Thursday, August 04, 2005

Some timely climb down

The BBC News headline reads "Labour admits ID card 'oversell'" Tony McNulty's following quote stands out in particular:

"Perhaps in the past the government, in its enthusiasm, oversold the advantages of identity cards. We did suggest, or at least implied, that they might well be a panacea for identity fraud, for benefit fraud, terrorism, entitlement and access to public services."

Does this represent some shift in attitude towards the ID system by those who have, up til now, had their "reputation" on the line? Or does it merely represent yet another change in PR tactics for the mission to get public approval for the scheme? As the article puts it:

In its "enthusiasm", the government had over-emphasised the benefits to the state rather than for "the individual in providing a gold standard in proving your identity"

This could be a move in the right direction. Identity is important, don't let us forget that. The struggle that exists in the Government plans is between letting the individual have control over their own life, and information - history - about an individual's every transaction being owned by the government. The two are not necessarily unentanglable.

Have had some thoughts in this vein recently, but want to tidy them up before presenting them. Still, just remember that everyone has something to hide, and not because they're criminal.

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