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Compulsory ID Cards for Brits

UK ID Cards 2003

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#1 Shaun

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 06:10 AM

The Times is reporting today that David Blunkett (Britain's Home Secretary) has decided to push ahead with compulsory indentity cards (having dropped the 'entitlement card' smokescreen) for the entire population over the age of 16.  The cards will cost approximately 40 for most citizens, with the cards being free for pensioners over 75 (pensioners under 65 will pay 5) and those on low incomes.

http://www.timesonli...-736390,00.html

(It should be noted that the consultation exercise mentioned in Blunkett's letter was not representative of the UK population and in any case the result did not, as Blunkett says, show strong support for the cards, in fact quite the opposite -  for Ref: http://news.bbc.co.u...gy/3004376.stm).
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#2 Ilphi

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 06:13 AM

This is just political manouvering. Blair loves the idea of the cards; Blunkett hates them. By putting a charge on them (making people PAY for their identity cards issued by the goverment) he has basically appeased Blair but made sure they will never see the light of day.

Just standard political stuff, really...  :rolleyes:
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#3 Scatha Arzetyn

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 09:39 AM

I have nothing against the thought of ID cards. But paying 40 for them? That's bloody ridiculous.

Wow on the biometric data though. I didn't realise how close we are to using for standard ID check.

Edited by Scatha Arzetyn, 07 July 2003 - 09:39 AM.

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#4 Orpheus

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 08:09 AM

Yes, it's probably worth noting that most other developed nations, including England, do not have America's knee-jerk horror of national ID cards. I've dealt with the paperwork requirements of enough of them as an alien to understand where they're coming from. Still, personally, I think I'll cling to my knee-jerk horror of having them in the US.

It would, of course be illegal to have a a national ID in the US. That's guaranteed by the same package of laws that makes it illegal for anyone, especially a government agency, to use our Social Security number for anything but the administration of Social Security payments and benefits.

The giant "ULP!" you're hearing is me.

As an amusing aside: I happen to be locked in a 20+ year struggle with the Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles. You see, when I got my license, the SSN was the standard license number, and I fought to have them assign me another one. I risked a hassle every time time I renewed (I was told there were only a couple of dozen radical right-wing fascist commie pinko extremists like me in the entire history of the RMV. About 10 years ago, after the   Internet brought privacy issues to light, and the Electronic Freedom Foundation was founded, Massachusetts finally quit using the SSN and every driver in the state got a new license number. Alas, the  handful of radical right-wing fascist commie pinko extremists like me seem to have been ported into the system improperly, and I've twice had to go back to the Registry to get my records straightened out.

#5 PurpleTale

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 08:41 AM

Orpheus, on Jul 7 2003, 04:05 PM, said:

It would, of course be illegal to have a a national ID in the US. That's guaranteed by the same package of laws that makes it illegal for anyone, especially a government agency, to use our Social Security number for anything but the administration of Social Security payments and benefits.
Illegal? Certainly not in practice. Our SSN has become, in effect, our national identity card and identity theft the highest rising crime rate in the country.

#6 Anakam

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 03:05 PM

PurpleTale, on Jul 7 2003, 10:37 PM, said:

Orpheus, on Jul 7 2003, 04:05 PM, said:

It would, of course be illegal to have a a national ID in the US. That's guaranteed by the same package of laws that makes it illegal for anyone, especially a government agency, to use our Social Security number for anything but the administration of Social Security payments and benefits.
Illegal? Certainly not in practice. Our SSN has become, in effect, our national identity card and identity theft the highest rising crime rate in the country.
I'm not surprised, especially since universities/colleges (in my state, at least) keep on waffling about using SSN's for student numbers/grade postings/what-have-you.  :suspect:
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#7 Orpheus

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 04:58 PM

Sorry, I always get into trouble here when I use my normal dry/wry irony rather than lewd over the top humor.

My point was PRECISELY that we have an illegal de facto national ID number despite every protection incorporated in the Social Security Act over 50 years ago, and reaffirmed many times since (US public opinion has not been swayed despite decades gov't efforts to generate support for an ID policy they feel is more convenient for them) Look on your Social Security card: it explicitly FORBIDS the use of the SSN as an ID number, except for the purposes of social Security. Even the IRS has had some issues (and freelyl issues nonSSN taxpayer IDs) Every level of government (including the Feds and the Mass Registry of Motor Vehicles) will happily establish and follow policies they *know* t be illegal (the RMV didn't even question my assertion that they couldn't use my SSN, they simply opened a *paper* file under a new Driver ID, hence my problems) The history of the SSN is 50 years of unarguable proof that the Gov't WILL break every privacy promise it makes, as easily as it broke treaties with the 'native Americans'.

I have some formal training and expertise in the field (enough that I've testified before Congress in my limited area of the field), as well as direct experience with 'better' and  'worse' implementation in the 'free' world and behind the Iron Curtain (when there was one). I even had my identity stolen during a two year period when I was bedridden. Having actually 'lost my identity' (part of the reason I was wrestling with the RMV)  I know the arguments for a Nat'l ID, and how bad the proposed cards could be if you fell ouside the system.

It's not an issue I enjoy debating in public. I just saw that my wry ironic comment was being misunderstood, and wanted to make a clarification. I really shouldn't expect people to get my meanings like that.

#8 PurpleTale

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Posted 09 July 2003 - 10:48 AM

Orpheus, on Jul 8 2003, 12:54 AM, said:

Sorry, I always get into trouble here when I use my normal dry/wry irony rather than lewd over the top humor.
Hey, a little :-) goes a long way to tell me you were kidding.

Quote

My point was PRECISELY that we have an illegal de facto national ID number despite every protection incorporated in the Social Security Act over 50 years ago, and reaffirmed many times since (US public opinion has not been swayed despite decades gov't efforts to generate support for an ID policy they feel is more convenient for them)

It's not even a matter of convenience. Most people don't realize that they can choose to use a non-SSN under almost every circumstance. Nor do most understand the value of doing so until it hits them or their friends and family. Most companies don't have a good grip on it either.

Quote

Look on your Social Security card: it explicitly FORBIDS the use of the SSN as an ID number, except for the purposes of social Security. Even the IRS has had some issues (and freelyl issues nonSSN taxpayer IDs) Every level of government (including the Feds and the Mass Registry of Motor Vehicles) will happily establish and follow policies they *know* t be illegal (the RMV didn't even question my assertion that they couldn't use my SSN, they simply opened a *paper* file under a new Driver ID, hence my problems) The history of the SSN is 50 years of unarguable proof that the Gov't WILL break every privacy promise it makes, as easily as it broke treaties with the 'native Americans'.

Actually it's the private use of SSN's I find more problematic.  There is, for example, no reason to require SSN for a credit check. Indeed the credit bureaus don't require it. It's the silly interfaces to their systems that do.



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