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UK ID Cards Could Be Upgraded To Super ID Cards 197

Posted by timothy
from the big-enough-to-give-you-all-you-want dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Gadget lovers are used to punishing upgrade cycles but now it seems that the British ID card could be replaced with a 'super' ID card just a couple of years after the first one was released. The new card could be used to buy goods or services online, or to prove identity over the web. It's a bit of a kick in the teeth for the people who have already paid £30 for a 1st gen card that can't do any of these things."
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UK ID Cards Could Be Upgraded To Super ID Cards

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  • by onion2k (203094) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:08AM (#31533946) Homepage

    No one thinks 'well, we've sold a bunch of these, we'd better stop innovating now in case we annoy the people who bought Version 1'. Buying something, then a few years later a better version coming along is not a "kick in the teeth". It's progress.

    If the best argument you can come up with against "super ID cards" is that they're not fair on people with ordinary ID cards then you need to go back to Civil Liberties School.

    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      I thought it was a joke on Apple's product cycle and not a commentary on civil liberties, but silly me...

  • Not really (Score:5, Funny)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdot&spad,co,uk> on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:10AM (#31533948) Homepage

    It's a bit of a kick in the teeth for the people who have already paid £30 for a 1st gen card that can't do any of these things.

    Yes, all 6 of them.

    • by newcastlejon (1483695) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:12AM (#31533956)
      And you can bet your last penny that they claimed the cost back on MPs' expenses.
    • by Xest (935314)

      6? There's that many out there now?

      If they actually care, I'd imagine they'd be more upset at the fact that ID cards are almost certainly not going to survive the next election in a couple of months more than anything.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        That's charmingly naive. You seriously think that Cameron will hold to his promise to cancel ID cards? [google.co.uk]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Xest (935314)

          Yes, because it's simply unaffordable.

          At worst they'll keep some of the components of it that have been paid for but then, the Tories have said this all along- specifically, the parts relating to biometric passports.

          What they wont be interested in is a national role out and mandating of cards for everybody or further expansion of the scheme.

          What the hell as a false EU promise referendum got to do with ID cards? It's entirely irrelevant and a completely different situation. I'm not a Tory support (I'm tentat

          • by Rogerborg (306625)

            "What the hell"? Well, one of us is definitely an angry little chap.

            In the real world, the contracts will have been signed years ago, and it'll cost any government more to weasel out of them than it will to press ahead.

            Not that any government gives a damn about costs - it's not their money that they're spending. The only equation is votes gained or lost. Since all you "tentative" types will vote Lib Dem anyway, the only consideration is lost votes from lost jobs.

            When you've joined the adult world,

            • Re:Not really (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Xest (935314) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:46AM (#31536038)

              Yes, sorry, you're completely right. You won me over with your awesome trolls and insults, they gave such a compelling background to your comments about how it'll cost more to drop the contracts than pay the get-out compensation, I just didn't know how you could possibly be wrong afterwards.

              Your ability to see the future is amazing, you're right, I just know it now, I will vote Lib Dem, you're totally right, I mean, why didn't I see it? It couldn't possibly be the case that someone would be capable of changing their political affiliation through time depending on how different parties act or anything could it? I mean this is the UK, we don't vote for parties based on their policies or actions do we? That'd be stupid! We do it because we pick one, probably the one our parents supported, and support it like a football team, and who wouldn't support their favourite team no matter what right?

              No, really though, the National Identity Register contract has been awarded to IBM and paid for already, the enrollment contract has been awarded to CSC and paid for already, these two contracts totalled £650m. The contract to produce the initial cards for the trial (which is due to last around 3 more years under a continued Labour government) was awarded to Thales, at £18m, this has also already been paid for. The total cost of the scheme until 2017 has been filed by Labour as £5.7bn, thus, any incoming government can save at least £5bn on the scheme by ceasing it, it is only the remaining £0.7bn that would be lost at most- money that could really be used to help cut the deficit right now, but still not enough to deter cancelling the scheme and enjoying the £5bn over 10 year savings.

