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Government Privacy United Kingdom

UK ID Cards Could Be Upgraded To Super ID Cards 197

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 @05:08AM (#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 Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:18AM (#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.

  • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:24AM (#31533998)

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

  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted AT slashdot DOT org> on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:30AM (#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 @05:30AM (#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 SuperMog2002 ( 702837 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:37AM (#31534052)

    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 chrb ( 1083577 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:51AM (#31534124)

    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 layer of security.

  • by 6Yankee ( 597075 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:33AM (#31534284)

    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? :)

  • Re:Or not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:34AM (#31534292) Journal
    No. Definitely not. I don't want my complete life to stagnate when I loose the ID card, for instance. Furthermore, the idea of coupling payments to the ID card (which is basically a passport) is so horrible I do not forgive a government to even suggest it.
  • Re:Or not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Serious Callers Only ( 1022605 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:39AM (#31534320)

    Wouldn't it be easy if you had one card for ID, public transport, payments, building access, getting your treatment, etc?
    It probably should have some kind of Chip. Now this would be perfect day!

    Nice until the government decides to revoke your access to all of the above on a whim.

  • Re:Or not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:46AM (#31534354)

    Wouldn't it be easy if you had one card for ID, public transport, payments, building access, getting your treatment, etc?

    Wouldn't it be easy if the government and corporations could track and timestamp every action of your life with no court supervision?

  • Re:Or not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlecC ( 512609 ) <> on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:56AM (#31534402)

    The problem with any such card is that as it does more and more things, more and more people can access data used by it. The fact that it can do more things makes it a juicy target for criminals, while the larger the number of people who have access to its data the more there are to be criminals or to be suborned by criminals. This means that there is in inverse square law of security against power of such a card. Nobody is going to attack my library card: all they could do is take out books in my name, and the only people who have access to the database are a handful of librarians. But single index to my entire life gives access to my bank, my medical records, my employment records, my tax records... and is vulnerable to attack by all those with legitimate access to any of those people.

    Beware of revenge effects. Every technology has them - this ID card seems to me to have bigger ones than most.

  • by molecular ( 311632 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:01AM (#31534434)

    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?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:22AM (#31534520)

    Where's the +1 Wrong mod option when you need it? You're so terribly wrong on this one, that I just want to mod up so that others can see you.

  • Re:Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:28AM (#31534556)

    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 tentatively Lib Dem) but he's quite right that a referendum post Lisbon treaty would be completely and utterly meaningless.

    It sounds like you're just angry about that, and are somehow extrapolating it to the party and all policies in general.

    I'd never believe a politician or party entirely, but odds of Labours full blown ID card scheme being kept on if Labour don't win are pretty low, hell, even if Labour do win and they finally figure out where they want to make cuts to cut the deficit there's a decent chance the scheme will be scaled back. It just has no real support outside Labour whatsoever, and even within Labour support for it is shrinking.

  • by master_p ( 608214 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:29AM (#31534564)

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

  • by Doctor_Wibble ( 605056 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:36AM (#31534584)

    > 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 would be in the small print, and not many people bother to read that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:37AM (#31534596)

    No. That's how the system doesn't work.

    Regardless of who stands, if they keep their integrity, they won't make it. You cannot make it through the current system without becoming too entangled to improve substantially on it.

    My suggestion: Draw lots for public office positions. And, yes, it is a very sad state of affairs that this would actually mean an improvement.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:45AM (#31534996)

    Id cards are only for totalitarian states.
    I seem to remember that Nazi Germany liked such things.
    The essence of Britishness, is the right not to have to carry papers. It is unpatriotic to participate in such a fascist scheme.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:06AM (#31535250)

    Ok, you are so ignorant I doubt your ability to grasp the essentials but I will give it a go:

    1) A crime is just something banned by legislation which incurs a penalty when it is breached. Got that? Anything can be made a crime. It is the whim of government. Being gay was a crime not so long ago. In Nazi Germany being Jewish developed into a crime. Helping the police solve crimes isn't always a good thing.

