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Bullshit Hell in a handcart Technology

Return of the son of ID cards

An excellent post by Mr Eugenides:

If you want to know what’s really happening… you watch the hands.

So never mind the cards; it’s all about the database. It’s always been all about the database. Don’t watch the cards. Watch the hands.

2 replies on “Return of the son of ID cards”

This is a controversial view, but I have no problem with a database *in theory*. A single master record per person, with each government agency only able to view the parts relevant to their work (only the NHS can access your health rewcords, only the Polis can get your criminal record etc). It seems ridiculous that the state, who’re supposed to look after the entire population, aren’t supposed to keep systematic records (and we have tons of duplication and expensive wastes of time like the census), while people will happily give all manner of information to their mortagage provider or credit card company.

The big problems I have are:
– This isn’t going to be a brand new database, but a shoddy patching together of already existing ones.
– Government IT projects are always cocked up.
– The whole thing seems to be designed as much for the private sector’s benefit as anything else (by verifying people’s identities, the state is providing a service and should charge banks, etc, for the info, rather than bending over backwards to accommodate them).

> the state, who’re supposed to look after the entire population

Personally, I think that belief is the core problem.

> while people will happily give all manner of information to their mortagage provider or credit card company

… or choose not to, or pick a different mortgage provider. The problem isn’t giving information to the state; the problem is facing legal sanction if I refuse to. Last I checked, NatWest couldn’t fine me for refusing to tell them my bank balance.

> This is a controversial view

If only. The reason the scheme’s going to happen is that the opposition to it is a lot noisier than it is big.

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