Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Guardian is running a load of pieces about ID cards as their headlining for today. Off to pick up a copy so I can read it off-line... hope they don't ask for ID. A reminder, from the main article:

"I know some people believe there is a sinister motive behind the cards, that they will be part of a Big Brother state. This is wrong." - David Blunkett

Perhaps true, but some of us others fear, unsurprisingly given the track record thus far, that the data will be similarly unsufficiently protected, so that rather than have an Orwellian state, we simply allow abuse of the data because it's been implemented hastily with a bent on efficiency (i.e. ease of access to the data) rather than security and privacy. At no point through all of this have I actually heard Mr Blunkett defend the rights of the individual. Now bear in mind that one of the points of having a single card is as a key to linking services to a central "user tracker" - that's a lot of information, and if handled improperly, then there's a big scope for abuse. There needs to be a lot of thought put into how this data is controlled, and what kind of access to it the data's owner has. I, for one, don't trust the government's ability nor intention to do this, especially if they're looking at implementing it in 3 years, and especially if the amount of consultation done with the public is along the lines of "ID cards - yes?". I need to read the Guardian, find Blunkett's paper (which, I bet, has no technical details), but I don't like the chances that all we're going to get is a big fudged system that leaks our information like a screaming cat.

OK, bad analogy.

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