e-democ / e-gov

ID cards a go-go

It's all systems go for David Blunkett and his madcap ID card scheme. The consultation on the draft legislation is online on the Home Office website.

The excellent SpyBlog has already taken the legislation apart already!

The LibDems have a rather good press release on the subject and the Green Party have a nice summary briefing paper, with a less good press release on their classy new site.

ID cards are definitely a solution looking for a problem to solve. Every where you look the government is putting forward a different reason for introducing ID cards: reducing terrorism, cutting down health service tourism, preventing identity theft, improving public service delivery or stopping illegal immigration. I'm unable to see how ID cards will have a positive impact on any of these issues. It would appear that the government fundamentally doesn't understand security or authentication issues.

A cost-benefit analysis would show that ID cards are not worth the risk or expense. They create a single point of failure which Blunkett ignores by claiming biometric cards will be 'foolproof'. Nothing is foolproof, especially not technology. But what really takes the biscuit is the expectation that citizens will have to pay to not only get or renew a card but potentially we'll even need to pay to correct the information held on the ID card database.