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Lies, damn lies and ID card polls

So UK MPs think that 80-90 per cent of us support the use of ID cards do they? Like so much in life it all depends on how you phrase the question.

Ask a passer-by if he or she thinks crime should be reduced almost everyone would answer yes. Ask if it should be easier to identify criminals and you’ll get eh same response. Then ask if an ID card scheme is a good idea and you’re likely to get an affirmation as well.

Now ask anyone else if they think the government can always be trusted to look after its citizens’ interests and you’re likely to get a negative response. Then ask if the police should have the right to force someone to disclose their identity if they are not committing any crime, and you’ll get a no also. Ask then if ID cards are a good idea and I’ll bet the majority would find against.

The only questions over ID cards should be will the scheme actually work and how much will it cost. Since nobody’s been able to answer either of these questions as yet it’s safe to say the jury (while we’re still allowed such due process) is still out.

March 23, 2005 | Permalink


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NO TO ID cards
No to costs of cards

Posted by: w.gibbons | March 24, 2005 08:48 PM

It's interesting too that when the first "public" consultation was done, via an obscure e-mail submission address to the Home Office, the majority of respondents were (it is presumed) against the idea. I say presumed as the results were never fully made public. There was however an intimation that the views were discarded as the respondents were deemed to be biased in some way (maybe because we were informed and against?). The logic being that those who bothered to reply were more likely to be interested parties and anti-ID cards and, as such, the results were likely to be skewed - an interesting extension of "logic" and probably quite true as we were mostly tech' people (or 'El Reg' readers), understood the administrative, cost and security nightmares involved (in setting up, administering and policing the exercise) and were, largely, anti. I, for one, have not been asked contribute to the discussion since.
Gee, I must be one of those subversives the government keep warning everone about! [I'm a 50 year old, retired insurance underwriter turned IT consultant - real desperado type :)]

Posted by: Jez | March 24, 2005 09:37 PM

honest people have nothing to worry about.

Posted by: george walker | March 25, 2005 10:45 AM

Honest people may have nothing to worry about if the system is properly used. However, what is to stop misuse? The other obvious question is "will it actually reduce crime?" If not, we spend the money for no good reason.

Posted by: M Browne | April 8, 2005 09:55 AM

In any case I'm not worried about the people, honest or not. Its the government we are hading this system to that worries me. Do we think our current government is 'honest'? let alone what future governments with these powers might be like...

Posted by: froggy | April 26, 2005 11:27 AM

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