Would you apply for an ID card?

May 6, 2009

The people of Manchester will soon be the first to be able to apply for an identity card, which the government says will help fight terrorism and reduce fraud. Opposition parties, however, oppose the five billion pound scheme and say it should be scrapped to save money and protect civil liberties.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the cards, which will be available in the city in the autumn ahead of a nationwide roll-out by 2012, will be voluntary. She said the move would allow Manchester citizens “the best chance to start realising the benefits of identity cards as soon as possible.

“ID cards will deliver real benefits to everyone, including increased protection against criminals, illegal immigrants and terrorists.”

The government has already started issuing ID cards to foreign nationals in the UK, but the Conservatives say they will scrap the scheme if they win the next election.

What do you think of the ID card scheme? Would you voluntarily apply for one? Do you think ID cards are just another way for the government to collect more of our personal data? Will they make the UK a safer place to live or is it all just a waste of money?


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Nobody has given me any good reasons why an ID card will benefit me. Before long we’ll all have to carry them with us at all times, if we are asked for it and don’t have it, we could face fines, be given a “producer” (like the driving license/insurance producers you get if stopped in your car). It seems that once again, people who have done no wrong will be forced to take on more hassle and invasions of privacy; in a half-assed attempt to be seen to be “doing something” to tackle crime, terrorism and illegal immigration. Rubbish.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

I do not want ID cards to be introduced into the UK. I will not carry such a card.

Posted by Anthony Ryan | Report as abusive

The ID card scheme is simply another means for the Socialist government to tighten its control over people.

I would not voluntarily apply for one, but it is obvious that they will shortly become compulsory by default, ie no ID card – no passport, no driving licence, no credit approval, benefits, etc.

The ID card scheme is more than simply a means of collecting “more personal data”. By linking all government databases to the central ID card register it will allow government agencies to track a person’s every electronic monetary transaction; telephone call; internet connection; tax affairs and use of the benefits system and NHS – even the way a person votes. With all the individual systems in place, it is simply a matter of throwing enough taxpayers’ money at them to make them work as required. There will be no going back from that.

The ID card system will not make the UK a safer place. The system will track law-abiding people and those who have something to hide will operate outside it.

It is not just a waste of money, nor an “idiotic” piece of government nonsense as some in the media are happy to describe. It is a deadly serious project aimed at monitoring and controlling the entire law-abiding population. Why would any government want to do that? Look no further than the ideology that directs the current government’s every move. It has its roots in the same discredited political creed that brought misery and death to millions.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

NO WAY. This incompetent lot hold more than enough information on me already. Dread to think where this info will be left lying around should it take off.

Posted by Raggedytrouseredphilanthropist | Report as abusive

Leaving aside the Government’s ineptitude when it comes to all matters IT, The ID card should be opposed by all freedom-loving individuals. The Government is behaving like an old style Soviet Bloc state in trying to impose the ID card upon us. It will do little to make us more secure and a lot to extend the power and influence of the state apparatus. If our collective safety was the Government’s primary raison d’être then surely a better use of intelligence and border controls would prove more effective. I cherish my right to go about my lawful business as a private citizen answerable to no one save for my maker.

Posted by ian | Report as abusive

Not in a million years I will volunteer to give up my hard earned cash (and not an insignificant sum of it, either) for something with not just no proven benefits, but actual downsides. While there may be a marginal benefit in preventing illegal immigrants from accessing some public services, blind faith in ID cards will only lead to those with enough resources to obtain one (or a few) illegally and suddenly be able to pass through the system easily. It is really just a matter of how much are you willing, and able to pay, to get a fake ID card. And those willing and able to pay the most are in fact the most dangerous. By introducing “infallible” ID cards we are giving just such people an easy ride.

Posted by Vlad The Impatient | Report as abusive

Is it any coincidence that as Zanu-Nulab has announced via Straw that they will be putting up a series of new jails – at the same time they start flogging their new money raising scam – oops ID Card? The jails are for the refuseniks who WILL NOT carry this latest half-witted idea!

