Friday, November 07, 2008

Why ID cards suck

  1. I carry a driving licence to prove that I am capable of driving; I carry a bank card to gain access to my bank account (which no-one else should have access to); I carry ID for my workplace because it is a secure building and I can't get in otherwise; I carry a passport to prove who I am at the border so I can get let back into my country of origin. These are all special resources or services to which limited access is required. I shouldn't have to carry an ID card to prove that I am allowed to live and move freely in my own country, where I was born. I don't want to live in a police state.

  2. The underlying database is costly and time-consuming to build, and judging by other government IT projects and data-loss fiascos, will be easy to hack and easy to mislay data from. It's also the largest and most complicated government IT project yet.

  3. ID cards won't help to catch terrorists or prevent terrorism. All the people involved in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade centre were carrying ID cards. There are other measures which would be far more effective.

  4. ID cards will not prevent cases of mistaken identity; they are more likely to exacerbate the problem, because law enforcement officials will assume that the system is more robust, when it isn't.

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