    2) Technology (and that includes ID cards, databases, facial recognition, vehicle tracking CCTV, Internet transaction monitoring, the ability to monitor or block cell phone traffic etc.) vastly simplifies the work of monitoring and controlling the population. Sure the police's work is made easier, but if you remove the need to deploy large numbers of police in order to control large numbers of the population, you make it feasible for the very few to control the very many. Now see point 3

    3) Nobody is a saint. That's why we have laws and rules. We have to watch each other or else someone will take advantage. The trouble here is that the technology is being made available to whoever is in power and the rest of us have no means to check what they are up to. We just have to accept their word. Maybe they believe in free speech but maybe they don't. If they do, then maybe the next government will not. If the technology were never put there in the first place there would be nothing to worry about.

    4) The ID cards you refer to which have existed for many years are the low tech version. It isn't so easy to control the population using that technology. It is only recently that the ability to tie people to transactions and movement became possible. There is a sea change in the ability of those in power to monitor and control.

    5) There is also a move to force the population to pay for everything through electronic means. Those means could have been designed to be anonymous but they were not. They identify you. Each transaction is associated with a person. In the very near future, nothing you will do will go unnoticed. You will not be able to speak to anyone or travel to see them without the authorities knowing about it. Your network will be documented before you even knew you belonged to one.

    6) Milch cows don't mind being milked. They see the fence around their field as a natural limitation on their world, and going to the milking parlour at milking time is a normal part of their daily routine. They are happy with the RFID tags on their ears and can't see what all the fuss is about. They line up meekly at the slaughterhouse and enjoy the day out - except maybe the last bit, by which time it is too late.

    I have no doubt you still don't see the problem.

  • Re:Or not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @10:07AM (#31536502) Journal

    We already have standard forms of ID (in the UK, the passport). That's not an argument for making the passport/ID card much more expensive, and tying it to a national database, or introducing laws criminalising people who fail to notify about change of details, or lost/damaged cards, and so on.

    It's also not an argument for making the ID compulsory.

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @10:34AM (#31537150) Journal

    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 to have one standardised, secure card that could be used to authenticate with banks etc.

    My bank gives me a secure physical device for authenticating for free. Remind me why it's better for me to pay £60-£123 for a card to do the same thing, as well as having to hand over my fingerprints?

    My bank also doesn't prosecute me if the device stops working and I forget to tell them.

  • Re:Or not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fuzzypig ( 631915 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @10:47AM (#31537468)
    Yeah it does doesn't it? However this is Gordon Brown's bunch of incompetent fuck-wits, at least until the next election when they will be replaced by David Cameron's bunch of incompetent fuck-wits! UK Government IT is all based on back-handers and directors taking cuts for projects that are almost always delayed and almost always nothing like what they were supposed to achieve. I wouldn't trust the Gov's IT mob to run a 1 table with 1 row Access database, they'd fuck it up or leave it on a USB on a train somewhere!
  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Friday March 19, 2010 @11:06AM (#31537914) Journal

    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 if you forget to notify them that your card was lost or damaged, or that you've moved house?

    No. So your comparison is pointless. Just because some people are happy to let Tesco have access to data of what you buy at their shops for marketing purposes has nothing to do with the Government having access to all data, when you're not even buying from them, and it's none of their business. Your analogy couldn't be more wrong.

    Not to mention that the OP isn't most people. Perhaps he, like I, chooses not to have a Tesco card?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 20, 2010 @01:55AM (#31547642)

    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.

    Fuck you and the rest of the idiots whose only answer to any criticism of the government is, "Give up your entire life to run for office."

    Line up to kiss my ass, you jerks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 20, 2010 @10:35AM (#31549412)

    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.

    They track you exactly the same way the likes of Google do: you are assigned a unique ID, and then they play the waiting game. They wait for you to cross reference your unique ID to your real details.

    Yeah, if you make an conscious effort you can avoid getting your name/address associated with the Oyster ID, but the use of the that card will still be logged, and many logging points will have cameras watching. You may try and always use cash to top up the card (or however it works), but sooner or later you might have to use a debit or debt card (neé credit card) to do so, which will cross link the oyster card to the debi?t card. Even if the government don't have full access to bank information (ha!), then there's a pretty good chance that same debi?t card will have been used to pay for something like car tax on line, or something at a post office, or.....

    Oyster is indeed optional, just like Google's tracking cookies: you can reject all cookies if you want (I do). Supposedly you can travel in London without an Oyster card, but they charge you more for every ticket, so an per usual the poorest in society get the lack of choice.

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