ID cards

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Woodchopper
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Re: ID cards

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:55 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:48 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:12 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:03 am
One would expect that any competently designed ID card would include a picture of the holder's face and date of birth, so it shouldn't be necessary to query a database just to confirm someone's age.
Definitely for things like buying alcohol in a pub. It could just work like a driving license.

For financial services the stakes are higher and I can imagine a desire to be able to check that the card isn't a forgery or that it hasn't been flagged as stolen (photos can be difficult given how often people change their appearance anyway).
For sure. I know the new money laundering regulations require a lot of separate bits of documentation now from people buying property, for instance https://www.propertymark.co.uk/advice-a ... hecks.aspx which is all information that could otherwise be obtained from a single query of a joined-up database.
Yes, and as mentioned, middle aged and middle class UK citizens will usually have no trouble crossing that threshold. It is a problem for people who don't have a passport or driving license, or have never had their name on a bank account, utility bill or lease.

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Re: ID cards

Post by temptar » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:11 pm

A couple of points.

1) id card is a separate issue to background data.
2) background data does not need a card to be used in interesting ways
3) ireland's passport renewal is tied into photobooths as well which was zero use to me when renewing 2 weeks ago (ps, renewal took 8 days including delivery)
4) there is war in Ireland, a country which does not have a mandatory id card system, over government files on children with autism in the education system and whether that data should be collated or not particularly given parents complain about getting services for special needs.

There is, in theory, a single identifier via the public services number which is issued at registration of birth or on arrival in the country.

What it does have are the following:
Driving licence mandatory with you if driving
Public services card mandatory for social welfare claims. There was a big push to make it mandatory for other interactions but per current legislation only Social Welfare has the right to enforce.

In Ireland at least the databases are fragmented because all the government departments have their own IT systems. But that does not exclude some departments doing an awful lot of joining the dots. And that is Ireland. I find it difficult to believe this doesn't happen on a far greater scale in the UK. Palantir are doing a big push in Europe. Cambridge Analytica was highly UK focused.

There are benefits to having ID. I have a copy of mine when I am out running in case my body ever has to be identified. But not having an ID system does not prevent the data analysis. It just hides it and that is almost certainly of greater concern, stuff in the shadows.

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Re: ID cards

Post by sTeamTraen » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:10 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:03 am
One would expect that any competently designed ID card would include a picture of the holder's face and date of birth, so it shouldn't be necessary to query a database just to confirm someone's age.
#1 daughter is 30 next week but still takes great delight in telling us every time she gets carded for buying alcohol. That makes me wonder what the average 18 year old in the UK uses for that, given that many people (and, disproportionately, those from poorer backgrounds) don't have driving licences.

The younger whippersnappers here may not remember a hilarious feature of the old green paper UK driving licences(*). Your 6-digit (sorry, Y2K worriers) date of birth D¹D²M¹M²Y¹Y² was printed in a corner of the licence, but some people objected to people being able to work out their age, so it was permitted to cut this corner off without that counting as defacing the licence. However, since part of the serial number was made up of the digits Y¹M¹M²D¹D²Y², in that order, anyone who knew that fact could read your age anyway.

(*) These were introduced in 1973 to replace the old little red booklets like wot my Dad had. I'm quite surprised that nobody has proposed re-introducing either of these formats after Brexit, to go with pre-decimal currency and the death penalty; after all, the new ones have *gasp* a photograph on them. In fact you could go the whole hog and abolish driving tests and breathalysers, which are surely a gross infringement of every free-born Englishman [sic] to drive his motor-car where and when and how he likes. FWIW, my Dad never passed a driving test; he started driving just before they were introduced in 1935. Indeed, liberty-loving Brexiteers might want to raise a sneaky, albeit ambivalent, glass to the plucky Belgians, who didn't introduce driving tests until 1977, as I learned very quickly on occasional visits to the future Mrs sTeamTraen in Brussels in the mid-1980s.
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Re: ID cards

Post by Opti » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:50 pm

I had a little red book driving licence, once upon a time.
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Re: ID cards

Post by basementer » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:14 pm

Opti wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:50 pm
I had a little red book driving licence, once upon a time.
I remember my father taking one of those to the local civic centre to get it renewed. It must have just been before there was a centralised DVLA.
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Re: ID cards

Post by individualmember » Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:47 pm

A couple of times a year I have to show my passport to prove my eligibility to work, it comes with being freelance and working on short term contracts with a variety of companies. They are legally obliged to check (although some occasionally bend the rules a little by accepting a scan of it by email rather than looking at it in their hand when they already know me, particularly since the Covid lockdowns). I don’t really see the difference between that and an ID card.

