Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The "title" is a poster of a British campaign against their government's intent to introduce ID cards. To me it is almost as if a response to my earlier criticism of the campaign. As Bliar & co thunder ahead with the project now, I think it is timely to rephrase my position of support with major quibbles.

As someone who lived with an ID card all his life, this Anglo-Saxon angst of ID cards is a bit perplexing. Let's start from the claim that a single number in all databases allows someone to get all your data. But the government could already get all your data, only instead of searching with your ID number, searching with your name (and address and what else) in the different databases. Even if it couldn't do that, if it gains access to your files in your company/school/bank/job application center/whatever, they got it.

This points to where the real danger lies: it is in a centralisation of databases, and unlimited goverment access to databases.

You can have that without ID cards. Rumsfeld wanted to have just that in the USA: remember Total Information Awareness. In fact, he still wants it, he just stopped issuing shiny new Orwellian code names for it.

And, here is the real issue, Bliar wants this Orwellian control too, proposing the necessary changes hidden behind the ID debate. So the ID card is advocated as a trojan horse. This is why I think NO2ID campaigners fight a very real menance and gave my support to them in the end.

Here is my worst-case scenario: the ID is defeated in circumstances reminding of the poll tax, everyone goes hope believing they saved personal freedoms - but the government implemented the part about database synchronisation and unlimited access anyway.

...which is why I am happy about this "and the database state" subline: it gives hope that the real menance won't be lost sight of.


At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Hansvon said...

At least, in a working democracy there is a political control on the State database. Even more scarier are what enterprises are collecting right now. Mobile phones, credit cards, fidelity cards, etc.. are wonderfull to know everything about you, where do you go, who you know, etc.

At 10:15 PM, Blogger DoDo said...

Good point!

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