Booze shops get ID card lessons
More shops than cards
Government workers have hit the streets of Manchester to promote the ID cards scheme to shop owners, who currently outnumber members of the public who have volunteered for a card.
The city is the first place in the country the public can apply for an ID card, which requires a fingerprinting session.
This week Identity and Passport Service (IPS) staff have been visiting alcohol retailers in the well-to-do suburb of Didsbury to teach them how to recognise the £30 cards.
Meg Hillier, the identity minister, said: "ID cards will be launching in Greater Manchester very soon, so a huge effort is underway to ensure businesses are ready.
"Voluntary identity cards will provide a secure and convenient gold standard identity document, and we're keen to make sure people are able to use them as smoothly as possible."
The Home Office said 3,000 shops will get a visit and "ID Smart" leaflets would be sent to 8,000 businesses.
The figures dwarf the number of ID card volunteers so far. At the last count in October just 2,000 had come forward in the area.
IPS bosses said they expected this to increase rapidly once the scheme is marketed to the public. A recent survey commissioned by the campaign group NO2ID, however, found public support for ID cards at its lowest yet.
John Axon, proprietor of the Didsbury delicatessen Cheese Hamlet said he'd been visited this week, but didn't believe he'd see many ID cards, even if more volunteers come forward.
"We sell about three cases of wine a year, mostly in hampers," he said.
Manchester's shops may also find their role as a test bed for ID cards short-lived. If the Conservatives win the next general election, which must be called before 4 June, they plan to scrap the scheme and the accompanying National Identity Register database. ®
If I owened a shop I would
Tell people to show me some other ID as I didn't know what the fuck that bit of plastic was.
A useful ID card?
Even when the idea of an ID card was first talked about I thought about the idea that if everyone had a public/private certificate on the card it could be really useful.
You could get a card reader for a PC and this would allow you to prove your identity online - whether you wanted to use online banking, credit card identification (especially if you wanted to ship to an alternate address), council services or even allowing online voting. The rest of your biometric details wouldn't need to be made available - just your certificate which lets the reciever know just enough information as deemed necessary. It would be safeguarded by a PIN or a fingerprint reader.
The card as it stands is just useless to just about everyone in it's current form - even the Government.
"do I have to listen to a UKIP sponsored geek site?"
It's a big internet. You're welcome to go where ever you like. But it's takes a big stretch of the imagination to conclude El Reg is a hot-bed of right-wing, Eurosceptic political indoctrination!