The new Wired has an article about a survey by MORI that found out that about 80 per cent of 1,000 British adults want a biometric identification card, citing concerns about illegal immigration and identity theft.
Though the survey shows that most Britons back national identity cards, there’s a wrinkle: Half said they won’t pay for it, and few were very familiar with the cards. Contrast that with the government’s plan to charge 35 pounds for an identity card good for 10 years, or 77 pounds for a card including passport, for every family member 16 to 80 years old.
Concerns about Big Brother? Try “bumbling brother,” with 58 percent of surveyed Britons predicting the government won’t be able to roll out new ID cards smoothly, and one-third saying their stored information won’t be safe. Still, most support such cards, principally to tackle illegal immigration and identity theft. The latter costs the United Kingdom 1.3 billion pounds per year.
In the United States, popular opinion and embarrassing biometric-test failures have blunted overt national ID card efforts, though U.S. passports and some states’ driver’s licenses will store biometric information soon, leading privacy activists to warn the IDs could become de facto national IDs.