Meg Hillier MP this morning used the launch of National ID Fraud Protection Week to reiterate dubious claims that the National Identity Scheme ('ID cards') would help prevent identity fraud. The minister's irrelevant spinning contrasts with the sensible prescriptions offered by industry figures on the same press release – such as, "Preventing ID fraud is mainly about good housekeeping" (the Post Office's head of security).
On the Home Office's best estimates it would take until the end of the next decade  for the majority of the UK population to be fingerprinted registered on its database. If the £100 million of taxpayers' money so far spent on planning its ID scheme had been spent on 2 million good-quality paper-shredders it would be doing something useful.
There is no evidence that the ID scheme will do anything to prevent identity theft. It could well make the problem far worse. A National Identity Register would be a honey-pot for fraudsters. 
Phil Booth, NO2ID National Coordinator said:
"Identity fraud is clearly a photo opportunity for the minister. But it is not just a photo opportunity. Look out for the protection racket.
"The National Identity Scheme means the Home Office will hijack your identity in order to 'look after it' for you. It's the sort of 'insurance' that is usually sold using threats, and worth just as little."
Notes for editors:
1) https://identityproject.lse.ac.uk/accountingreport.pdf - see diagram, p5. The 'high volume' roll-out of ID cards has been delayed a further two years since that analysis.
2) This is accepted as a certainty by IT experts. See for example:
"If you build it crackers will come" – CIO News 25 Sept 08
3) The Home Office has notoriously exaggerated previous identity fraud figures in an attempt to justify the National Identity Scheme by including elements that APACS and others refuse to class as identity fraud, and sums of further hundreds of millions for which it can provide no evidence.
Silicon.com, 2 Feb 06 and an article by Andrew Gilligan in the Evening Standard demolish the figures, clearly spun at the time as a justification for ID cards:
4) Though we must remain vigilant, figures from the UK's fraud prevention service Cifas show that overall identity fraud is decreasing. However, recent figures from UK payments association APACS show that the much-vaunted introduction of chip and PIN does not seem to have had the desired effect on card fraud – card cloning, 'cardholder not present' transactions and fraud committed abroad have risen between 11% and 22% in the last year alone.
See - Guardian, 4 Oct 2008 on Cifas figures and Management Today, 3/10/08 on APACS figures:
5) NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. See https://www.no2id.net/dbstate.php for a list of 'database state' initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing.
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Posted: 2008-10-06 02:00:01