ID Card Perceptions

NO2ID - Stop ID cards and the database stateAt about 7 minutes in on the most recent politics show (lasts until 22 minutes and will be streamed for a few days), they have a 'perception panel'. The idea is that viewers phone a freephone number and hit buttons to say if they agree or disagree. I got here via this post

The gut reaction to ID cards was 'a strong no'.

The first argument was for ID cards, and there was a live reaction as the argument went on.

He talked of convenience, then migration and ID theft. He talked of a system that 'cannot be faked or corrupted' (yeah, right). Talked of the US for biometric data in passports, and then saying 'the French have it' (yes, they have ID cards, but that's not what's proposed in the UK). Almost universally the response was negative, with a breakeven when talking of knowing who's in our borders (but that can be done with embarkation controls).

The second argument was obviously against. She talked about the uselessness of the cards in combatting terrorism etc, a white elephant. She talked of costs, both in getting one and keeping it updated. She talked about the intrusiveness of the system, if it goes wrong. She talked of the ability to trust not just this government but every other government in the future. Her arguments were seen as universally positive.

Then in the studio the pro ID card bloke talked of anything that can make us a little safer shouldn't be referred to about cost. Universally negative again.

The anti-ID cards speaker talked of ID cards not being able to preventing the July bombings, not preventing the madrid bombings (with ID cards in Spain). She talked of controlling the borders properly, i.e. we have a perfectly good way of looking at who is coming in and out in passports. Her response was off the scale positive.

Detailed questions from the presenter to the viewers: Do you think they would make you safer? Off the scale, no. If free, would you be in favour? Almost at the top of the scale, no. ID cards, yes or no? Off the scale, no. Reference to polls a year ago when it was 50/50.

The pro campaigner found the panel absolutely terrifying, with the instant feedback, and suggested that the response might be to his face in comparison to his younger, female opponent.

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