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Right, who wants an ID card?

Right, who wants an ID card?

Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, has today stated that “I regularly have people coming up to me and saying they don’t want to wait that long” (for ID cards to be issued to every British citizen).

I’d love to get a list of these people. After all, if they’re perfectly happy for the British government – run by civil servants with a nasty habit of mailing CDs with details of 25 million people in the post that disappear, losing over 100 memory sticks and portable hard drives – to have their personal details on file at any time, I’m sure they won’t mind the rest of us having at least their name.

Seriously, what kind of deranged fool would say “Hello Home Secretary. I want a way to prove my identity. It’s not enough for me to use my bank card, driving licence or passport to prove my identity, and I keep opening so many bank accounts all the time it’s tiresome for me to keep dragging these documents around with me at all times. Instead, I’d love all my details to be stored on a small credit card which I could easily lose – and which I’d pay £30 for myself”.

And never mind stealth – ID cards are already mandatory for foreigners who want to live in the UK – which isn’t exactly good news.

Fortunately, Labour seem to be the only advocated of an ID card – the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats say they’d scrap the scheme. and I really hope they don’t change their minds. But just to make sure, I’d suggest joining No2ID

I love (Orwellian) Big Brother!

I love (Orwellian) Big Brother!

First off, let me say that I hate the idea of Big Brother, at least in terms of governments tracking my every movement and data. Mostly because I can’t even trust them to send CDs in the post without it getting lost. I’m totally against any form of ID cards being introduced to the United Kingdom, and won’t be voting for any party that wants to introduce them.

But… for the last two months, I’ve had an Oyster card to get around London – which is basically the electronic version of a traditional paper travelcard. And yes, it does mean that London Transport (a government agency) now has full details of my movements across London in the last two months. Probably the security services too.

But it also means that I can easily see the data on my travel movements via the Oyster website, and I find that accumulation of data oddly fascinating. It could only be better if someone merged it with a Google maps mashup so I could see my travel, and played with some statistics to find my most frequently used journey or something. It also means I get to save money since I no longer have to buy daily travelcards for the convenience of quickly getting in and out of a tube station. To ape Richard Hammond, it’s just brilliant.

And there’s more. (I’m watching too much Top Gear, can’t you tell?)

For the last month, I’ve had a GPS system permanently installed in my car, so my car insurance company knows everywhere I’ve driven to. This should make car insurance cheaper, and have the side benefit of reducing carbon emissions. Now if only the car insurance company would let me see the data that I’ve accumulated, so I can (again) track my movements.

The thing is, I still hate the idea of ID cards. But I’ve lovingly signed up to having my movements tracked electronically. But then I can’t really see the point in ID cards at all. How am I going to benefit from them? And if I’m not going to benefit from them, why should I be forced – or even encouraged – to have one?

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