As noted in an earlier article on this site, Nanny’s Loyalty Programme, Nanny is very impressed with the loyalty card schemes used by the private sector. So much so, in fact, that she is working with the private sector to determine how to use ID cards to monitor her “charges” commercial transactions.
Her masterplan is to create a central database, which would store citizens’ major transactions with both government and business.
Her plan is outlined in the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), which was quietly released with David “trial without jury” Blunkett’s ID cards Bill published this week. The RIA says that the ID card Bill allows the National Identity Register (NIR) to record when, and from whom, any checks on the database take place.
The RIA then goes on to give examples of database access, including:
- Banks and other finance firms combating money laundering and identity fraud
- Employers checking a job applicant's immigration status
- Retailers protecting against credit card fraud
In addition to granting seemingly unlimited access rights to the database, Nanny is working on using chip-and-PIN technology for checking ID cards at point of sale.
Nanny will make on line checks whenever anyone makes a “larger than normal transaction”. Precisely how will she know if the transaction is larger than normal?
Mike Rodd, external relations director at the British Computer Society, noted:
“The potential to connect and collate information about people that may be commercially sensitive will make the population at large very unhappy…
To create this huge database of information starts smacking of some sort of authoritarian state. This could really cause an outrage…”
Nanny may in fact be creating a monster, which would be beyond even her power to control. Professor Jim Norton, a senior policy advisor at the Institute of Directors, says the government would be inundated with data.
“Recording every high value transaction doesn't sound like a great idea to me…
..The idea of having a huge database and sucking vast amounts of information into it seems to me to be remarkably naive on one hand, and a potential major burden on business on the other..”
As usual with Nanny, she seeks to involve herself with the minutiae of peoples’ lives.
Whatever your views on an ID card scheme per se, it is very clear that Nanny cannot be trusted to run it.