Feeds

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

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

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.