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Gardian

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Just seen the leading item on the 10 o'clock news and I feel like having a rant.

For years I've been hearing the objections to ID cards in the UK, but I must admit that I just don't get it. Set aside whether the Government might charge you £50 or £100 or whatever, why on earth does anybody think that being required to have one is an invasion of one's privacy? Labour has retreated from the idea, the Tories have (I think) said "No" and all in all, it looks like a non-runner. Why?

And tonight, what's in the News? The 4th biggest mobile phone company has admitted to the regulator that thousands of personal records have been sold off to competitors by unscrupulous employees. It doesn't surprise me much - I suspect that it's the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In today's world (and this isn't a 'It wasn't like this in my day' rant - things have changed), data is exchanged across multiple servers and there's more known about each of us than we'd wish to know.

What's more, there's a man who has been arrested today for alleged multiple (and horrible) crimes committed over a 15 year period against the elderly - detected apparently as a result of DNA samples taken after a relatively minor offence.

In my world, we'd all be required to carry an ID card - these would compulsory within the EU, thus rendering passports redundant except for travel outside the EU. There would be a rolling programme of introduction - say 5 years. Not foolproof - nothing ever is, but an inability to produce one would render the individual liable to 'suspicion' by the authorities.

Allied to this - mandatory DNA samples held on a database and taken at the same time as the issue of the ID card.  No arguement.  If you've nothing to fear and nothing to hide, then nobody comes knocking on your door.

Right - that's put the cat amongst the pigeons.

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[quote user="Gardian"]

In my world, we'd all be required to carry an ID card - Why exactly?  Innocent until proven guilty springs to mind here, I know who I am, if I tell you who I am and you dont believe me then prove I am wrong.

 

If you've nothing to fear and nothing to hide, then nobody comes knocking on your door. That, IMHO, is one of the most fatuous statements ever.

Right - that's put the cat amongst the pigeons.

[/quote]

 

I really suppose it comes down to your own interpetation of "Freedom"

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Well in my world, Baroness Scotland would have been prosecuted and fined to the maximum (after all she makes most of the rules)

All Lords and Lady's that commit crimes would be stripped of their titles.

People like Jeffery Archer will never be allowed into public office again and when imprisoned would not be able to make a profit from writing more novels.

Peter Mandelson who left in disgrace twice would not be re-employed under any circumstance.

If the people who run the country have such little moral fibre what do they expect of the populous.

 

I.D. cards won't solve a thing, when illegal workers are found, their details are taken by the police and customs and as there is no where to put them they are set free and expected to return. Pathetic!

If all the information stored on an ID card (don't put all your eggs in one basket) is stolen and hacked, you will have to be given a new identity, you cannot be you again! Likewise a DNA record stored on a computer could be tampered with and a person convicted on that evidence.

Welcome to the Matrix

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I am against ID cards and DNA records because I have no faith in how the information would be used by the government. Look at this which is a complete disgrace in my opinion.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/6563877/City-lawyer-fired-after-police-kept-record-of-her-innocent-arrest.html

Hoddy
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[quote user="Hoddy"]I am against ID cards and DNA records because I have no faith in how the information would be used by the government. Look at this which is a complete disgrace in my opinion.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/6563877/City-lawyer-fired-after-police-kept-record-of-her-innocent-arrest.html

Hoddy[/quote]

I remember reading a similar article a few years ago:

A middle-aged man gets home after work to find that a vague acquaintance he hadn't met for many years had tried to reach him on the phone.

He has no reason to know that the acquaintance is under surveillance after having been connected to a man linked to suspected terrorists.

As a matter of routine, the middle-aged man is checked and his employer is contacted by the surveillance services.

His employer is not given any reason for the security check.

B
ecause the job involves sensitive industrial and commercial information, the employer does not take any chances and the man is suspended from his job,

pending clarification.

As the surveillance involves matters of national security, the man is unable to obtain clarification and unable to clear his name.

In a matter of a few months, he loses his job.

