Ministers are expected to announce a compromise on compulsory identity cards ahead of a Commons vote on Monday. [BBC News, Feb 10th 2006]What is the likely effect of this compromise?
- Those responsible for the scheme will be looking to encourage people to carry the card voluntarily. One way of doing this is to provide differential advantages to card-holders. For example, fast-track security in various settings. But this means that these security mechanisms are now designed to produce a beneficial effect on the ID card scheme, and they may become less effective at delivering real security. (I am tempted to say even less effective.)
- This in turn means encouraging a wide range of service providers (such as airlines perhaps) to differentiate between card-holders and others - to accept the identity card for a range of purposes, while making complicated demands on everyone else (passport plus driving licence plus two utility bills, etc. etc.). Thus we have function creep.
- But these service providers have a range of commercial and other goals. This introduces diversity at several levels - diversity of intention as well as diversity of action - which in turn introduces various modes of interoperability risk.
Further commentary. BBC Action Network, Wired article on Multi-Use ID Cards by Bruce Schneier
Technorati Tag: identity card POSIWID