuses. Failure to comply results in being taken downtown. And you do not want to screw around with Belgian or Spanish cops.

Let's check in with our friends in England and, oh good, bloke fined after hiding face from police mug-recog cam


Stop preaching. You Americans need to do something about policing in your country.


Re: Not my face

Absolutely. Is this not a civil rights issue?

Essex named sexiest British accent followed closely by, um, Glaswegian


I like the Northern Irish accent for its intestinal fortitude.

Aussie engineer accuses 'serial farter' supervisor of bullying, seeks $1.8m redress


Typical Ozzie humour. You'd think a boss would know better. This is worthy only of Year I varsity students.

National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office


@ ShortLegs:

There is a school of thought that says that for a national ID card system to function as intended, it must be compulsory in law to carry a card at all times when in the public arena.

It's a point of view but not one I share.

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


@ Herring`

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


@ Dan55: Re: @ toilet duk


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.)


@ 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?


@ small and stupid

And what costs and dangers do you see?



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?)


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 .


@ Number6


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.



@ 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.")


@ 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.


@ 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.)


@ 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.


@ 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.

Q: If Pesky Pepper had a peek at patient papers, at how many patient papers did Pesky Pepper peek? A: 231


@ Ian Johnston (Re: Re: It would be serious if there was malice involved):

The precise harm is also the small matter of violation of personal privacy...

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections


Re: Deja vu

It seems to me that your greater problem would be with an ID card.

If for the sake of argument we were all required to have national ID cards, the issue of no passport or driving licence would not arise and you would still be eligible to vote.

Or have I misunderstood you? I hope not.


The UK is clearly being softened up (like the proverbial frog in the proverbial pot of warm water) for the introduction of national ID cards at some stage in the future.

Brit armed forces still don't have enough techies, thunder MPs


I'm not a pacifist but I can quite belive that war is horrible (disclaimer: I've never served).

I forget who said it but the guts of it is "If you would have peace, prepare for war."

The world is a jungle, not some paradise.

First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards


For security purposes, any kind of social security-style numbers such as National Insurance or NHS numbers should not be printed on the cards. While administratively convenient, this would only make the cards attractive to thieves and forgers. The German model might be a good solution: German ID cards are issued for ten years only and have a card number (much like passports). The card number would expire when the ID card expired.

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data


Spies still butthurt they can't get at encrypted comms data

The benefits - real or imagined - are to the state, not the public.

Battle lines drawn over US mass surveillance as senators probe NSA's bonfire of phone records


Re: "...contradictory elements."

Libertarianism fails to recognise that its rights stop where mine start.


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