I’ve been opposed to the introduction of ID cards for a good while, now — valuing my privacy and deeply suspicious of any move by government to impact upon it.
This article and this television drama therefore got my attention. The latter is a near-future thriller taking “an arresting and compelling look at how technology could transform Britain into a surveillance society — threatening human relationships and destroying trust.” It’s frighteningly plausible in its concept, all the more so because it is infinitely recognisable. The Britain of The Last Enemy is our Britain. Some of us just haven’t realised it, yet.
The article in question greeted me this morning when I finished writing. I toodled along to the BBC to catch the headlines, read “Rethink on Identity Card Plans” and thought, “Oh, good.” Needless to say I was suitably disappointed when I read:
2009 – Compulsory for 200,000 UK citizens and EU nationals who work in ‘sensitive’ airport jobs
2011/12 – Biometric passports issued, applicants can choose to get ID card.
2017 – Full roll-out of identity cards.
Private firms will be encouraged to set-up “biometric enrolment centres” where passport and ID card applicants will be fingerprinted. [Sounds positively Orwellian, not to mention a security issue.]
A home office spokesman said the government charged for other forms of ID such as driving licences and passports and it though the planned charge of £30 for an ID card was “fair”. [We have to pay for the privelege!]
So, not much of a rethink. The very notion of an ID database is disturbing. Yes, we are all on any number of databases already, but this is significantly different. I don’t want it.
As decent, law-abiding citizens, we all have something to hide. Especially when such data is to be held by government agencies.