PS, I want cell 2345 in Stalag 5

Posted by William Fletcher | Report as abusive

How will carrying a card defeat terrorism, reduce crime, reduce identity fraud? Crooks will manufacture their own, innocent people will pay price in lost freedom, increased fear and over surveillance. Let’s all hope that the people of Manchester vote with their wallets and this utterly stupid piece of specious nonsense is consigned to of the pit of daft notions!

Posted by Roy | Report as abusive

No. No. No. No. No. I don’t know anyone who will carry one of these things even if they’re free, but to have to pay for it…! And what precisely ARE the benefits? The only one I can see is that this is the final nail in the government’s coffin; Gordon Brown’s Poll tax. Bring it on.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

The previous comments make me laugh! Resisting the implementation of identity cards will achieve nothing whatsoever. Unless people do not use bank accounts, credit cards, Oyster cards, national insurance numbers and avoid every single CCTV camera in the country, then pretty much their every move and every financial transaction is already known. People who whinge about losing their precious “freedom” are blue-sky dreamers and mindless idealists of the first order. We lost those “freedoms” decades ago!

Posted by Paul Harper | Report as abusive

I would carry one, I have nothing to hide the information on is already on everything you fill in anyway.

Posted by jenny | Report as abusive

I think this ID scheme is a stepping stone to a much bigger scheme. I was listening to the news last night and they stated that the technology incorporated into the card is Biometric. In other words it will hold your dna profile as well. They also stated the use of special scanners that will scan peoples fingers and faces “eyes”. This is believe it or not is mentioned in my bible as the mark of the beast system. The bible says that in the last days when this system come into being everyone will be marked on their left eye or left arm with a form of identity. The bible further says that anyone refusing to carry this mark will not be able to trade or purchase food. It looks like the time has come and its in everyones interest to refuse this system right now. In conclusion the bible says that people in these days that reuse this system will be imprisoned for their beliefs and refusal to carry the mark. The bible warns that if any person carrys the mark they will by their own choice suffer eternal damnation.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

The biometric technology is mentioned on this link.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/passports-a nd-immigration/id-cards/

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

I do not see what the issue with having an ID card is, I think it is a great idea. One of my collegues is from the Czech and it has caused her no problems. I am 28 and still fortunate to get asked for ID, it is a pain to carry around with me my passport which I have now lost and have to pay £72.00 for a new one. Had I had an ID card I would not have had to carry it around with me. It makes me wonder do all these people that are so uptight about the idea have something to hide?

Posted by amanda | Report as abusive

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

Benjamin Franklin

Check out ‘Zeitgeist The Movie’ for the BIG PICTURE

Posted by James | Report as abusive

I was brought up with ID Cards during WW2 and they hold no fears for me. They can be very useful and yes, I would get one.

Posted by Mrs J. Wexler | Report as abusive

Don’t worry soon you will be required to have a microchip implanted! That way terrorist will be able to be tracked! LOL
But on a more serious note, this is but another form of control that begs the question to what end is this going to lead? I’m not sure how many people are getting the bigger picture (just yet), but one thing’s for sure it’s all happening at a great pace!
P.S. This will be ENFORCED in the future unless people take action now!
unless people take action!

Posted by Lee Coles | Report as abusive

The government already has all of my personal information. Why do they feel it necessary to combine it all into one expensive and easy to steal ID card, creating yet another opportunity for a government official to leave my details on the train?!
We’ll still have illegal immigrants, they’ll just not carry an ID card and Britain will continue to not deport them as we’re the kind of ‘soft-touch’ that creates a law preventing us from deporting an illegal immigrant if they don’t have a passport.
It’s a ludicrous scheme and just another way for Mr Brown and his friends to make a few more quid to pay for their second homes

Posted by Oli | Report as abusive

Don’t be silly. Chipping at birth is the ONLY solution! Who would be able to refuse?

Posted by Barry Barney | Report as abusive

In a word: No.
The benefits of the card all go to the Government, and to organised crime _when_ (not if) it is compromised.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive


Posted by Sexychocolait7 | Report as abusive

– While not in the UK, the US government pulled this stunt for the same reason … the “Terroist” fear word, but here it was to be mandatory. New Hampshire, where I live, immediately passed a law making compulsory adoption of Real ID illegal. This means I may one day need my US passport to board an airplane to travel *inside* the US!
– But each nail in the coffin of freedom, for whatever reason, is still another nail, and it’s another victory for the very fundamentalists the ID is “preventing”. Government wide tracking IDs will *NEVER* be a good idea. Period.

