1. We face a terrible threat so storing my dull, private details is no big deal

Alice Miles

The Times

8 November 2006

The Home Office consultation paper on what were then called "entitlement cards" was published in July 2002. Over four years later, they are still trying to work out what are the objectives of the ID cards scheme and how to achieve them. That is a poor basis on which to grant them permission to spend £5.4bn+ of your tax money and mine. They have not succeeded in making the case how ID cards will help. The technology involved is not particularly high-tech. Smart cards are old-fashioned and pedestrian compared with the possibilities of mobile phones. All trials show that the biometrics proposed are unreliable. And, as the Prime Minister acknowledged after the 2001 election, there is a gap between having the enabling technology and actually using it. The Home Office have the legislation they need and the resources and yet they do not deliver. In the circumstances, I am surprised that you would place your chips on the ID cards scheme working.


Does the following sentence in last month's Home Office Section 37 cost report on the Identity Cards scheme change your opinion in any way: "There is scope to look at ways in which a national identity management system could provide services to other organisations on a commercial basis"?


There used to be a poem, If, available on tea-towels throughout the land. At the first whiff of grapeshot, Mr Kipling suggested, you do not panic, throw caution to the winds, bare your soul, abandon your dignity, &c.