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On ID Cards

7th May, 2009 by Daniel

It was announced yesterday that my home city of Manchester will be the first to trial the new ID card scheme. This subject has been dragging on for a while now and it raises several points for me.
Firstly and coincidentally I’ve been watching a lot of the traffic cops style programmes that seem to have come back in style on TV and one of the problems they often have is the initial ID of the driver who is not required to carry documents but has to be checked in order to determine whether they are legal to drive or not. For me this appears to be a foremost reason for an ID card scheme, but hang on don’t most of us already carry this driving license thing for this purpose? Why not just make it compulsory to have it with you when driving? If you want biometrics then beef it up not add a whole new card.
But what if you don’t drive? Then I suppose fine have a separate card but I don’t see why drivers must have both.
Also we are being pushed towards needing Biometric Passports, again I don’t disagree with the reasoning but why charge £30 for the Biometric data collection when many people will already have had this data collected for there passport?
There’s also the issue of charging citizens to purchase a card, why do this? Either make it compulsory and raise the money through taxes, etc or nobody will volunteer to buy one.
The other issue I’ve been pondering about is why launch in Manchester? Recently it seems Manchester has turned into a testing site for national projects. I suppose the makeup of the city means if it works here then it may work for the country. It’s not too large a city to become cumbersome, it can organise itself to vote in a referendum so it can be shown to weigh up issues well.

ID Cards: An Introduction
Manchester Reaction
Manchester Evening News Story

I do think that the ID card issue will be a major one soon. Perhaps for the next election? I’m not sure we know fully why it is being pushed so hard by the government, why they have ruled out other options and what benefits the scheme can bring, which aren’t covered by the other forms of identity in place.M


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