Unable to get a job reference, he cannot find employment in his field.

Unable to keep up with his mortgage repayments on a much reduced salary, he soon loses his home.

His wife gets a divorce and he loses contact with his children.

All this to say that it's not what you do or don't do, it may be down to what others do.

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I couldn't agree more with the vast majority of what has been posted above.  Systems like this can only work as they should when those operating it are all always perfect.  As far as I know the state of perfection has yet to be attained even by the laudable British justice system (and it's minions), let alone the ruddy politicians. [:D]
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[quote user="Hoddy"]I am against ID cards and DNA records because I have no faith in how the information would be used by the government. Look at this which is a complete disgrace in my opinion.

City-lawyer-fired-after-police-kept-record-of-her-innocent-arrest

Hoddy[/quote]

"Mrs Elliot had been due to start work on a dispute resolution and arbitration

project concerning the National Identity Card scheme."

You couldn't make it up.

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Interestingly enough the cases here actually have nothing to do with having ID cards or DNA records. The only slight link that somebody picked up on was that the lady solicitor was due to work on the ID card project.

In many countries the sale of information from one company to another has been going on for years. I often get emails or calls from competitors about changing from my current ISP, phone, French TV and mobile suppliers and each one seems to know a lot about me. Strangely I get calls asking me to change to Orange yet I am already with them. I used to find it funny but now it a pain in the bottom.

In the IT industry salesmen (or should I sales persons) moved from one company to another taking their clients with them. Some companies would head hunt a particular salesman because of the accounts he currently serviced. This practice has gone on for over 20 years. I don't know much about other industries but I suspect its the same.

With reference to ID cards nobody has ever said it will stop terrorism and illegal immigration, what it does is makes it a lot more difficult. Likewise there are plenty of ways to 'clone' a person without the introduction of ID cards. ID cards would go some way to stopping this but are not the total answer. The biggest problem is people themselves, 90% of people don't check either their bank statements or credit card bills (source - ID Theft Protect 2007). Most Credit Card fraud is committed 'Face to Face' (source - Cardwatch) and the majority of Identity Theft involves taking a dead persons identity, this is growing at a rate of 60% per year (source - UK Home Office).

Going back to immigration, ID cards became compulsory for Foreign Nationals (Excluding the EU and Switzerland) in November 2008 and after 2011 any foreign national will have to produce their card to extend their stay, become a student, work etc and will by law have to carry them at all times (source - UK Border Agency, previously the Home Office). Those that don't currently have ID cards have to carry another form of ID at all times, primarily a passport.

Going back to the original post, its so simple to stop companies and individuals removing data from a site. I have experience of designing both public and commercial computer systems where it has been setup to stop this from happening. Even so in the case where these systems are not implemented very strict and heavy penalties should be implemented which should include prison sentences of 5 years minimum or more. Only in this way will the public's trust ever return on this subject but it will take a very long time.

In the case drawn to our attention by Hoddy its a double sided thing. It is a very sad thing that happened but as already pointed out in a round about way at least people are actually checking. Having worked in both the public sector (museums and education/schools) I know that vetting and checking of police records does take place. The problem is, and its where the system falls down, is that it takes a very long time (often months) and most employers will allow you to work pending the outcome of the investigation. I would prefer a high speed checking system before you are actually due to start work but currently it can't be done.

The ID card whilst not the total answer to all things is a positive step forward.

One thing that does interest me is what with France having ID cards is there a proportionally higher amount of Identity Theft here and is there a direct link to having ID cards and how difficult is it to get a replacement ID card if it is lost or stolen?

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[quote user="Quillan"]

The ID card whilst not the total answer to all things is a positive step forward.

One thing that does interest me is what with France having ID cards is there a proportionally higher amount of Identity Theft here and is there a direct link to having ID cards and how difficult is it to get a replacement ID card if it is lost or stolen?

[/quote]

In the case of my Nephew, he was beaten outside a night club in Tours by eastern Europeans. What did they want? Money, mobile phone, no his French I.D. card and as you said Quillan he had a tough time getting a new one. Of course they will be easy to catch as they are carrying his I.D. so it won't be long now, just over two years so far!

