Feeds

Government admits overselling ID cards

But won't back down

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

The government had admitted that it has oversold its identity card plans, and now admits the card won't solve every problem facing the country, from fraud to terrorism, via illegal immigration. Despite this, it has pledged to push on with the idea, saying it will still "help" in situations where fraud and identity abuse are factors.

Tony McNulty, the Home Office's man in charge of the card, also predicted a protracted battle between the House of Commons and the House of Lords over the question of making the card compulsory. Currently, both houses have to vote in favour of making the card a must-have, but the House of Lords is not expected to support the idea.

McNulty says the government is looking at the procedure to "see if it does what we want it to do".

Because the switch to compulsion will be secondary legislation, the government will not be able to use the Parliament Act of 1911 to force the change through the House of Lords.

McNulty warned of parliamentary deadlock if an alternative is not found, but perhaps he is missing the point of the two-House system, designed in part to prevent governments with big majorities passing legislation unchecked.

McNulty's remarks, made in a private seminar in Whitehall, The Times reports, are a clear indication that the government is about to take a new approach in persuading us of the benefits of a national identity database.

In particular, he said that the government has been a little too enthusiastic about the benefits the card would bring to the state, rather than to the individual members of the public.

The rather abrupt volte face follows a decline in public support for the card, following revelations about the potential cost of the project. Figures released by the LSE suggest the card could cost each of us up to £300 a throw.

"We don't resile from it," says McNulty. "Perhaps we ran away with it in our enthusiasm."

McNulty has also confirmed that the government will put a ceiling on the cost of the card, although he doesn't specify an amount. The rather empty gesture is clearly aimed at increasing public sympathy for the idea. But since the project will cost what it costs regardless of how much each of us is actually charged, we will end up paying for it one way or another.

®

Related stories

'RFID the lot of them!' UK ID card to use Support ID Card 'refuseniks' here
No2ID restocks Clarke-busting t-shirt

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.