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…