1) Why should I prove my ID? You say that ID cards are supported by iris recognition/finger prints etc and while chips can be cloned, body parts cannot. I have two thoughts on this matter. The first being Dolly the sheep. The second being science can do amazing things these days - anything can be transplanted and/or cloned from an iris to a face.Firstly, on the subject of whether we should need an ID card to prove our identity, this I feel is part of the very large debate on the relationship between the state and the individual. From a practical point of view, I feel it makes sense that an individual should have to prove their identity and therfore their entitlement to be genuine when making use of services provided by the state.
On the subject of the possibilities of technology and cloning, I feel that what needs to be considered here is the amount of effort required to somehow make use of the technology in order to subvert an identity check. Attempting to fake an identity check requires a considerable amount of expertise and resources. Weighing this against the potential gains to be made from subverting an ID check, and it means that only small selection of high yield identity fraud based crimes remain viable.
2) They didn't stop Madrid. No they did not. This IS a reasonable arguement. Surely any bombing that falls through the cracks of "security" and is allowed to occur is one bombing too many. A simplistic view I grant you, but one that is still valid.On this point, I feel that I should clarify my thoughts on this. The statement "ID cards did not stop the Madrid bombings" validates the statement "ID cards are not guaranteed to pervent terroist attacks". I don't feel that it validates the statement "ID cards will not prevent terroist attacks" because I feel that ID cards and the NIR will be a valulable tool for the intelligence services (I'll try and expand on this at some point). One terrorist attack is too many, but every terrorist attack prevented is a good thing.
3)The only way of stopping benefit fraud is by creating a system that doesn't allow defrauding in the first place. Either by being more severe with the culprits or by having a system that is not worth defrauding in the first place and therefore only aides the deserving. ID cards still wouldn't help with this problem - I refer you to the leaps in science/iris transplant scenario. After all if they are able to screw the system for millions, the small matter of an iris transplant is a mere drop in the ocean. Especially with the NHS in it's current state. I should know - I work for them.On the subject of benefit fraud I feel that ID cards would increase the chance a fraudster being caught out, I belive that this increased chance of getting caught would act as an additional deterrent. On the subject of punishments, I see this as problematic since often benefit fraudsters might not be able to afford fines and jail as problematic since benefit fraudsters can not really be considered a danger to society and prison places are in short supply.
On the subject of getting millions out of the system, this is again a technical issue. In the recent tax credit fiasco, the thieves used the data (from Network Rail I believe) of some 15,000 people to claim tax credits, these tax credits were then sent to the thieves bank accounts. The thieves in effect posed as each of these 15,000 people and claimed tax credit for each one. In this kind of theft, faking 15,000 sets of fingerprints, or irises would be far more difficult.
citizenandreas [at] slick47 [dot] co [dot] uk