UK Compulsory National Identity Cards
Dangers of ID Cards
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence...
People say "the innocent have nothing to fear".
I fear loss of privacy. Privacy is important.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12
Where I go and what I do is not illegal, but it is no business of the Government
or the police.
The proposed cards will be the front end to a massive database containing
an unprecedented amount of information on every British citizen. Over time functionality
creep will ensure that information grows. Data previously segregated and available
only on a need to know basis will all be held in one place (*).
Every time you use your ID Card information about where, when and who will be
stored on a central Government database. Everywhere you go, everything you do...
Ensuring the security of this data (confidentiality, integrity and
availability) will be a massive task. Even if the system is
technically secure (unlikely) the weakest element in any security
system is the human one.
Have you ever received an email asking you to click on a link to
re-activate your online account? Or to install the latest security patch?
Or forward a virus warning to all your friends? Even if you
didn't fall for it, many others did. No technical security system can prevent
There will be thousands of people with legitimate access to the data
in the system. Most will be honest and competent. A few will not.
It only needs a few.
To those who say "it'll only hold your identity" - maybe it will. Certainly
the Government has claimed that will initially be the case. However this is disingenuous.
For a start, the system has already been extended to record your address. If
you fail to notify the Government of a change of address you will be liable
to a fine of £1000.
Remember that it is not just the data on the ID database per se that counts.
Once we all have a unique identifier then it becomes an easy matter to cross-reference
the ID database with other databases. You can be sure that once the
National identity Register is in place
other systems will begin to record this key as a matter of course. Cross-referencing
all these different public and private systems then becomes a very real
The Government's own Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has attacked these plans,
warning that the UK could "sleepwalk into a surveillance society".
ID Cards and the National Identity Reister would mean the end of personal privacy in the UK.
Have a look at
what's already happening in Europe with the
Schengen Information System. It is inevitable that the UK Identity Card database would
eventually be linked to Schengen, then ultimately to a Euro-wide ID Card.
(*) Note for the technical: Whether the data is in one physical
database or distributed across multiple applications is irrelevant. Making
it all accessible via a common interface means that logically
it is a single database.
UK ID Cards - Introduction
Contact Trevor Mendham