I’ve signed the No2ID Pledge.

I’ve been vacillating about this for ages but it comes down to:

  1. This is going to be hugely expensive, won’t work from an IT perspective and certainly won’t fix any of the things the government says it will do (terrorism, crime, fraud, etc)
  2. The idea of a centralised Audit Trail leaves me cold – especially when you add the not-sci-fi possibility of number plate tracking and facial recognition via CCTV
  3. While the implementation would likely be simply a costly semi-failure if imposed today it does create a ready-made system ripe to be abused by any future more authoritarian government.


Against:

  • This is an unbreakable statement. If I’m prepared to sign it I can’t back out later.
  • Chance of criminal prosecution (fine / jail) for not supplying data.
  • Very few people I know will sign the Pledge.
  • It won’t make any difference – the government will do it anyway.
  • A functional NIR system would make a lot of things easier for me – but at what cost?

For:

  • 50 pieces of information to potentially be stored (including biometrics) – can be added to
  • Personal liberty / privacy – what right do they have to know?
  • Data mining for crime, terrorism and fraud doesn’t work
  • Hugely expensive for a system that won’t work
  • Centrally stored incorrect data is wrong everywhere
  • Building a life audit trail leads to bad profiling
  • Change of state regime has instant tool for opressive state
  • Easy centralised fraud point
  • Addition by stealth – groups such as pilots are being added to the system already with very limited national debate
  • National Identity Scheme Commissioner reports to the Home Office not Parliament
  • The Home Secretary would be able to cancel an ID card without appeal or recourse to the courts – effectively making someone a non-person
  • Ability to order identification on demand leads to a "papers please" state
  • Minority / persecuted groups even less likely to interact with the state
  • Gives extremist leaders another thing to rally against
  • Data very likely to be sold to commercial 3rd parties
  • Data extremely likely to be corrupt or lost – no-where near enough people to correct data
  • Liberty is against it : http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/publications/pdfs/id-cards-fact-and-fiction.pdf
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