Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Blunkett launches defence of ID cards

Things About This That Make Me Rant A Lot:

1. The assumption that biometrics is an infallible system. No, it's theoretically secure, but potentially the implementation is flawed, as has been proven several times with biometric security systems. In many opinions, the technology is still too young to depend upon, and to put it into a nationwide card the sole purpose of which is to prove you are who you are, is ludicrous.

2. "Clandestine entry and working in this country, the misuse of free public services, the issues around organised crime and terrorism - all these issues will be the ones for years to come." How about the decline of and under-investment in the rest of the country? In many places, things are pretty dire, legally.

3. "they would become part of everyday life and as commonplace as credit cards or supermarket loyalty cards." I carry neither, because I choose not to - I don't like being in debt, and I don't like people tracking me without implicitly saying they're doing so, and giving me the ability to opt out.

4. Mine is one of the "5,000 [of 7,000] unfavourable responses [that] had been excluded." Hnnng. This is just infuriating.

5. I'm stil uneasy about a central server to hold card data on. Whilst it is difficult to propose an alternative path, the amount of time not spent on looking into this makes me wonder. There is nothing so far that doesn't make me believe that this central reservoir won't be expanded to accumulate more data. As a card holder, I want control over my information, releasing it to people when and only while they need it. It is unnecessary to allow people access to data other than when I specify. If it is for criminal investigation purposes, then there must be sufficient reason to pry, that is backed up by evidence and notification. Being able to look at people's data without asking just because the police think they might be a criminal is plain wrong and open to abuse.

Funnily enough, I started thinking about alternatives the other day...


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