              Regarding the "ID card industry", of the three companies that won the contracts, 2 are American, 1 is French, so there's no more than a negligible benefit to UK industry from pursuing the scheme.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by VJ42 (860241)

          That's charmingly naive. You seriously think that Cameron will hold to his promise to cancel ID cards? [google.co.uk]

          Not a Tory*, but "Dave" was absolutely right that a referendum post ratification would be pointless. They were idiots for promising one in the first place.
          On the issue of the ID card; both opposition parties have pledged to drop the card and it has stopped being a vote winner to the extent that even Labour have rolled back the extent of the scheme. Now that cuts are needed it's an obvious, symbolic, target, but I'll keep donating to no2id [no2id.net] to keep the pressure up to try and make sure that the NIR [wikipedia.org] is droppe

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by colinRTM (1333069)
      All six teeth, you mean? Well, we are British...
  • by Aceticon (140883) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:18AM (#31533976)

    It's always been my dream to be profiled by law enforcement on the basis of my shopping.

    Who knows, maybe my toilet paper buying habits exactly match those of a known terrorist and the men in black will single me out for "special attention". After all, who doesn't want to be incarcerated for 28 days without actually being accused of anything because of buying "the supermarket's brand in packs of 4 in average once every two months" just like the terrorists.

    The good news is that using a Government provided electronic ID card for shopping will bring me closer to my dream.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:25AM (#31534004)
      Your tongue-in-cheek request for attention hits the nail right on the head: Hello, Big Brother, can you please keep track of everything I ever buy and everywhere I ever go for me? Who knows, maybe they'll offer a CD at the end of the year with a summary of your purchases and travels for only £14.99.

      A more important question though, is how on earth do you last two months with only a 4 pack of toilet paper?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SuperMog2002 (702837)

        A more important question though, is how on earth do you last two months with only a 4 pack of toilet paper?

        That's how we know he's a terrorist!

        • by julesh (229690)

          That's how we know he's a terrorist!

          It just seemed like too much fertilizer for such a small plot.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by chrb (1083577)

        Hello, Big Brother, can you please keep track of everything I ever buy and everywhere I ever go for me?

        How is this different to debit and credit cards? And travel cards like the Oyster card?

        I was always surprised that the UK ID card was less capable than the Estonian ID card. Who had the brilliant idea to introduce a National ID card that can't authenticate over the internet? Seriously, it would actually be quite useful to have one standardised, secure card that could be used to authenticate with banks etc. The security arrangements at the moment are woefully inadequate, and a physical token will add another

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by molecular (311632)

          Hello, Big Brother, can you please keep track of everything I ever buy and everywhere I ever go for me?

          How is this different to debit and credit cards? And travel cards like the Oyster card?

          As far as I know, the oyster-card is not linked to your personal identity. It's anonymous. You can get a new one at any time.
          Did I miss something?

          • Oyster can be paid for with cash at ticket shops and some of the larger automated machines. The only form of payment which is accepted in all locations is debit/creditcard.

            Obviously there are good techincal reasons why cash can only be accepted in some places - not least the phyiscal size of the automated ticket machines in very confined spaces if cash dispensers are needed, but there is still a little voice at the back of my mind saying that a link between your oyster card and the name/address of the credi

        • by mpe (36238)
          How is this different to debit and credit cards?

          You have to specifically apply for them, can choose which bank/credit card issuer you like and if the card is lost or stolen it dosn't expose lots of personal information.

          And travel cards like the Oyster card?

          This also has one specific purpose, paying for travel. If you lose it all someone who finds it can do is travel, at least until you cancel it.

          Seriously, it would actually be quite useful to have one standardised, secure card that could be used to
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323)

          How is this different to debit and credit cards?

          Well there's the rather obvious point that they're not compulsory. You don't have to use them if you're worried, plus people can have different cards, which makes it harder to gather all the information. And if my credit card company blocks my card, I can go to another company.

          And travel cards like the Oyster card?

          I haven't registered mine, and pay with cash. How do they track me, exactly? Plus again, it's optional.

