If you are British, go here and tell the Home Office your opinion about the “entitlement card”, aka identity card. I did:


I am concerned at the government’s intention to introduce an “entitlement card,” and wish to make my feelings known as part of the consultative process.

First, the name is disingenuous, for it will be an identity card, in point of fact. That the government wishes to disguise its nature through euphemism is unsettling from the start.

Second, I do not believe that the case for a card has been adequately explained. There already exist systems of identification for such purposes as work and taxation (the NI number), driving, and international travel.

Third, on the subject of travel, the standard EU model passport suffices for travel inside and outside the EU. As the UK is not part of the mainland Schengen area, the advantage of a marginally smaller travel document is not compelling, given the costs involved.

Fourth, the aim of strangling the black economy is unlikely to be met even with an identitity card. People who knowingly employ illegal workers are unlikely to be persuaded to stop by a card.

Fifth, the risks to privacy are enormous. By linking together a large number of systems with a single unique identifier, there is a single point of failure. This facilitates both identity theft (witness the abuse of the US’ SSN in identity fraud) and unwanted disclosure of private information. Furthermore, it increases the risk that unrelated personal information will be made available to those who have no business in seeing it.

Finally, I hope that the consultative process will seek to find the genuine views of citizens on this matter, rather than relying on the voices of those few like me who feel strongly enough to write.

Yours faithfully,
Paul Battley