ID cards

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ID cards

Post by shpalman » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:32 am

molto tricky

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Re: ID cards

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:55 am

"It's nothing less than a document almost every other country in the world finds useful" is a pretty weird criticism.

The English are mad.
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Re: ID cards

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:56 am

I think the aversion to ID cards is based on the principle that they make enforcing rules easier to the point where it will allow more, unnecessary rules to be introduced. A bit like China's social credit system. The UK is generally a society where rules are followed, but the governement is not very much trusted, so anything which tilts the balance of power away from individuals towards the state is viewed with suspicion.

Of course, this is very much a losing battle. People go around in private vehicles with unique, easily read numbers on them. When these were first introduced, they were no significant threat due to the impossibly large amount of work involved in recording and looking up every plate seen. Nowadays, a lot of this is (somewhat secretly) done by ANPR. In the next pandemic, instead of a rule saying you can only go a certain distance from home which is widely ignored, the rule will be effectively enforced by ANPR, which can be customised to the individual.

Similarly, people go around with a radio device that can be used to track them. Currently, this is used reactively to check up on individuals, but there is no technical reason why it shouldn't provide law enforcement with a continuous, real-time feed of the current location of nearly everyone in the country. Then, for example, if you attend a protest that turns nasty there will be no need for police to publish video stills and appeal for information about people - they can check who was there and compare the stills with their passport or driving licence photos. The few not covered can be manually checked.
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Re: ID cards

Post by sTeamTraen » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:41 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:55 am
"It's nothing less than a document almost every other country in the world finds useful" is a pretty weird criticism.

The English are mad.
One of the few social/political hills I am prepared to die on is that a free national ID card, with appropriate limits on when agents of the state can demand that you produce it, is a positive thing in society. Nobody has ever explained to me how it is in my interest that a police officer might occasionally be slightly uncertain about my identity (and the kinds of governments that go round demanding your papers every five minutes tend not to worry too much if they sometimes lock up the wrong person).

Relatedly, I'm fairly neutral about showing ID to vote, but I don't think there is an EU country apart from Ireland where you don't have to show your ID to vote. But this is not a potential voter suppression problem because the state issues your valid ID free of charge.

80% of the UK population has a passport and a chunk of the remainder has a driving licence, and both of those are presumably fine for voting ID. You could have either a non-passport (free of charge, credit-card sized, just not [necessarily] valid for foreign travel) or a non-driving licence (same as a regular one but all of the possible vehicle categories are unchecked; some US states already issue these). They wouldn't even need to be compulsory for most purposes. A passport doesn't even have your home address on it, and an ID card wouldn't need to either.

Once most people do have ID cards, you can move on to secure digital ID. Spain's digital ID system requires you to own only an ID card (again, free to all) and a mobile phone that can receive SMS messages. That's all. You can use those, with a library or town hall public computer if necessary, to securely access most government services.
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Re: ID cards

Post by snoozeofreason » Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:09 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:55 am
"It's nothing less than a document almost every other country in the world finds useful" is a pretty weird criticism.

The English are mad.
I think that ID cards in the UK play a similar - albeit slightly less lethal - role to gun control in the US. We have convinced ourselves that they would be a fundamental breach of our liberties, despite the examples of other countries who have implemented them without falling victim to jack-booted state tyranny.

If the objection was to our being required to identify ourselves, then I might see some vague sense to it, but there are all sorts of circumstances in which we do have to identify ourselves - applying for benefits for example. We don't object to the requirement that we prove our identity, just to the implementation of a simple and convenient way of doing it. I have seen people come a cropper because they foolishly imagined that if they don't drive and don't plan to travel abroad then they will have no need of a passport or driving license, only to find themselves needing to establish their identity for other reasons.