The only positive thing from I.D. cards is in the event of an accident the people will know who you are. 

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I'll return to the point that I was trying to make.

Government agencies might well be less than perfect about how they safeguard our personal data, and if ID cards became a requirement, then I agree that there's every reason to be sceptical about how well that information might be safeguarded. But for goodness sake, how much more of the data linked to an ID card isn't already 'readily accessible'?  Just have a think about how much of your personal data is held by government, retail and other agencies. I doubt that many of us would get to a count of less than 20 and the true figure would probably be twice that. 

Of the people who access this site, I'm sure that 99.9% hold a British passport. What is a passport? Essentially a 'super-ID card'.

To me, there's a sort-of jingoism attached to any suggestion of ID cards that's a bit like any suggestion of the abandonment of the £.  Logic goes out of the window - "our Island state rules".

Of course ID cards wouldn't be the answer to anything like all the security problems, but they'd be a start. However, improving technology would make them easily verifiable at the point of checking in order to minimise the risk of cloning.

As for DNA, I'd settle for the risk of the occasional error (but there would have to be stringent double-checks) if the sort of criminal that I referred to yesterday could have been caught 15 years earlier. If you had to choose, wouldn't you? 

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[quote user="Gardian"]

I'll return to the point that I was trying to make.

Government agencies might well be less than perfect about how they safeguard our personal data, and if ID cards became a requirement, then I agree that there's every reason to be sceptical about how well that information might be safeguarded. But for goodness sake, how much more of the data linked to an ID card isn't already 'readily accessible'?  Just have a think about how much of your personal data is held by government, retail and other agencies. I doubt that many of us would get to a count of less than 20 and the true figure would probably be twice that. 

Of the people who access this site, I'm sure that 99.9% hold a British passport. What is a passport? Essentially a 'super-ID card'. Actually a very poor I.D. card, it does not even have your address on it. The Barometric ones that were proposed contained most if not all the data required to become that person if stolen. As banks used to say don't keep your credit/debit cards in the same place as your pin numbers or cheque books

To me, there's a sort-of jingoism attached to any suggestion of ID cards that's a bit like any suggestion of the abandonment of the £.  Logic goes out of the window - "our Island state rules". There are passport counterfiters as there would be I.D. counterfiters so how exactly will it make a difference?

Of course ID cards wouldn't be the answer to anything like all the security problems, but they'd be a start. However, improving technology would make them easily verifiable at the point of checking in order to minimise the risk of cloning. Just a stones through from improving the the cloning technology too.

As for DNA, I'd settle for the risk of the occasional error So long as you weren't the one being accused? (sorry a very Daily mail point from you)(but there would have to be stringent double-checks) if the sort of criminal that I referred to yesterday could have been caught 15 years earlier. If you had to choose, wouldn't you? What about the case of Rachel Nickel and the ruin of Colin Staggs life?

[/quote]
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Going back to the OP.

I don't see a problem with an identity card , or CCTV in streets or classrooms etc.

The downside is not the collection of data it is the misuse (or abuse, I may be confused) of it.

If I get caught picking my nose on a public street, or saying 'bluddy' in a classroom, so be it. If a knifer gets caught (either situation) hooray.

If we were all DNA'd at birth then there would be no connotation that 'having a dna record means you are a bad'un' and if it solved more crimes more quickly then it might save money and help deter further crime -

EXCEPT if having been proven guilty the consequence is so lame that it is no deterrent.

But that is a systemic problem (in schools and real life) not a 'detection mechanism' problem.
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[quote user="Théière"][quote user="Quillan"]

The ID card whilst not the total answer to all things is a positive step forward.

One thing that does interest me is what with France having ID cards is there a proportionally higher amount of Identity Theft here and is there a direct link to having ID cards and how difficult is it to get a replacement ID card if it is lost or stolen?