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Re: ID cards

Post by sTeamTraen » Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:23 pm

individualmember wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:47 pm
A couple of times a year I have to show my passport to prove my eligibility to work, it comes with being freelance and working on short term contracts with a variety of companies. They are legally obliged to check (although some occasionally bend the rules a little by accepting a scan of it by email rather than looking at it in their hand when they already know me, particularly since the Covid lockdowns). I don’t really see the difference between that and an ID card.
I have been told that any academic from any UK university who goes to give a talk at any other UK university has to prove their eligibility to work in the UK, and when asked how they are to do that, the answer is always "Either (1) your passport or (2) we don't know". Of course, most academics do have passports because they are dreadful lefty chattering-classes people who go on foppish holidays to Tuscany instead of staying patriotically in Paignton, but I can imagine that for less-woke workers whose lifestyles are not so pampered it might be quite hard.
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Re: ID cards

Post by Trinucleus » Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:35 pm

I work with community groups where people wanting to open a bank account for the group need to prove their identity, "either your passport or driving licence" is what they're usually told, and there's a significant number of people who have neither.

An ID card would make that process a lot easier

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Re: ID cards

Post by Sciolus » Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:42 pm

individualmember wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:47 pm
A couple of times a year I have to show my passport to prove my eligibility to work, it comes with being freelance and working on short term contracts with a variety of companies. They are legally obliged to check (although some occasionally bend the rules a little by accepting a scan of it by email rather than looking at it in their hand when they already know me, particularly since the Covid lockdowns). I don’t really see the difference between that and an ID card.
That requirement, and the requirement to show ID to rent property, are part of the Hostile Environment policy, which is exactly the sort of proto-fascist policy governments will find facilitated by ID cards / are able to implement already without ID cards (delete as applicable).

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Re: ID cards

Post by Aitch » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:02 pm

Trinucleus wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:35 pm
I work with community groups where people wanting to open a bank account for the group need to prove their identity, "either your passport or driving licence" is what they're usually told, and there's a significant number of people who have neither.

An ID card would make that process a lot easier
The Post Office also accept shotgun certificates (another form of photo id) but I didn't have one of them either, so I didn't open the account with them (is was a high-interest one, based with the Bank of Ireland).
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Re: ID cards

Post by Sciolus » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:45 pm

So what are the circumstances in which people might legitimately ask for official ID (as distinct from proof of age)? I can think of:
- Opening a bank account (to prevent petty crooks from laundering money. Serious crooks just pay the banks to do it for them).
- Voting (I would have no problem with this if it's not part of a voter suppression campaign).
- Claiming benefits (maybe, I haven't thought about it very hard).
- Maybe renting property (landlords might want to know who they're entrusting a substantial asset to, but obviously this is none of the state's business), loans etc.
- Certain activities that carry a large third-party risk, such as driving and owning firearms.
- International travel seems to be commonly accepted as something under the control of the state, although personally I disagree.
- Walking while Black.

That's not many, and none of them require anything more than the card itself -- certainly not a huge database behind them on the 2006 model.

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Re: ID cards

Post by sTeamTraen » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:01 pm

Aitch wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:02 pm
The Post Office also accept shotgun certificates (another form of photo id) but I didn't have one of them either, so I didn't open the account with them (is was a high-interest one, based with the Bank of Ireland).
I find it quite amusing that someone might open a bank account with a certificate proving that they own a shotgun. For extra effect you could make an initial deposit of £11,845 in loose notes in a Sainsbury's bag, and ask if then can give you the bag back when they've finished counting "as I think my balaclava's at the bottom".
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Re: ID cards

Post by sTeamTraen » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:05 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:45 pm
- Voting (I would have no problem with this if it's not part of a voter suppression campaign).
Everyone in every country that has ID cards has to show ID to vote. But because the government provides that ID free of charge to all citizens, it can't be part of a voter suppression campaign. Part of the point of universal free-on-demand official ID is that at the moment you have various US states (and rumblings in the UK) demanding that voters show ID, but the forms of ID that are accepted are all to some extent correlated with [successful] active participation in the economy, and hence less likelihood to vote for left-leaning parties.
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Re: ID cards

Post by dyqik » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:49 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:45 pm
So what are the circumstances in which people might legitimately ask for official ID (as distinct from proof of age)? I can think of:
- Opening a bank account (to prevent petty crooks from laundering money. Serious crooks just pay the banks to do it for them).
- Voting (I would have no problem with this if it's not part of a voter suppression campaign).
- Claiming benefits (maybe, I haven't thought about it very hard).
- Maybe renting property (landlords might want to know who they're entrusting a substantial asset to, but obviously this is none of the state's business), loans etc.
- Certain activities that carry a large third-party risk, such as driving and owning firearms.
- International travel seems to be commonly accepted as something under the control of the state, although personally I disagree.
- Walking while Black.