I am personally grumpy about it because I am applying for a passport for my elderly mother who is a bit reluctant to go round the corner to the Co-op these days, let alone leave the country. She's had both doses of the vaccine as well, and you'd have thought that two microchips would do the trick, but no.
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Re: ID cards

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:46 am

ID cards
snoozeofreason wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:09 pm
If the objection was to our being required to identify ourselves, then I might see some vague sense to it, but there are all sorts of circumstances in which we do have to identify ourselves - applying for benefits for example.
Once you have a standard ID card, it is a small step to requiring everyone to produce it on demand in an increasingly large range of circumstances. It carrying the card is a legal requirement, it becomes another way for the police to take action against people they don't like by stopping them and checking their ID.
We don't object to the requirement that we prove our identity, just to the implementation of a simple and convenient way of doing it.
At least some of us do object to being required to prove our identity in circumstances where we feel it is unnecessary. One of the barriers to requiring proof is the difficulty of doing so, which acts as a restraint on requiring it in more circumstances.
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ID cards

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:42 am

I started a new thread from the discussion on ID cards in the COVID-19 Police State thread

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Re: ID cards

Post by sTeamTraen » Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:36 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:46 am
It carrying the card is a legal requirement, it becomes another way for the police to take action against people they don't like by stopping them and checking their ID.
The police already stop and ask people they don't like to prove their ID. The problem is that the marginalised people they tend to stop are disproportionately less likely to have "acceptable" ID.

Also, I'm not even proposing to make it a legal requirement to carry it. We can all think of potential slippery slopes, but at the moment in the UK there is the very real slippery slope of proposals to make it mandatory to show ID to vote, while the forms of acceptable ID are mostly dependent on some degree of participation in economic activity.
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Re: ID cards

Post by nekomatic » Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:38 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:36 am
The police already stop and ask people they don't like to prove their ID.
https://www.gov.uk/police-powers-to-sto ... our-rights
Stop and question: police powers
A police officer might stop you and ask:

what your name is
what you’re doing in the area
where you’re going
You don’t have to stop or answer any questions. If you don’t and there’s no other reason to suspect you, then this alone can’t be used as a reason to search or arrest you.
Anyway, the card is not really the issue. If you want a piece of plastic with a name, a picture and a union flag on it to certify that there is someone with the name who looks like the picture, knock yourself out. It just seems dubious value for money to solve the issues of proving vaccination status (which itself seems of debatable value) and voter ID (which is better solved by not requiring voter ID). The issue is the idea of a national database tying together all interactions with all arms of the state (and in the 2000’s implementation, a biometric which was supposedly a unique key on that database) which significantly lowers the bar for state surveillance and denial of rights.

If you trust your government and future governments not to do that, fine. If your reaction to the last sentence is ‘don’t be a drama queen, a British government could never get away with overstepping the law in the service of right-wing populism and that sort of proto-fascist sh.t’, well, maybe.

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Re: ID cards

Post by bob sterman » Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:15 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:38 pm
The issue is the idea of a national database tying together all interactions with all arms of the state (and in the 2000’s implementation, a biometric which was supposedly a unique key on that database) which significantly lowers the bar for state surveillance and denial of rights.
Absolutely!!!

And the 2006 plan for a National Identity Register (NIR) involved way more than this. The idea was - every time an ID card was used to verify identity and details checked against the NIR this transaction itself would be recorded in the NIR.

So the NIR was not just going to record all interactions with arms of the state - but also interactions with all organisations (commercial or otherwise) that required ID verification (or verification of other details) against the NIR.

The result, as ID checks proliferated, would be a huge database of information about all the daily activities of people in the country.

Here's the seemingly innocuous but chilling wording from Schedule 1 of the Identity Cards Act 2006 (Information that may be recorded in the register)...
Records of provision of information
9 The following may be recorded in the entry in the Register for an individual—
(a) particulars of every occasion on which information contained in the individual’s entry has been provided to a person;
(b) particulars of every person to whom such information has been provided on such an occasion;
(c) other particulars, in relation to each such occasion, of the provision of the information.