          Seriously, it would actually be quite useful

      • A more important question though, is how on earth do you last two months with only a 4 pack of toilet paper?

        Simple ! Use BOTH sides.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 6Yankee (597075)

        A more important question though, is how on earth do you last two months with only a 4 pack of toilet paper?

        Save up all your Number Twos for the office! Why do it on your own time and use your own toilet paper, when you can use theirs and get paid for it? :)

      • Sir,

        Like you and many geeks (hence your moderation), you appear to exhibit OCD in the form of toilet paper usage. Let's do a quick back of the toilet paper calculation:

        A popular search engine search for +sheets +toilet +paper reveals around five hundred (500) sheets per roll. Multiplied by four rolls, this comes to two thousand (2,000) sheets.

        Now, reputable journal Toilet Paper World [toiletpaperworld.com] quotes Charmin's figure of 8.6 sheets per trip, "a total of 57 sheets per day". This figure is unlikely to refer to male usag

      • A more important question though, is how on earth do you last two months with only a 4 pack of toilet paper?

        One up, one down, and one to polish off

      • A roll can easily last a few weeks without female presence. With a female in the house a roll lasts a couple of days, max (don't ask me where it goes, I don't know). I have no direct experience but I assume the effect scales with multiple females.

      • by Aceticon (140883)

        I sh*t at Work.

      • by coofercat (719737)

        A more important question though, is how on earth do you last two months with only a 4 pack of toilet paper?

        That's all part of his cunning plan to make sure he's as unattractive for "special attention" as possible ;-)

    • by chrb (1083577) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:44AM (#31534090)

      Most people in the UK are happy to be profiled in exchange for financial benefits. When the Tesco Clubcard was introduced it was so popular that people stopped shopping at other supermarkets like Sainsburys, which then had to introduce their own "loyalty card" schemes. Tesco announced last year that there are now 16 million active clubcards in the UK [marketingmagazine.co.uk]. As a comparison point there are around 25 million households in the UK , so a significant number of British households are having their shopping profiled in detail already.

      • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:18AM (#31534216)

        I don't really care if the guys who sell me cola profile me, their motive is simple- profit.
        I do care if the people who have guns and the power to have me locked up profile me, their motives are complex and involved power, politics and money.

        • I do care if the people who have guns and the power to have me locked up profile me

          They already have that power. How does tracking your yogurt-buying habits change that?

        • by kent_eh (543303)

          I don't really care if the guys who sell me cola profile me, their motive is simple- profit.

          Not to mention that I spelled my name inaccurately on their application.
          One of the loyalty cards I carry is in the name (and former address) of my late mother-in-law. Also cuts down on junk mail.

      • I'd rather like to have a few steps inbetween before the government gets a full profile over me; not that I'm buying terrorist goods in our supermarket but rather because I'd like to have my own privacy too; which kind of brands of toilet paper I consume.

        By taking away every piece of the chain this gives the UK government unfettered access to any buyers profile of their citizens.

        Such things should only happen with a court order; instead of profiling an entire country in order to select the terrorist next do

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Doctor_Wibble (605056)

        > Most people in the UK are happy to be profiled in exchange for financial benefits.

        I'm not sure this is quite accurate - what proportion of people with those store cards have even the faintest clue what the profiling involves, or even that it is happening?

        They will have signed up for the card on the basis of getting vouchers in return for shopping at ther same place. Even if the application form said anything specific about profiling - doubtful, as it would be in terms of 'we may use information' - it w

      • by Inda (580031)
        Households is the correct term. We all share the same ClubCard number in our house. It's on the car keys, my wallet and linked to our shared credit cards. Not only do Tescos know what I buy in their shop, they know what I buy in every shop.

        I happen to think they pay me fairly well for my spending data, unlike all these websites who steal my data. I spend my ClubCard points on Xbox games. Four a year, I reckon.

