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UK Government To Use PayPal For Identity Assurance 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the paypal-approved dept.
judgecorp writes "A UK government contract has confirmed earlier reports that British citizens will have the option to use PayPal to accredit themselves for public services such as the new Universal Credit benefit system. Using PayPal might be a public relations goof, as PayPal's parent eBay is notoriously clever at avoiding UK taxes, recently paying only £1.2 million on profit of £789 million (around 0.15 percent)."
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UK Government To Use PayPal For Identity Assurance

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  • All banks do it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Monday January 21, 2013 @12:53PM (#42648165)

    It's not their fault, it's the Parliament making crappy laws, albeit most of them are lawyers, they either suck or are bought.
    Paypal is a bank and like all banks they avoid paying taxes like the pest.

    "Barclays Bank told by Treasury to pay £500m avoided tax"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17181213 [bbc.co.uk]

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/10/18/banks-to-avoid-19bn-tax-bill-despite-bailout/ [liberalconspiracy.org]
    http://goodbanking.org.uk/archives/684 [goodbanking.org.uk]

    • eBay is not a bank.

      • eBay is not a bank.

        Nor is my Ford Fiesta.

        • The summary clearly says eBay (parent of PayPal) is dodging taxes in the UK. The comment was about all banks doing it. If the comment was about all auction houses doing it, or all merchants doing it. It would have been relevant.
           
          I feel sad to have to explain this.

          • The summary clearly says eBay (parent of PayPal) is dodging taxes in the UK. The comment was about all banks doing it. If the comment was about all auction houses doing it, or all merchants doing it. It would have been relevant. I feel sad to have to explain this.

            eBay is not PayPal. I feel sad to have to explain this.

            • I know, if you read my post, you will know that I know. What I do not know is what made you think I did not know.

              • Do I know or do I not know? All I know is that you know that I know you know I know, y'know?
                • I am not sure. Did you read the GGGP post? If you did, you know, if not you dont (this assumes you have a reasonable reading comprehension and are reasonably proficient in English). No, I dont know that you know I know you know.

                  PS: This is fun.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:06PM (#42648263)

    Far more interesting than their effective tax rate would be how much of that money was stolen from their users?

    These folks love to freeze accounts and sieze money for any reason they can find. Paypal should be regulated as a bank.

    • by cusco (717999) <brian.bixbyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:24PM (#42648479)
      And even more amusing is the thought of how many times PayPal has been hacked and customer data stolen over the years. And they're going to use PayPal as accreditation?
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        PayPal actually thinks someone else is me. They got into my eBay and PayPal accounts years ago and although eBay sorted everything out PayPal wouldn't accept what had happened. They are the same company, eBay owns PayPal, but even so they are convinced this other guy is me and there is nothing I can do to convince them otherwise.

        I even involved the Financial Services Authority and they couldn't get it sorted. If the government accepted PayPal as an accredited form of identification this person could access

    • Absolutely true. I cannot recall how many people have had their accounst closed, shut down, leaving them in very precarious business situations.Ebay and Pay Pal need I say more except get another card processor. Pay Pals fees are exorbitant and should be regulated as a bank. http://golftecniques.com/ [golftecniques.com]
  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by future assassin (639396) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:10PM (#42648309) Homepage

    And when paypal puts your account on hold or someone deletes it then what?

  • More avenues for easy identity theft!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      After reading your comment, I went to check out the registration form. Looks like anyone can register as an UK citizen in Paypal. How is this "identity assurance" at all?

  • So the Gov't of the USA will now get to know every time I identify myself to my own government ? What the hell as Francis Maude been smoking -- a politician that must have actually inhaled.

    • Look up at the top of this window, and note the first word of this article's title.
      • I assumed that he was referring to the agreement between the US and the UK. The US is not supposed to spy on US citizens. The UK supposedly doesn't spy on UK citizens. But, they long ago agreed to permit each other to spy on the other nation's citizens, then share what they know.

        So, yeah, every time a UK citizen identifies to a UK business or agency via PayPal, the US is going to see it, and report it, assuming that one or both nations has an "interest" in that citizen.

  • Look, if the tax rates were reasonable, you wouldn't see people going to extremes to avoid paying them.
    • by Pax681 (1002592)

      Look, if the tax rates were reasonable, you wouldn't see people going to extremes to avoid paying them.

      bull and fucking shit bud. it is a speciality of those on high incomes to flat out do their utmost to avoid ANY taxation not matter the tax rate,hence the offshore schemes.
      what planet have you been living on as it seems you have only recently moved here?

