Bruce Schneier brought this to my attention.
Ex-MI5 chief says ID cards in the UK would be “useless” for fighting terrorism and “a waste of money”. Which is what I have been saying for years. She, of course, has a much more influential position than most. And she does a good job of hammering the half-baked idea for fighting terrorists:
ID cards have possibly some purpose.
But I don’t think that anybody in the intelligence services, particularly in my former service, would be pressing for ID cards.
My angle on ID cards is that they may be of some use but only if they can be made unforgeable – and all our other documentation is quite easy to forge.
If we have ID cards at vast expense and people can go into a back room and forge them they are going to be absolutely useless.
ID cards may be helpful in all kinds of things but I don’t think they are necessarily going to make us any safer.
And if it doesn’t help when fighting terrorists then it’s not going to be any good for fighting criminals.