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A taste of life under the National Identity Scheme

Posted by James Hammerton @ 4:08 pm on 14 February, 2009.
Categories privacy and surveillance, British politics, the database state.
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Henry Porter relates the story of a friend of his whose wife is required to get an ID card as a foreign (US) national:

I am passing this story on because I have had my first taste of what a state with ID cards would be like, and I have found it very depressing and actually much more scary than I thought I would. The reality of this apparently secure and efficient ID card system is that it is wide open to human error, technical failures and abuse.

A mistake on an ID card will take a very long time to correct, and their mistake becomes your problem, your responsibility. It is a very disempowering and depressing process where a citizen becomes a cog in a vast machine.

This is not just your video club membership, or your supermarket loyalty card … this is your citizenship and identity, allowing you access to services and allowing you to leave and enter the country.

My wife has been unable to travel since early January because of this mistake by UKBA. We are hoping no family emergencies occur before UKBA get around to returning her passport and ID card.

I still have a slight worry that if we complain publicly then someone within UKBA may have the power to vindictively sabotage my wife’s future leave to remain in the UK … not something I have ever feared before in this country. I also don’t want my wife to end up being deported to Samoa by mistake!

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear indeed…

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