Not just universal ID, but universal ID controlled by some random company

‘Boil a frog’ ID card rollout to continue until 2012 | The Register:

And 2012, when the show really goes live for everybody else? 2011 now looks like the last point (before we factor in the delays likely to occur) where it will be possible to get a passport without being fingerprinted and without being automatically added to the National Identity Register. It will still be possible to decline an ID card when you get your new passport, but as you’ll be on the database whatever you say, it’s the passport that’s the key and 2012 is the crunch point. But even if they win the election that will have taken place by then, there’s a certain desperation to the plan that makes one doubt that the wheels will stay on until 2012. For the private sector is wanted, possibly even necessary, as a partner for this phase. The Home Office is “looking to a future where the market would provide biometric enrolment services, giving citizens a choice of competing services which would maximise convenience and drive down price.” That is, rather than bearing the entire cost of the enrolment centre infrastructure itself, IPS wants to sub-contract it out. Mysterious “changes” to be made in the enrolment process will also “make our application process easier for our customers” and they “intend for 90 per cent of these applications to be made electronically, more cost effective.” Essentially, this means that IPS itself wants to step away from the fray after it’s taken delivery of the first set of fingerprints, and will rely entirely on the security of the ID not having been breached after that, with practically all renewals being made electronically. Is there a market for franchised biometric collection centres? They must be hoping there is.

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