Posted by Ragnorok | Report as abusive

Government Servants and Ministers are only interested in lining their pockets with 6 figure salaries and bonuses. How can they be bothered to safeguard public data. The Government tries to extract as much personal information without making any laws or taking action to protect it from irresponsible ministers and civil servants who cannot be bothered or asked to protect it.Recent breaches at HM Revenue, Defence and MET show how lax they are about it. It is just a waste of taxpayers and public money with only beneficiary being the IT companies contracted to produce these cards. Earlier we get rid of this fraudulent government , better for us to save our personal identity and physical wealth.

Posted by sam | Report as abusive

The government has muddied the water over ID card costs. The integration of the ID card data with passport data, and systems, means there will be cross subsidisation, but we will not be able to get at the details. This has been done deliberately, just as much of the enabling act was crafted with an eye on the poll tax revolt. “Defaulters” will not be hauled into court, the government has given itself powers to take to money for any ID card related fines it chooses to impose without bothering the courts. And there is no appeal.

Excluded from the £5.3bn are the cost of terminals (huge), the costs to other government departments of adapting their systems to use ID cards, and the costs that will be passed on to businesses. Businesses (banks, for example) will be expected to buy terminals and pay a fee every time a card is checked. Ne details have ever been announced of the likely level of these fees, but they could be substantial. Charles Clarke has said the government should not abolish the ID scheme because the government will make money out of the fees! And of course those fees will ultimately be passed on to the consumer.

Worse than all of this is National Identity Register: a set of databases that crooks are rubbing their hands over, as once they have bought access to it they will have details of everybody’s lives at their fingertips. The register will not only contain a lot of static data about you (where you live etc.) but will also record the details of every time your card is used, where, who owned the terminal etc. These data will be kept until well after your death, and can be looked at by the police and secret service agents (without your knowing) as well as by any civil service who has been bribed enough.

No other country has seen it necessary to create such a register. Its potential for government interference in every aspect of our lives can only be dimly imagined. And they will, of course, as with the DVLA, sell your data to companies.

The next government has pledged to abolish this evil and pernicious system. Let us make sure they do. It is unnecessary. ID cards possibly, but the ID card system talked about by Jacqui Smith (who has no idea how it will work, but is just a front for Home Office mandarins) never.

Posted by Simon Evans | Report as abusive

New Labour might as well rename itself Ingsoc or for the sake of originality, The Fourth Reich. Brown and his friends accept evidence gained by torture. Even Thatcher refused this. This government is morally bankrupt and will abuse any information that it gains. Give no more cooperation to these people than you are forced to and vote them out if you can.

Posted by Jeremy Bosk | Report as abusive

It is the waste and duplication that appalls me. Apparently 80% of us have a passport. Why not just raise that to 100% and also add driving license or whatever other id’s we have to it as well. Surely this would save money in the long run. I think all the civil liberties stuff is pointless though completely understandable. I bet most of our data is all over the shop anyway since supermarkets, credit companies etc etc have endless data on us all. I can’t imagine we can ever reverse this, so one way or another we are stuck with data stored somewhere and it is wishful thinking to imagine that the government, police and just about anyone else doesn’t have an information database about all of us. But billions wasted, and having to pay for another card on top of the passport that does the job anyway is what galls me.

Posted by Russell Craske | Report as abusive

I will never apply for an ID card, for several reasons

1. ID cards infringe my right to privacy
2. I do not trust the government systems to keep the information secure and hence I am exposed to identity theft risk
3. ID cards are the next link in a police state, with the potential for the state to track my movements
4. We cannot be sure of the motives of future governments
5. The cost of ID cards to introduce and maintain will be horrendous

I could go on

Posted by mike corcoran | Report as abusive

Given that almost all acts of terrorism commited in the UK in the last 30 or so years have been commited by UK nationals, how is this system supposed to deal with terrorism.

Posted by nick | Report as abusive