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ID cards are an obvious step for the government, in some ways. Giving everyone a "number" makes a lot of things easier. If the system works properly, quite a number of everyday operations can be completed more easily. It's for convenience - at both ends. Companies go to great lengths to give customers a unique ID - check your electricity bill - which then makes communication easier because you can be identified with certainty. This is very useful. Yes, you could argue it has an impact on your privacy, but tough luck - if you want to buy electricity they have to know who you are and where you live anyway. Unique IDs reduce the chance of an error occuring. The government want that same convenience.
However, trying to make a "foolproof" system using biometrics and then claiming it will do anything to combat crime is ridiculous. There are so many loopholes that it will never work - unless we become a police state and people are heavily punished for not carrying their card. There always has to be a way of getting another card if yours is lost or stolen. And there has to be a way to verify and transfer the data from the card to the huge database and back. Therefore there will always be a way in, a backdoor.
This system will certainly cost an absolutely massive amount of money. The government is great at screwing up IT projects and this would be the largest and most complex yet. "ID theft" will take on new and complex forms and the ID card system will have to cope by being flexible - therefore making it useful for any kind of legal enforcement.
We may as well just have "non-driving" licenses like they do in some places with a name, address and photo. It would cost peanuts and work just as well for people who play along. Criminals will find a way around anything more expensive, anyway.Gavin, 14 years ago.