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Re: ID cards

Post by JQH » Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:40 pm

And it was this that people were objecting to at the time rather than carrying a card saying "I'm me"
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Re: ID cards

Post by noggins » Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:59 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:38 pm

If you trust your government and future governments not to do that, fine. If your reaction to the last sentence is ‘don’t be a drama queen, a British government could never get away with overstepping the law in the service of right-wing populism and that sort of proto-fascist sh.t’, well, maybe.
Don’t be such a drama queen. If a future uk gov enacted something truly oppressive, we could just get it overturned by the European Court.

😳

Im quite surprised by the general attitude towards ID cards in this forum. Y’all nice liberal progressive people on most everything else, why lick the fascist boot on this one?

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Re: ID cards

Post by nekomatic » Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:23 pm

Indeed. I don’t argue that an ID card necessarily implies a fascist boot, but my issues with the superficially persuasive ‘well other European countries have ID cards and it’s fine’ are a) other European countries don’t necessarily have the sort of database being proposed here b) it’s possible that the UK actually doesn’t have strong enough constitutional and institutional safeguards against abuse compared to other European countries with more recent experience of actual fascism, and c) maybe it’s not actually fine if you’re, say, a young Arab guy in the banlieue.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:26 pm

As people have said, there are several different issues.

- The existence of a national identity card
- Making possessing a card compulsory
- Making carrying a card compulsory
- Having a population register (big single database containing vital statistics on every resident)
- Making it compulsory for a resident to keep the population register updated (eg have to notify every time they move house).

In Europe there are many permutations of the above - eg a compulsory population register and voluntary ID card system.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:35 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:15 pm

Here's the seemingly innocuous but chilling wording from Schedule 1 of the Identity Cards Act 2006 (Information that may be recorded in the register)...
Records of provision of information
9 The following may be recorded in the entry in the Register for an individual—
(a) particulars of every occasion on which information contained in the individual’s entry has been provided to a person;
(b) particulars of every person to whom such information has been provided on such an occasion;
(c) other particulars, in relation to each such occasion, of the provision of the information.
I suspect that the above is an inevitable element of any national database and I'd be worried if it wasn't already part of existing government databases.

The problem is that any database is vulnerable to people exploiting it for personal gain (eg journalist pays someone to look up the address of celebrities etc). An important way to deal with that is to keep track of who has accessed what kind of information on whom. With that information it would be possible to find someone who is misusing the system. Either see who is accessing data on specific individuals, or track all users of the database and flag suspicious patterns. Without tracking usage the database becomes a free for all.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:47 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:38 pm
sTeamTraen wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:36 am
The police already stop and ask people they don't like to prove their ID.
https://www.gov.uk/police-powers-to-sto ... our-rights
Stop and question: police powers
A police officer might stop you and ask:

what your name is
what you’re doing in the area
where you’re going
You don’t have to stop or answer any questions. If you don’t and there’s no other reason to suspect you, then this alone can’t be used as a reason to search or arrest you.
Anyway, the card is not really the issue. If you want a piece of plastic with a name, a picture and a union flag on it to certify that there is someone with the name who looks like the picture, knock yourself out. It just seems dubious value for money to solve the issues of proving vaccination status (which itself seems of debatable value) and voter ID (which is better solved by not requiring voter ID). The issue is the idea of a national database tying together all interactions with all arms of the state (and in the 2000’s implementation, a biometric which was supposedly a unique key on that database) which significantly lowers the bar for state surveillance and denial of rights.

If you trust your government and future governments not to do that, fine. If your reaction to the last sentence is ‘don’t be a drama queen, a British government could never get away with overstepping the law in the service of right-wing populism and that sort of proto-fascist sh.t’, well, maybe.
Outside the UK, those kinds of population registers are often seen as helping to guarantee citizens rights. People are worried about their rights being denied by officials. For example, a central population register and ID card system could establish things like citizenship and prevent officials from committing abuses of power.

