Posts Tagged ‘ID cards’

Google Street view Car en la Costa del Sol
Image by montuno via Flickr

Personally, I’m a little concerned that this government seems intent on forcing through ID cards, with scant regard for the probability that they won’t do any good in preventing terrorism or helping stop ID theft. It seems they’ll make that situation worse, actually. But many English folk are seemingly unconcerned, in that they’d be unlikely to go out on the streets and protest.

Mainstream media sources, with a few exceptions, were frothing with excitement earlier in the week at the prospect of violence at the G20 protests. It turned out that what occurred was a first-rate PR campaign by the Metropolitan police – not only was the violence minimal (when compared to how the capitals of other European countries fare when such events take place), but only several thousand protestors showed up, ring-fenced by almost as many journalists, who were reportedly promptly booed. Why do the English not care enough about the issues affecting them? Surely  if one issue would rile people it is this one, when personal savings and wealth are on the line? Apparently not. There is faith in the system.

Well, it seems there is one issue that can get an entire village to stand hand in hand. It isn’t rampant morality-free capitalism, or even a government insistent on erasing the civil liberties that Britain has so proudly kept for centuries. It’s the Google car again!  There they stood, adamant that their little houses would be burgled if a photo was posted online, hand in hand. Not only should the bigger concern be the dozens of other things that Google knows about us (addresses, every email we send, surfing habits, shopping habits, credit card details, friends, the tv you watch…), but the continous encroachment of our liberties by the government. You can get the English on the street to protest, but the metrics for making this happen do seem a little odd.

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Taylor Nelson Sofres plc
Image via Wikipedia

While the government in the UK forges full-steam ahead with plans for ID cards, it’s interesting to see that they’re carrying out market-research on the issue. I just had a very chilly (perhaps in more ways than one) half-hour probe from a market-research company by the name of TNS on that very topic.

My girlfriend, as a foreign national, will be one of the first to be subjected to the new system. As a foreigner, her criminal tendencies will be put to test by this glorious new dawn (brave new world?). Interestingly, the guy asking the questions was in the same boat – and all in favour of biometrics in ID cards.

There were many questions that slip my mind, but a whole range on how I felt about ID cards, whether I think they’d work in preventing a range of problems. I wasn’t asked if I felt that particualr issues, such as illegal immigration, were a bad thing – it was assumed by the tone of the questions. Then again, it was unlikely I’d demand free reign for terrorist groups. However, so close to Stockwell, perhaps I would be inclined to worry about mistaken identities…

All in all, it has led me to wonder – are they as committed as they say they are, presuming they will listen to the results that come back? I remember the Iraq-war demonstrations, and I remember that the government did not listen to the voice of the public. However, that was when the public disagreed. The man from TNS probably should not have told me so freely, but the results coming back show 43% of the public (presuming we can take his stats as gold) in favour of ID cards, far above those not in favour. So there you have it, basically. ID cards are coming, and no amount of principled backbenchers will be able to do a thing about it, whether or not it really is a good idea of an extremely expensive scheme that will fall flat on its face once it results in a massive increase in cases of ID theft, as opposed to the opposite.

Link to No2ID

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