        Tescos are like Google in my eyes. I give them something, they give me something in return. I'm hap
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bartab (233395)

        I don't know if you silly 'subjects of the crown' do this, but I've never had a loyalty card for over a week. I swap them around and get new ones all the time.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mdwh2 (535323)

        Does the Tesco card:

        * Cost £60?

        * Require fingerprints to be handed over?

        * Allow Tesco to know all purchases, at any shop, whether the shopper uses the card or not? (You do realise that if I was that worried on a particular occasion, I could simply not use the card - plus, Tesco isn't likely to be the main source of privacy concern in terms of shopping. Tesco can't see someone's private purchases made elsewhere.)

        Do Tesco have the ability:

        * To arrest shoppers based on suspicious purchaces?

        * To fine you

    • by Mattsson (105422)

      Most people already have a card with which they can shop and that uniquely identifies them in their credit card.
      Yes, you can in some cases buy stuff with a stolen or copied credit card but, at least here, you often get asked to identify yourself with an ID card or by providing a PIN-code to prove that you are the actual holder of the credit card when shopping in a real store.

  • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:24AM (#31533998)

    One single card that absolutely verifies who you are AND accesses all your finances. What a wonderful idea! What could possibly go wrong?

    • One card... (Score:5, Funny)

      by afc_wimbledon (1052878) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:03AM (#31534168)
      One card to rule them all, one card to find them, One card to bring them all and in the darkness bind them (With apologies to you know who)
    • This is why I like cash. It has some other guy's picture on it.

      • And as we are speaking about the UK, I really like the promise of the queen to pay me the amount mentioned on the paper money.
    • Re:Yes (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Kjella (173770) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:58AM (#31534408) Homepage

      Oh god, the horror. We've had that since forever on VISA cards here in Norway, the banks have authority to issue government approved ids so some banks will issue a double function card with id on the back above the magnetic stripe. It's quite practical for people that don't have a driver's license or one card less if you're getting drunk and won't be driving anyway. Unless you really have anonymous bank accounts putting the information the bank has on file on your card is a convienience, not a problem. The money flows via the banks not the government though, pretty important point.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Pretty soon we'll be swiping them to open our cares/houses. Consumer nirvana!

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@slashd o t .org> on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:30AM (#31534024)

    So I can have my identity AND my money stolen, together with everything else!

    Wait, let me just quickly forge one of $currentDummyGovernmentLeader. You know... for the nasty stuff. ^^

  • by damburger (981828) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:30AM (#31534026)

    You cannot post on this web forum without first verifying your identity with the UK government. From the article:

    The proposals currently under consideration could potentially see ID cards used to perform new tasks - such as authorising online transactions using chip and PIN and verifying the holder's identity over the internet - which are not possible with existing British ID cards today.

    THIS is how they plan to implement the draconian measures in the DEB. They want all Internet activity linked to an ID card system that they control (and whose data they can sell). Am I being paranoid? My wife would say so. But if currently legislation pans out - and the incoming government have made no indications they wish to change direction - then the government will have on one hand an unworkable set of Internet regulations and another hand a technological solution that could potentially make it work. They will also have very rich men offering financial incentives to link the two.

    The fact this will kill Internet freedom in this country stone dead is completely irrelevant to them. As with so many other aspects of life, career politicians simply do not care because they are outside their very narrow experiences, which have been aimed at public office for basically their entire life.

    These people select themselves for leadership at private school (if Tory) or at university (if Labour or Lib Dem) - and never venture out of that world to experience the life, work, and leisure of ordinary human beings.

    • by Tim C (15259) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:49AM (#31534114)

      These people select themselves for leadership at private school (if Tory) or at university (if Labour or Lib Dem)

      What on earth makes you think the Labour and Lib Dem MPs all went to state schools? Have you forgotten the minor scandal a few years ago over certain high-profile Labour MPs sending their kids to private school?

      • by damburger (981828)

        I never said they went to state school; I said their self-selection for political life most likely occurred at university. Where as Tory political power is built through the infamous 'old boy' network, Labour and Lib Dem power is more traditionally forged in student politics.

