One of the political footballs being kicked around the media and debate-sphere is the UK National ID Card Scheme. Touted as the answer to reducing Terrorism, to curing minor forms of cancer and improving the National Health Service, this one stop identity card is the political panacea to all things wrong that might be fixed in the country.
Apart from the unjustified claims of crime busting super powers and miraculous health restoring properties of the National ID Card the concern for me, and many others is the lack of success our and other Governments have had in implementing and securing just such information. For a short while the national news read like an interdepartmental competition to see who could loose track of public information in the most spectacular fashion possible.
Rather than join in the Armchair quarterbacking of punditry so relevant to being a blogger I would like to propose a solution to this and other concerns.
The New TESCO National ID Club Card would provide you with more than reward pointsÂ for shopping in TESCO. It would deliver aÂ mechanism with which loyalty points may be gainedÂ simply by shopping British.
In place of tax rebates and complex form filling and long queues waiting for the health service to provide, well a service, you would now be offered a 1.5% cash back for booking a health holiday in Prague that included two nights stay in a Prague Hospital plus city tour.
The TESCO club card system is already in place, there’s little need to create a whole new system to track and identify people. They only need to add a tick box:
Are you a UK Citizen ? :
After this you could walk down to TESCO customer services and show them your Passport and your Fingerprints and all would be done. There’s no need to roll out new cards or new databases. The whole process and implementation is already sponsored and delivered by TESCO where “Every little helps”.
There would beÂ an additional benefit in profiling of terrorists. In place of all this tricky due process, investigation and evidence based detective work we could simply look at spending habits. Anyone suddenly cancelling their life insurance policy, booking a few train tickets and purchasing a large rucksack could be called in for questioning. If we round up the wrong people, well that’s okay we can send them down to customer services for some complimentary gift tokens.Â Â Stop and Search takes on a whole new meaning when the constable asks you “Do you have a Club Card?”. You might even get points for co-operating with the police in their line of investigations.
So there we have it. A simple idea which resolves the cost, the delivery, the management and the security whilst utilising a tried and trusted brand. I hope you all approve of this idea and give it your full consideration.
Thanks for reading and “Do you have a Club Card?”
will send this to my bride Annie Armstrong (a facebook pal) who has a site called Patria selling only uk manufactured products
LOL you’ve not gone over to the dark side have you Master Butler? There’s no sponsorship deal in the offing is there? Surely a boots card could do the job just as well – or a nectar card..?
Mind you – this bit is pure genius! I applaud you for the idea:
Can we have some attribution here please.
I concede that the idea of outsourcing the National ID Card to the Tesco Clubcard was yours…
… HOWEVER …
… I would like to remind you that it was I who came up with the idea of data mining in the context of rucksacks.
Mark, your spot on. The lack of credit was an error of omission. Id made the note and sit corrected. Thanks for the correction.
Can it be done on a Boots card instead please? I get 4 points for every pound spent and for every 5 Meal Deals I buy I get a free one!
There’s one flaw in this scheme. A Tesco ClubCard is voluntary, whereas the NID card is not going to be. I don’t mind Tesco knowing how many packets of nappies I buy and how often I buy them if it means that I get a better service from them. As I see it the NID is simply a way for our self styled masters to catalogue and number us and has no bearing on whether the services they provide will be any better. More likely than not it will be used to determine whether I an entitled to things like healthcare, education, housing and benefits, the criteria for these entitlements are yet to be determined but when they start making kissing political ass one of the requirements I guarantee you that I’ll be manning the barricades with a lot of other free thinking and speaking people. I am not cattle, I will not be stamped, numbered, fingerprinted, biometrically identified or subdued. Especially not by an entity as inept as UKGOV when it comes to keeping the details of my business to themselves. I only trust one person to keep the details of my life, identity, and general behaviour safe from unscrupulous eyes, and that’s me. They can take their card and shove it somewhere uncomfortable (if they can get it past the gerbils and lightbulbs).
Thanks for the comment Mandrill, I think this is the key point I keep making about Identity Cards. We should be the only ones entitled to control the to and from of data from the card. However we should not expect a blind and unchecked support of the state without contributing and demonstrating a level of civic responsibility to your self and the community around you. I quite agree that the corporate rounding up and centralisation of data by the state is a constant disaster. Data should be controlled and licensed by the individual and the group not the corporate and the state. I do feel that the only way to build a scalable and deliverable database is to decentralise the data stores and access rights to the individuals concerned.
Do you really trust the government to keep your data secret, safe, and not be hacked. Seems like I have heard a lot of news lately, that in the UK much private data, including bank records, pension and student records have been lost or stolen?
I take this as written in the same tone of voice as ‘A Modest Proposal’ and with the same political undercurrent..
The worrying thing is – like Swift’s idea for reducing famine – it could actually work.