[/quote]

In the case of my Nephew, he was beaten outside a night club in Tours by eastern Europeans. What did they want? Money, mobile phone, no his French I.D. card and as you said Quillan he had a tough time getting a new one. Of course they will be easy to catch as they are carrying his I.D. so it won't be long now, just over two years so far!

The only positive thing from I.D. cards is in the event of an accident the people will know who you are. 

[/quote]

Sorry I probably didn't write that properly, I was interested to know how he went about getting a new ID card and what was involved.

Putting aside the problems he may of had having to get a new card what effect has it had somebody having his ID card. For instance is his Social number on the card, is he getting bills for medical treatment he never had, has his bank account been 'raided' or has somebody borrowed money under his name etc. In other words what have they used his stolen ID card for? Never having had a national ID card I am interested to know from somebody close to another who had their card stolen.

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Owens wrote; [quote]The downside is not the collection of data it is the misuse (or abuse, I may be confused) of it.[/quote]

I think the willful abuse of DNA evidence is a concern for many.  As I see it, DNA evidence is almost always viewed as conclusive.  But it is relatively easy to plant and to falsify.  If samples of everyones DNA are available to the powers that be, it is possible that these samples could be misused by the unscrupulous.  I'm sure we can all recall cases where individuals have been stitched up like a kipper (in the parlance of our times) by the authorities.  Imagine how much more difficult it would have been for those people to clear their names if DNA evidence had been falsely identified or planted to incriminate them?

Whilst I realise it is entirely possible for such evidence to be created even now, I think a database of this kind would open the floodgates to those whose quality of mercy is definitely strain'd.

[url]http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/19/newsid_2490000/2490039.stm[/url]

Also, consider the possibility that one might visit a place (or brush against a person) later involved in a serious crime.  The lazy investigator finds your DNA.  If you don't have a very good alibi (and possibly, even if you do), the chances of a swift trip to jail and no questions asked seem pretty high to me.

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I have a UK passeport, still have a valid Spainish DNI, my wife has a French passeport, French ID and Spanish DNI. Talk about overkill[:)] 

You'll never convince me that an ID card helps stop anything illegal. All the Madrid bombers had valid ID cards, didn't stop them. All the London bombers would have been enttled to a UK ID card. So can we forget the idea it stops terrorists? Next up, immigrants. Well, Spain has roughly 6-8 times the illegal immigrants compared to the UK, France at least twice as many, so the evidence vaguely, tentetive hints that it may possibly NOT assist in that field.

Quillan. Official figures for credit/debit card fraud are difficult to obtain apart from Germany and the UK. However, the alerts I get from Visa and Mastercard suggest that for every 1 Germany or UK alert, I get 4 France alerts and 5-6 Spain alerts. Allied to the withdrawal of services by both card clearers in France would again strongly suggest that the levels of fraud are dramatically high in France. Maybe one day BdF will release the figures, but don't hold your breathe, they NEVER release anything, which if compared to other countries, puts France in a bad light. I reckon it is official government policy[:D]

Slightly off topic. Yesterday Le Parisian had a stab at quantifying the unsecured personal debt situation in France (again official figures are not available), using the personal insolvency data, which is public record. It would suggest the situation is probably worse than the UK (I know what you lot are like, and may find that difficult to believe, but hey I do this sort of data as a job [:D] humour me please), and certainly far worse than Germany. http://www.leparisien.fr/economie/le-nombre-de-menages-surendettes-s-envole-18-11-2009-715067.php

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[quote user="velcorin"]

You'll never convince me that an ID card helps stop anything illegal. All the Madrid bombers had valid ID cards, didn't stop them. All the London bombers would have been entitled to a UK ID card. So can we forget the idea it stops terrorists? Next up, immigrants. Well, Spain has roughly 6-8 times the illegal immigrants compared to the UK, France at least twice as many, so the evidence vaguely, tentative hints that it may possibly NOT assist in that field.

[/quote]

The Madrid bombers were not Spanish although some of those that procured the explosives may have been they think.