A UK example occurred with the Windrush affair. The Home Office was able to exploit the situation in which it hadn't been explicitly documented that some people had a right to reside in the UK (even though they had that right). Its possible that if the ID system had been brought in as planned then it would have been much harder for the Home Office to wrongfully deport all those people, as they would all have processed an official document which stated their status.

I'm not actually arguing for such a register. I do though think that the issues are complex and that such a system can also protect vulnerable people as well as providing a means for states to surveil and repress their populations.

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Re: ID cards

Post by sTeamTraen » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:50 pm

noggins wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:59 pm
Don’t be such a drama queen. If a future uk gov enacted something truly oppressive, we could just get it overturned by the European Court.
I presume you mean the European Court of Human Rights, which the UK Is still a member of, although I'm sure Priti Patel has plans in that direction.

But in any case, if a future fascist UK government wanted to do something oppressive, it would just do so. It wouldn't say "Darn, we have this fantastic evil plan to regiment the behaviour of every citizen, but sadly our predecessors never brought in an ID card system, so our plan is foiled". Such a government would also probably round people up and put them in prison, but I don't see this an argument not to have prisons.

Fascists aren't typically deterred by the fact that something would be hard to get right; the government can already establish most people's identity with 99% certainty and that's good enough for fascists, most of whom are not especially concerned the possible consequences of occasionally locking up or beating up the wrong long-haired or brown-skinned person.
noggins wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:59 pm
Im quite surprised by the general attitude towards ID cards in this forum. Y’all nice liberal progressive people on most everything else, why lick the fascist boot on this one?
Have you considered the possibility that all those European countries which require their citizens to carry ID at all times—which I, at least, am not even proposing here—are not in fact fascist states with police roadblocks every 500 metres, but really quite pleasant places to live? Indeed, aren't most of the people here trying to get back into a Union with them because their governments are, for the most part, a lot less sh.t to their citizens than the Tories?

Seriously, if you ask people in those countries if they think the fact that you need to own a (free, government-issued) ID card is a problem, you will get mostly blank stares. And if you ask British or Irish people who live in those countries if they feel threatened by the need to show ID, they might mention that it's a bit inconvenient to have to carry your passport around, but that's about it. (One of the small ironies of Brexit is that in several EU countries, UK passport holders will now finally be getting a decent secure credit-card sized ID card with their photo and residency status.)

I am not aware of a single political party in an EU country that is advocating for the abolition of ID cards, which I think gives an idea of what a non-issue this really is. The various Pirate Party incarnations do a good job of arguing that the information that the state should keep on anybody should be minimal, and I agree wholeheartedly with that, but the idea that anyone benefits from the possibility that an agent of the state might confused them with someone else is completely baffling to me.
Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:47 pm
A UK example occurred with the Windrush affair. The Home Office was able to exploit the situation in which it hadn't been explicitly documented that some people had a right to reside in the UK (even though they had that right). Its possible that if the ID system had been brought in as planned then it would have been much harder for the home office to wrongfully deport all those people, as they would all have processed an official document which stated their status.
Windrush is a great example. The people who got deported would have had a card that they could have shown to a judge (after the government, starting I believe before the Tories came to power in 2009, threw away all the records).

The government has goodness knows how many databases of citizens already, but people don't get to carry round any physical manifestation of their presence in that, unless they pass a driving test (which is rapidly going out of fashion) or spend £££ on a passport. The model of ID card I would like to see is a "non-passport" card that anyone could get for free; it wouldn't even have your address on it.
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Re: ID cards

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:04 pm

This thread is a fascinating example of the parochialism of UK thought.

No reference from identification-opponents to all the other countries that have ID cards - which is, by the way, pretty much every non-Anglophone country in the world.

