UK ID cards – why you might want one

As part of the review of every decision made by the Labour Government under Tony Blair, it seems as if Gordon Brown is trying to find a way of forgetting all about introducing mandatory ID cards for UK citizens.

As well as the privacy issues, the main stumbling block is the cost per card. The estimates start at £80 per card and higher. That’s the cost of the card with the technical and administration overhead. The card would replace the driving licence and passport, but people forget how much they cost. They might see the fee as another tax.

A solution – if you want one… – is to get the media companies to pay for it. They want the public to have a way of proving who they are so that their media will only play for those who have paid for a license. If the BBC’s content only plays for those with UK ID cards, people will be able to distribute the files as much as they want.

For an ID card to be acceptable in the UK, there has got to be a big benefit for citizens. I would say that having access to all the media you have the rights to see and hear at any time in any place would be a big benefit. For example if I had bought the right to watch any moment from Friends without seeing any advertising on screens up to 42″ in size, I could be with friends anywhere and simply prove who I am. The media should then be streamed to the nearest flat surface for our entertainment.

Maybe an ID is worth that convenience, so much so that people from other countries might want to buy in to the UK…

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3 comments
  1. “A solution – if you want one… – is to get the media companies to pay for it. They want the public to have a way of proving who they are so that their media will only play for those who have paid for a license. If the BBC’s content only plays for those with UK ID cards, people will be able to distribute the files as much as they want.”
    Why do they need to know who I am. They would simply need to know the answer to the question is this person entitled
    “I would say that having access to all the media you have the rights to see and hear at any time in any place would be a big benefit.”
    And the fact that the government could track which media I accessed (use of the ID card is subject to an audit trail) would be a significant downside.

  2. flashgordonnz said:

    Passports and drivers licences are kinda optional. An id card would not optional.
    And as part of a government IT project the costs would overrun and overrun, etc.
    Why waste a lot of money on a system that won’t work? AFter all, although I can’t take a bottle of water on to an aeroplane, if I upgarde to business class, or better, on my last flight before entering paradise, I will be provided with metal knives and forks.

  3. Alex said:

    The great thing about the media companies paying for it is that they can pay for any cost overruns. If they can’t, we won’t get the cards. Fine by me. My point is that a combined licence and passport isn’t enough. The new cards will have to be very useful for the idea to have any popularity with voters.

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