That's not many, and none of them require anything more than the card itself -- certainly not a huge database behind them on the 2006 model.
Employment to a position with an element of public or corporate trust is another.

Maybe not needed for basic labouring, but anything with e.g. child protection or public safety elements is hard to argue with.

Another one that already requires ID of some kind is taking examinations which are required for certain things - e.g. taking language proficiency exams that are required for immigration purposes, taking professional exams, etc.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:14 am

dyqik wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:49 pm
Sciolus wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:45 pm
So what are the circumstances in which people might legitimately ask for official ID (as distinct from proof of age)? I can think of:
- Opening a bank account (to prevent petty crooks from laundering money. Serious crooks just pay the banks to do it for them).
- Voting (I would have no problem with this if it's not part of a voter suppression campaign).
- Claiming benefits (maybe, I haven't thought about it very hard).
- Maybe renting property (landlords might want to know who they're entrusting a substantial asset to, but obviously this is none of the state's business), loans etc.
- Certain activities that carry a large third-party risk, such as driving and owning firearms.
- International travel seems to be commonly accepted as something under the control of the state, although personally I disagree.
- Walking while Black.

That's not many, and none of them require anything more than the card itself -- certainly not a huge database behind them on the 2006 model.
Employment to a position with an element of public or corporate trust is another.

Maybe not needed for basic labouring, but anything with e.g. child protection or public safety elements is hard to argue with.

Another one that already requires ID of some kind is taking examinations which are required for certain things - e.g. taking language proficiency exams that are required for immigration purposes, taking professional exams, etc.
Sciolus mentioned getting a driving or gun license. There are many other activities that require a government issued license or permit, eg handling dangerous products like asbestos or petrol, or selling controlled goods such as alcohol.

ID should also be needed to access personal data - eg medical records or tax returns held by the government, or personal data held by private companies.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:20 am

Sciolus wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:45 pm

That's not many, and none of them require anything more than the card itself -- certainly not a huge database behind them on the 2006 model.
Yes, I think that the database is a much more important issue than the card.

At a minimum there would need to be a database containing the basic information found on the card. That could be used to detect forged cards, identify lost or stolen cards and make it easier to issue a replacement or updated card.

A minimal database also helps establish someone's digital ID so they can access government services online.

What other information is included is a complicated issue involving costs and benefits and I definitely wouldn't support including everything.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Nero » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:12 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:20 am
A minimal database also helps establish someone's digital ID so they can access government services online.
For on-line identification purposes Government Digital Services (GDS) have for many years being trying
to push for the use of GOV.UK Verify. Some details here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... vuk-verify

This used a federated model with a number of different identity providers acting as the verification partner,
once identity has been determined the idea was then to use this a single method of accessing all
GOV.UK services with a single identity. The project has been beset with years of problems. I won't go into details,
you can probably find them for yourselves:

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252 ... k-services

One of challenges that some stuff I was working on is that users of GOV.UK don't always have a single identity. If you are
trying to apply for a driving license you need a very different identity than if you are applying for industrial grants
(UKRI). Separation of citizen identity, and corporate identity wasn't ever really factored in. Context is king.

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Re: ID cards

Post by science_fox » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:33 am

I'm still not sure if we're discussing a mandatory or voluntary scheme?

Mandatory seems to be mostly useless for a large proportion of the population unless it reaches much further than currently envisaged.

Voluntary will always only ever have a tiny take-up, and seems to mostly 'benefit' those otherwise already (potentially) discriminated against with the added bonus of making them jump through more hoops that the rest of the population doesn't need to do.

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Re: ID cards

Post by nezumi » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:38 am

I'm against ID cards and databases because I absolutely do not trust the British public not to elect a fascist. That's my 0.4 of a penny worth.
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Re: ID cards

Post by sTeamTraen » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:34 pm

science_fox wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:33 am
Voluntary will always only ever have a tiny take-up, and seems to mostly 'benefit' those otherwise already (potentially) discriminated against with the added bonus of making them jump through more hoops that the rest of the population doesn't need to do.
I'm not sure I understand this.

Currently to get proper government-issued ID in the UK you have to jump through one of two hoops: passing a driving test (£££) or applying for a passport (££). My proposal is that there should be a third way, which we could describe as a non-driving licence or a non-travel passport. The cost should be £0, or perhaps £5 if you lose it within a year.

