Another good reason not to vote Labour

It was nice to see that the government’s plans for ID cards have been dropped, but if you want another reason not to vote Labour, it’s that they plan to reintroduce the plans should (when?) they win the election in May.

It’s not that I’m ideologically opposed to ID cards: in an ideal world, yes, they’d be a good thing and ordinary people would have nothing to fear. However, this is not an ideal world, and I have zero faith in the government’s ability to implement them properly. The IT infrastructure will be critical and as identify fraud becomes more and more popular, a single ID card is an obvious target. The UK has an appalling track record when it comes to large public sector IT projects – whether developed in-house or outsourced to the so-called experts, who then deliver late, over budget, or not at all. It’s just a recipe for disaster.

But don’t believe me: believe the London School Of Economics [schneier].

The Report concludes that the establishment of a secure national identity system has the potential to create significant, though limited, benefits for society. However, the proposals currently being considered by Parliament are neither safe nor appropriate. There was an overwhelming view expressed by stakeholders involved in this Report that the proposals are too complex, technically unsafe, overly prescriptive and lack a foundation of public trust and confidence. The current proposals miss key opportunities to establish a secure, trusted and cost-effective identity system and the Report therefore considers alternative models for an identity card scheme that may achieve the goals of the legislation more effectively. The concept of a national identity system is supportable, but the current proposals are not feasible.