Feeds

Running queries on the HMRC database fiasco

Dis-information systems management

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Finally, the ID card thing

Chancellor Alistair Darling has been quoted as saying that the disaster actually strengthened arguments in favour of ID cards. OK, I’m game, let's think this through. One of the advantages of ID cards is that they make it easier to tie data from several disparate systems together. For example, it appears still to be possible for a person in this country to be drawing benefit while working. An ID card, complete with unique identifier, should make these anomalies much easier to spot.

So, on the surface, this argument sounds reasonable. The data was being shipped so that it could be cross-correlated between two systems. ID cards make cross-correlation easier. Therefore, this is an argument for ID cards. However, there is a glorious technical flaw in this argument.

ID cards may help to identify people more accurately but they don't, in any shape or form, help with the movement of the data. ID cards would have made no difference whatsoever to the fact that the data has to be moved. Indeed, had the ID data been included it would, presumably, have been one more piece of data to delight the bad guys.

I'm used to the fact that politicians don't understand technology, but it frightens me that, in the midst of one crisis, they can still find the time to misuse it to promote another unrelated political agenda.

Finally, of course, the fact that our government has demonstrated a complete lack of ability to protect our data is, for me, a strong argument against ID cards. But then, I'm not a politician.

Summary

Once again, it is fair to say that we aren't being told the technical details and neither should we be. However, these security concerns also provide a convenient smoke screen from which can emerge bland assurances like: "It would have been very expensive to do this", "this strengthens the arguments for ID cards". While we cannot directly gainsay these, if we make reasonable assumptions, it is clear that many of them are nonsense. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?