Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Parcel tracking

Let me put this as simply as I can. One day I might get bored of going on about it. But not today.

Section 1, subsection (5) (h) of the ID Cards Bill says that information can be recorded about every time your details are accessed from the National ID Register. This is not restricted to use of the card - just when any validation is required (e.g. to confirm your fingerprints).

(In Schedule 1, section 7 expands upon this.)

Now in an interview with the FT, Andy Burnham is quite clear that ID Cards are designed to be as applicable as possible:

"We think ID cards could be the single gateway into a whole range of services that people need in their everyday lives from picking up a parcel or hiring a car to applying for a loan or registering with a doctor."

Amongst other things, why do the government need to know when I pick up a parcel? Furthermore, assuming the Post Office/Delivery Company track parcels by ID, this makes it a very simple, technically to know exactly who's sending parcels to whom. Again, why? I've yet to understand how this isn't a Big Brother plan.

(N.B. Section 7 of Schedule 1 above also says that information "may" be recorded. Does this, I assume, mean that the government aren't obliged to inform you, through the database, when they've been checking your details for whatever reason? Is there any way to know that we're being spied on?)

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