This isn't "more hoops". It's a different, and much larger (i.e., easier) hoop. It's ten feet wide and about an inch off the ground.

I would be happy for it to remain voluntary initially, but if the government wanted to make it mandatory to show officiai ID to vote at the next general election and gave people enough notice to apply for it, I don't see why it couldn't be required for that.

It could also become the basis of a truly progressive secure online identity system. As I think I mentioned earlier, in Spain you can have a secure ID to access government services with just your national ID card and a mobile phone on which you can receive SMS messages, which these days even the homeless have. You don't even need to be able to remember a password. What's the UK equivalent?

Again, every other country (apart from Ireland) in the EU (the nice human-rights-friendly EU, which about 99% of people in this group wanted the UK to remain a member of) already has such a scheme (indeed, a much stronger one; it's generally mandatory to carry your ID most of the time, with the possible exception of the Netherlands IIRC), and I am unaware that a single political party in any of those 26 countries has abolition of ID cards in its programme. It seems to me that this is a reasonable indication that ID cards are, in practice, a complete non-issue.
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Re: ID cards

Post by malbui » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:12 pm

I carry both a French ID card and an Irish passport card and they make my life easier pretty much every day. The use of such cards in France and CH is so ingrained and so commonplace that we don’t even notice it.

I have reservations about massive databases and the potential for data mining, but I figure that if the forces of order ever want to know what I’m up to they can kick my door down and beat the information out of me.
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Re: ID cards

Post by Sciolus » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:07 pm

malbui wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:12 pm
I carry both a French ID card and an Irish passport card and they make my life easier pretty much every day. The use of such cards in France and CH is so ingrained and so commonplace that we don’t even notice it.
Every day? Really? I can't remember the last time I had to show ID -- probably a few years ago when I visited an office with stupid security theatre. The list of reasons for ID above is mostly once-every-few-years stuff.

Edit: Wait, don't you live and work on opposite sides of an international border? That's pretty unusual, especially in Britain.

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Re: ID cards

Post by sTeamTraen » Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:01 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:07 pm
malbui wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:12 pm
I carry both a French ID card and an Irish passport card and they make my life easier pretty much every day. The use of such cards in France and CH is so ingrained and so commonplace that we don’t even notice it.
Every day? Really? I can't remember the last time I had to show ID -- probably a few years ago when I visited an office with stupid security theatre. The list of reasons for ID above is mostly once-every-few-years stuff.

Edit: Wait, don't you live and work on opposite sides of an international border? That's pretty unusual, especially in Britain.
I carry my Irish passport card every day; its main use is at the post office, when I need to show ID to pick up parcels. For most day-to-day interactions with people I need my NIE number, which is on a crappy paper residency certificate/card with no photo. It would be on a photo ID card if Spain issued photo ID cards to EU citizens, but instead it assumes they will carry their passports as well as the crappy card. Non-EU citizens get a proper, Schengen-compatible photo ID card ("TIE"), which UK citizens who are protected by the withdrawal agreement are also invited to switch to at their convenience; Spanish citizens have their DNI card, also with a photo.

But the number is the main thing; it's actually quite handy to distinguish you from all the other Jose Gonzales out there. In fact the use of the identifying number may be part of why we are not asked for our family name very often; when someone calls to check if I'm in before they make a delivery, for example, they say "Hola, ¿Nicholas?" and not "Hola, ¿Sr. Brown?", because when they arrive they will just confirm my number. It's almost like being in a Muslim country. This seems to be uniquely Spanish, though. I don't think many other EU countries have this system of a single national ID number for everyone (and even Spain manages to have separate numbers for social security).
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Re: ID cards

Post by dyqik » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:01 am

I'm required to carry my driver's license whenever I drive, and am often required to show it to buy alcohol.

As such I use it everyday. It's not yet a Federal RealID, and so not officially an ID card, but it will be before the next time I fly. My actual Federal ID I only use when in Hawaii, to get into the office building and the telescope control building. It's also assumed that everyone has a driver's license on them in everyday life.

My Social Security number gets used everytime I log into my health insurance website, register a new credit card, etc. etc.

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Re: ID cards

Post by Millennie Al » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:30 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:03 am
One would expect that any competently designed ID card would include a picture of the holder's face and date of birth, so it shouldn't be necessary to query a database just to confirm someone's age.
By the same logic, a card intended to prove your age needs only a photo and the age it certifies that you are over, yet I have never heard of such a card and they all contain your date of birth and name, and probably a unique ID number as well.
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