So unless you think the UK is the least fascist bootlicky country in the world - or that the lack of an official document to prove identity and citizenship is the last bastion of liberty, holding back the imminent tides of fascism - stop being such a drama monarch.
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Re: ID cards

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:09 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:38 pm
sTeamTraen wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:36 am
The police already stop and ask people they don't like to prove their ID.
https://www.gov.uk/police-powers-to-sto ... our-rights
Stop and question: police powers
A police officer might stop you and ask:

what your name is
what you’re doing in the area
where you’re going
You don’t have to stop or answer any questions. If you don’t and there’s no other reason to suspect you, then this alone can’t be used as a reason to search or arrest you.
haha yeah lol cops love it when you dont answer their questions and don't cooperate with their requests

Absolutely no reason why somebody from an ethnic minority (overwhelmingly the victims of "random" stop-and-search) would worry about escalating a situation with the police.
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Re: ID cards

Post by science_fox » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:20 pm

Picture or biometrics? Because the little research that was done showed that biometrics disproportionately failed in all the vulnerable categories, if you're old, black, manual trades etc then fingerprints/iris scans whatever worked less consistently than for a white man. But it's ok it's not an opportunity for institutional racism because we had a report about that.

What are the advantages for me to have an ID card? I don't need to prove my id for any part of my daily life.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:23 pm

Things like renting property require ID. Renters of shared properties don't necessarily even have utility bills in their name.

I think opening a bank account generally requires ID as well.

Then there's the worst-case scenario of needing to prove you're entitlement to stay in the UK, when the actual government is actually trying to deport a whole generation of settled immigrants, as has already been mentioned. I'm sure that wouldn't affect the demographics of many posters here, though.
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Re: ID cards

Post by jdc » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:34 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:15 pm

Here's the seemingly innocuous but chilling wording from Schedule 1 of the Identity Cards Act 2006 (Information that may be recorded in the register)...
Records of provision of information
9 The following may be recorded in the entry in the Register for an individual—
(a) particulars of every occasion on which information contained in the individual’s entry has been provided to a person;
(b) particulars of every person to whom such information has been provided on such an occasion;
(c) other particulars, in relation to each such occasion, of the provision of the information.
Can I just check what your interpretation of this paragraph is? I took it to mean that they'd record instances of people accessing that person's entry in the register. I.e. there'd be a register of who'd been nosying at the register. That doesn't seem very chilling to me, so I assume you've got a very different idea of what it means.

Sections 12-21 of the act deal with "provision of information" and it's all about who can see info from your entry on the register (e.g. anyone with your consent; public authorities). Para 9 of schedule 1 seems to be the requirement to track which public authorities have been getting your info from the Secretary of State.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Lew Dolby » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:47 pm

Presumably, if we'd had ID cards all along, all us OAPs would be carrying pictures of ourselves as 16/18 year olds.

A year or three ago, was talking to a french acquaintance (when we could still go to France). He's older than me and his french ID card had his pic at 16.
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Re: ID cards

Post by dyqik » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:55 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:04 pm
This thread is a fascinating example of the parochialism of UK thought.

No reference from identification-opponents to all the other countries that have ID cards - which is, by the way, pretty much every non-Anglophone country in the world.

So unless you think the UK is the least fascist bootlicky country in the world - or that the lack of an official document to prove identity and citizenship is the last bastion of liberty, holding back the imminent tides of fascism - stop being such a drama monarch.
As a reminder, the US doesn't have national ID cards, and has severe problems with police abuse and incipient fascism, particularly around deporting citizens who can't prove that they are US citizens.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:19 pm

dyqik wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:55 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:04 pm
This thread is a fascinating example of the parochialism of UK thought.

No reference from identification-opponents to all the other countries that have ID cards - which is, by the way, pretty much every non-Anglophone country in the world.

So unless you think the UK is the least fascist bootlicky country in the world - or that the lack of an official document to prove identity and citizenship is the last bastion of liberty, holding back the imminent tides of fascism - stop being such a drama monarch.
As a reminder, the US doesn't have national ID cards, and has severe problems with police abuse and incipient fascism, particularly around deporting citizens who can't prove that they are US citizens.
Indeed (as does the UK).
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