Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 7 December 2004

The debate about ID cards continues

There is another excellent post in today's Adam Smith blog, this time about the government's plans to introduce compuslory ID cards. I echo every word of what is written; the extreme unlikelihood that their introduction will achieve the stated aims (of combatting terrorism, reducing benefit fraud, etc); the extreme likelihood that petty-officialdom will become even more prevalent in our lives, when minor officials have it in their power to make one's life very awkward if one does not comply with their every whim expressed with the power of the law behind them, oftentimes on the flimsiest of pretexts. Quite apart from the important matter of whether the system can be made to work at all, or more importantly - reliably. The level of false-positives and false-negatives is said to be as high as 10 per cent, implying that a LOT of people are likely to be put to great inconvenience for no good reason if their biometric scans do not conform with the information stored in their ID card, and possible danger if those who should be flagged-up by the system are not.

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