        Which is why student elections piss me off so much. I see the candidates standing and I know that amongst them are another Blair or a Mandelson.

        • So stand yourself, or suggest it to a friend who you think would make a good job of it.

          It's how the system works.
          • Depending on the university or college you attend, there will be a (small) group of political organisations who traditionally dominate local student politics, and have the infrastructure (and possibly the cash) to prevent independents and candidates from other political groups from winning elections.

            My 1st university (in the West of Scotland) was dominated by one political group (Labour Students - the West of Scotland elects anything with a Labour rosette). "Independent candidates" were non-Labour Students

    • by aj50 (789101)

      It's quite a step from being able to identify yourself securely over the internet and being forced to do so under all circumstances.

      For some website to require you to divulge your identity for the privilege of posting is something I would find acceptable, it's their forum after all. For the government to mandate that every website was to do this would be both stupid and unenforceable.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      "all" internet activity is a bit of a stretch. I would say that it would be more like "all the services on direct.gov" like paying your taxes, updating car tax and anything else that is currently accessed via the login credentials they sent you some time ago - I have a little card somewhere with those details on that I use to do my taxes online.

      I don't think they have any intention of making it a requirement to "log into the internet" as a whole.

    • by weicco (645927)

      Some could say this is slippery slope argument but I'm not one of them. And I assure everyone that I'm not a typical paranoid tinfoil-hat-wearing-guy :) I'm just concerned about our rights.

      I don't know much about UK but where I live our rights have been reduced little by little. Recently government gave rights to companies to spy on their employees' web traffic. There are limitations to what you can spy upon but it's a start and in couple of years who know if these limitations are to be relaxed. And in fact

  • Yes of course, it's the people who signed up for first-generation ID cards whom we should feel sorry for here. Poor dears.

    • by aslate (675607)

      Not only that, we knew that those were going to become obseleted as soon as the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats come into power. It was only the Labour party that wanted ID cards and it's (one of many) reasons i don't want them to win the next election.

    • by sa1lnr (669048)

      Yep, my heart bleeds.

  • since 1999 finland has been pushing exactly this kind of super-card technology for exactly the same reasons. So far less than 4% of the population has taken the card. Also the widely available online bank account authentication tools, have effectively made the card obsolete. Finally the government seems to be giving up and gladly accepts the online bank authentication methods for the purpose of identifying anyone online. like this [verokortti.vero.fi]

    The British super ID card will have exactly the same fate as the finnish S
  • At the rate the old cards are being issued it would take at least 15 years to give every Brit one and they want to upgrade every 6 years. Is it only me that sees a problem with that?
  • by master_p (608214) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:29AM (#31534564)

    The above quote, although written many eons ago, seems remarkably accurate for the not-so-distant future...

    • by dangitman (862676)

      The above quote, although written many eons ago, seems remarkably accurate for the not-so-distant future...

      Except for the part where it's a card, and not a mark on the skin, of course.

  • Almost everyone has a computer in their pockets - it's called a mobile phone. With a simple SMS message, one could easily buy things either online or in a shop. Here is the idea:

    1. you go into the shop and decide to buy something.
    2. you write an SMS like this: "PP 6937123456 19.99" and send it to a special phone number.
    3. the SMS is received by the phone company and forwarded to your bank.
    4. the bank receives the SMS, and transfers 19.99 pounds from your account to the account that corresponds to the phone

  • I kind of like the idea of VISA/MasterCard/Paypal/Bank of x

    They are public companies, they have a reputation to protect, people can get fired if it all hits the fan. If Visa had constantly poor security, all their customers would leave for Master Card.

    If the Govt controls the payments system, and the payments systems is fragile, or easily corruptible, you can't just dump them and go to the competition.

    At least in my country, govt employees pretty much need to shoot someone (during office hours, and in the o

  • You can't just go from card to super-card, it should have been to better-card then maybe even-better-card and only then to super-card. Otherwise you soon get to ultra-card and you're stuck because sensible people wont want to carry anything with the words super-duper-ultra-mega-great card emblazoned on it.

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