The London bombers were UK nationals so no ID cards would not have made any difference. However by coupling DNA to ID it would have made it easier to possibly trace them back to their contacts and where they stayed and visited. There is a possibility that they would know who was involved and who had recruited them even if they had left the country and at best stop them from re-entering and starting another cell. I don't know if that would work but as we don't have such a system we would never know one way or the other.

[quote user="velcorin"]

Quillan. Official figures for credit/debit card fraud are difficult to obtain apart from Germany and the UK. However, the alerts I get from Visa and Mastercard suggest that for every 1 Germany or UK alert, I get 4 France alerts and 5-6 Spain alerts. Allied to the withdrawal of services by both card clearers in France would again strongly suggest that the levels of fraud are dramatically high in France. Maybe one day BdF will release the figures, but don't hold your breathe, they NEVER release anything, which if compared to other countries, puts France in a bad light. I reckon it is official government policy[:D]

[/quote]

Likewise having worked on anti fraud systems for the largest clearing company in the UK not many people know that in value (but not in quantity) the largest frauds are carried out by vendors/sellers. I also noted that if you spend over a certain amount in the UK a phone check is carried out and you are asked for further identification (an ID card possibly? [;-)] if you had one). So far I have not had this happen in France.

[quote user="velcorin"]

Slightly off topic. Yesterday Le Parisian had a stab at quantifying the unsecured personal debt situation in France (again official figures are not available), using the personal insolvency data, which is public record. It would suggest the situation is probably worse than the UK (I know what you lot are like, and may find that difficult to believe, but hey I do this sort of data as a job [:D] humour me please), and certainly far worse than Germany. http://www.leparisien.fr/economie/le-nombre-de-menages-surendettes-s-envole-18-11-2009-715067.php

[/quote]

The figure they came up with is still about 20k less (I took the lowest figure from the different sources, the highest was about 30k more) than the UK although in fairness the UK is not mentioned in the article.

 

 

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Lets start with some basic DNA information. roughly 98% of human DNA is a match for horses etc.  DNA may be ok for Jeremy Kyle and others with a small pool of suspects but as DNA is not used for a complete match a partial match is obtained on roughly a 1 in 40,000 case. The population of the UK 61,399,118 would give 1,535 suspects.

The majority of CCTV cameras monitoring the UK are of such a low resolution that they cannot be used in a court of law so are a waste of time and money, although someone is getting pretty rich.

 

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Théière wrote; [quote] DNA may be ok for Jeremy Kyle and others with a small pool of suspects[/quote]

I didn't know someone had finally got rid of the vitriolic little creep!  That calls for another glass of red if I'm not mistaken![:D] (Surprised it's only a small number of suspects though...)

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[quote user="Théière"]

Lets start with some basic DNA information. roughly 98% of human DNA is a match for horses etc.  DNA may be ok for Jeremy Kyle and others with a small pool of suspects but as DNA is not used for a complete match a partial match is obtained on roughly a 1 in 40,000 case. The population of the UK 61,399,118 would give 1,535 suspects.

The majority of CCTV cameras monitoring the UK are of such a low resolution that they cannot be used in a court of law so are a waste of time and money, although someone is getting pretty rich.

[/quote]

Actually its 0.1% not 2% (source). Try a search on 'how accurate is dna profiling'. Technology in this field has moved on in leaps and bounds and continues to do so.

I don't know much about CCTV cameras as we don't have them round here but I gather there are quite a lot now in the UK. I think I read somewhere (Telegraph I think) that there are over 150 in Victoria Street London which is not particularly a long road. I did see a test at Scotland Yard back in the 90's where they were taking pictures using one of the first digital speed cameras of not just the car but of the drivers face as well. Using an Informix database and data retrieved from the DVLC they were able to identify both the car and the driver, check for a valid licence, tax, MOT and insurance and print the speeding ticket within about 10 seconds of the car passing. I don't know if they ever put the system in to full use but I remember being very impressed and a little frightened at the time.

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