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UK Identity Cards to Double as Credit Cards

We’ve warned before about the dangers of functionality creep with Identity Cards. Now it appears that Big Blunkett is actively seeking such extended functionality in order to force compulsory National Identity Cards on innocent UK citizens.

The Evening Standard reports:

David Blunkett is poised to strike a multi-billion-pound deal with the major banks which would see compulsory ID cards double as credit cards.

People could choose to use the ultra-secure identity cards to pay for shopping, reducing the amount of plastic clutter in their purses while dramatically cutting fraud at the tills.

How long before that “choice” ceases to become a choice and is instead mandatory?

Cross-posted from The Chestnut Tree Cafe. Why not join the mailing list?

3 comments to UK Identity Cards to Double as Credit Cards

  • What is in it commercially for the banks and credit card companies ?

    Why would Visa or Mastercard risk their global brand names by close association with a compulsory ID Card scheme ?

    If they did go ahead, they would probably negotiate the commercially inept Home Office into assuming legal responsability for all credit card fraud losses from such combined cards i.e. a massive subsidy from the tax payer.

    The figures for the cost of such a scheme quoted in the article are
    very wrong, they would barely cover the purchase costs of the smart cards themselves, and not any of the required infrastructure or running costs or the massive cost of securely enrrolling people with secure Biometric Identifiers i.e. you cannot do this by sending off your photo etc by post, you will have to physically queue to have your Biometrics scanned.

    Organised crime might not have been interested in forging ID Cards, which only entiled people to unemployment benefit etc, but they will be very interested in devoting considerable financial and technical resources to cloning or forging combined ID and credit cards.

    Why on earth would any sane person trust their ID Card to a waiter in a restaurant or to a shop assistant, to take out of sight and possibly clone or read the details from using an untrustworthy card reader ?

    If only a small subset of credit card customers choose to have a combined ID Card and credit card, then it will not be worth doing commercially, unless, of course, the taxpayer picks up the bill.

  • Mark Ellott

    There’s an old saying about putting all one’s eggs in one basket – utter nonsense, of course………

    You will be assimilated, resistance is futile…….

  • Guy Herbert

    This can only be prefatory to making credit cards double as ID cards–that you’ll have to provide verified biometric data before having a credit card. After all, VISA should “know its customer” to avoid money laundering by terrorists, drug-smugglers, paedophiles… er… and asylum seekers. (Did I leave out any folk devils?)