Feeds

Manchester's on fire for ID cards, claims ID minister

Support doubles to hit magic 10k mark... allegedly

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Home Office Identity Minister Meg Hillier is now pitching ID cards as a weapon against social exclusion, and has mysteriously truffled-up nearly 6,000 extra ID card enthusiasts, meaning enrolments will hit 10,000 next week. Was it not just last week she said they'd only had 4,307 applications? Yes it was.

Furthermore, says Hillier, in an article this week in the satirically-titled wonksheet Progress Online, 62,000 people have requested application packs. "We've had to expand capacity to meet demand."

Which does rather suggest that the Home Office had been expecting the Manchester ID card rollout to be the dismal failure it looked and felt like until yesterday. But good lord minister, Manchester's on fire after all.

We've asked the Home Office to explain the sudden stampede, but they've yet to get back to us, so maybe they're still puzzled.* Or maybe Meg's making it up. On which subject, she also claims that public support for ID cards has "grown consistently over the last year, now close to 60 per cent, whilst opposition has declined".

Early on in the life of the scheme the Home Office's heavily loaded surveys were claiming support of up to 80 per cent, so what Hillier must be claiming here is that a five-year slide in support has been partially reversed in the last 12 months. Other polls however have indicated much lower levels of support, showing the public split on ID cards, and heavily opposed to the database.

And fighting social exclusion? How does that work? Well, according to Hillier, the 20 per cent of the population who don't have passports "are without access to the highest standard of identity verification". They miss jobs because they can't prove who they are (more important, since the Home Office recruited employers as border guards), they can't get flats, open bank accounts or prove credit-worthiness. And young people don't have the means "(household bills, payslips or driving licences) to build up an identity footprint".

Frankly, it's a puzzle how we all managed before ID cards, and how young people ever manage to get an identity in the first place. Or indeed, how they'll be able to get an ID card if they can't identify themselves. ®

Update: The Home Office has asked us to include the following comment, and we are of course happy to oblige:

People across the country are using their identity cards as a secure and convenient way to travel to Europe without a passport and prove who they are in everyday transactions. We are expecting the number of enrolments for an ID card to pass 10,000 by the end of next week. Demand has been strong since identity cards were launched and recent improvements in capacity mean that enrolments are now running at around 1,000 a week.

You'll note that aside from the addition of a highly doubtful travel-related claim, it merely repeats what Hillier said. A Home Office spokesman however pointed out to us that in addition to airport workers, ID cards have now been available to young people in London for the past month. The figure of 4,307 referred to uptake in the North West, so in total 10,000 by next week may be conceivable, although the Home Office is confusing the issue by playing fast and loose with enrolment and application statistics.

The spokesman declined to provide a breakdown of the figures, saying that he would not provide a running commentary.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.