Your shout: The great ID cards debate

Computer Weekly readers have their say

Keep it simple for the ID cards programme

Regarding the ID cards project, I worked in the public sector for about six months and that was all it took for me to realise how inefficient and costly the public sector makes everything it seems to set its hand to.

The fact is that ID cards are no big deal provided the correct amount of information is placed on the ID card. Keep It Simple has always been the mantra in IT. Anything that is not becomes a camel - a racehorse designed by a committee.

What is wrong with name, address, date of birth and a photo? The government does not need any more information than this. Any information beyond this must have strict justification and be subject to the EU Directive on privacy.

The ID card project is already behind schedule, yet there are those who will argue the project has not started yet and that it is still being discussed. It is because of endless meetings that nothing ever gets done on time or on budget.

The fact is that the project started when the idea was put on the table.

In my experience a typical public sector project is 10% doing, 5% design, 85% talking about it, then another 50% fixing it. Yes, I know that is 150%, but the extra 50% is the waste of time and money going into public sector projects.

I forgot to add the other 50% that needs to be added because there will be a minority who did not get their own way and seek to obstruct and derail, even when agreement has been made.

Graeme Blundell


Are we mad or just naïve on ID cards scheme?

Toby Stevens' article on ID card fraud (Computer Weekly, 19 December) was thoughtful and interesting in that it brought out strongly the fact that reliance on a single identity verification is very dangerous.

Since only UK citizens would hold this 100% security, acceptance means anyone from anywhere else would only need to get a UK ID to open up the entire UK system to any crime, scam or worse.

Are we totally naïve or simply ill-informed? The UK lost control of its physical borders years ago. So now by the wrong people simply getting hold of these magic little cards we lose control of our cyber borders as well.

Can it really be that easy? I think it can, and we know that the parallel technology already exists to produce the ID cards and/or to enter and modify any that the UK issues to its 65 million "citizens".

Perhaps we are not just naïve, but mad: only daft politicians could get us to this point.

What has it got to do with security or terrorism? It is really a means of political control over 65 million UK people into perpetuity.

Greville Warwick, MCS


Technology for ID cards also available to criminals

I agree with Toby Stevens' concerns (Computer Weekly, 19 December) about who will take the liability for ID card fraud. The government must take responsibility for the possibility of fraud with these things. It is claiming that these will be 100% secure. Well, we have all heard that before.

Anything generated by a person or a program is hackable. Not to mention the fact that MI5 or MI6 will certainly have the ability to alter/manipulate these things.

And if businesses have to have equipment to read these cards, then so will the counterfeiters.

Where are the checks going to be made? With the information on the card, or back on the mainframe that the information came from ?

If it's on the mainframe, then again, with the equipment being made available to businesses to do this legitimately, the crooks of this world will have access to them too, and therefore access to the mainframe (to hack). Doesn't make it 100% secure to me.

At the end of the day, the information is stored on a computer, which is therefore open to attack from whatever means.

Mike Quirk


Why Microsoft needs to streamline product offer

It was refreshing to read the opinion published by Ibukun Adebayo (Computer Weekly, 12 December). Microsoft does really need to concentrate on its core products such as Windows, Exchange Server, SQL Server and Office products such as Dynamics are just a wasted effort.

These core products could be much better, and Microsoft needs to streamline its product offerings and licensing to make purchases simpler and more straightforward.

This would benefit organisations with much tighter budgets by removing the current confusion surrounding many Microsoft products and licensing.

Ben Rattigan, Senior ICT manager, Fastflow Pipeline Services


Do you agree with Graeme Blundell on public sector inefficiency? If you have an opinion about this or any article in Computer Weekly, e-mail [email protected]

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