      • bull and fucking shit bud. it is a speciality of those on high incomes to flat out do their utmost to avoid ANY taxation not matter the tax rate,hence the offshore schemes. what planet have you been living on as it seems you have only recently moved here?

        Just saying man, countries with reasonable tax rates (3%-5%) don't have these problems. It's simple business logic, and you can watch it play out time and time again. If it costs more to configure a tax avoidance scheme (pricey to begin with, especially the one Google uses) that it does to just pay the things, then paying taxes becomes worth while. Incidentally, what's wrong with avoiding taxes if you're not breaking the law to do so?

        • So you think that a tax rate of less than 5% is reasonable. Reasonable for what? Dunno which country you are in, but a country has to provide services somehow. The lower the tax rate, the lower the quality of the services.

          Personally I would rather pay more and have a fairer and more equitable society.

          What is wrong with avoiding paying taxes? What is wrong with paying your fair share under any circumstances? It is ethically wrong. The problem is that the law is an ass, and is so complicated that people with

          • So you think that a tax rate of less than 5% is reasonable. Reasonable for what? Dunno which country you are in, but a country has to provide services somehow. The lower the tax rate, the lower the quality of the services.

            That's absolutely not true. There are countries with low and even non-existent tax corporate rates that have civil societies, where the citizens do just fine. Hong Kong and Singapore come to mind. Ireland has a very low corporate tax rate relative to England or France and they do just fine. The only thing higher taxes pay for is more pointless excess in government. More waste, more unneeded unaccountable agencies, and cool gadgets that an ever more draconian system is using to take away more of your liberti

  • Joy! I don't exist (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cederic (9623) on Monday January 21, 2013 @03:09PM (#42649663) Journal

    Paypal have me blacklisted and refuse to take payments from me.

    Tried buying something last week, seller's website said "VISA/Mastercard" so I used my credit card. Refused. Used my other credit card. Refused. Checked with both card companies: Neither had been asked to authorise payment.

    Got a friend to buy on my behalf. He paid with credit card; got a bill from PayPal.

    It all goes back to the first time I tried using my card to buy something online from a seller that used Paypal for their card payments. I entered my details, was told payment had been taken, then got an email asking me to provide details for my Paypal account.

    I said no. Then I found out that Paypal had already debited my card, but were holding onto the cash instead of sending it through to the seller.

    So I wrote to them telling them to send the money through. They refused. So I wrote to them telling them to give my money back. They refused. So I contacted VISA, the OFT and my card supplier stating fraudulent activity.

    I got my money back. Paypal blacklisted me. Not a major problem really, except for idiots that use them as their sole card payment solution.

    I need to hit them with a SAR, find out what their system says about me. But using them to ID myself to the Government? Not a fucking hope. Which is frankly a good thing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Chuckle. Same problem here :D

      Had PayPal many years ago. Let the account sit idle for a while, then ultimately decided to close it out since I no longer used it.
      Tried to close it out, and met a brick wall.

      In order to "close" out my account, I needed to provide PayPal with my phone number, bank account info, and a few other pieces of
      information they didn't have on me. To which I thought " Why the hell would I give you my other info if I'm trying to CLOSE the account ? "

      I told them no, they told me they wou

  • Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Monday January 21, 2013 @03:21PM (#42649839) Journal

    Why would anyone trust a company that pretends to be a bank, but is not regulated like a bank, and so can disappear your money in an instant and leave you whistling in the wind for YOUR money? Did the government somehow find if difficult to find a company more trusted?

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Why would anyone trust a company that pretends to be a bank, but is not regulated like a bank, and so can disappear your money in an instant and leave you whistling in the wind for YOUR money? Did the government somehow find if difficult to find a company more trusted?

      Maybe eBay finally acquired the UK government?

      PayPal became a mostly mandatory form of payment after eBay bought PayPal...

    • by Inda (580031)
      It is regulated like a bank, in the UK, which is where this story originates.
  • I have few dealings with Paypal, but whenver I think of them, this comes to mind: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/04/paypal-buyer-destroys-violin [guardian.co.uk]

    Speaking as a Brit, I would gladly stand up against this, like many others no doubt, but since when did Government put something forward for our opinion and actually consider it? They just throw money at advisers to decide for them

  • Paypal in the US uses a credit reporting company to verify identities. They don't actually do it themselves. How are they supposed to do it themselves in England?
  • For better or worse, I could see this being liked by the general public. At present, government sites all require you to have a "Government Gateway" username and password. The password strength requirements are understandably quite strict, but what is really annoying is the usernames are automatically generated and completely unmemorable (mine is something like F093KHV894JMNB - I made that up, but you get the idea). If it was a site I access every day then I might remember, but once a year for to do my tax

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