Data abuse thoughts

The child benefit data cock-up highlights all sorts of public data issues, most of which are missed totally by both participants and observers. Data literacy in Britain is non-existent. Here are a few points that have come to mind over the last couple of days of coverage (please add your own in the comments if… Continue reading Data abuse thoughts

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I’ve got a Child Benefit question

Update: it turns out the answer to my question (‘why does the National Audit Office need my National Insurance number?’ below) is ‘they don’t’. I feel like a bit of a jerk climbing onto the lost Child Benefit data bandwagon but I do want to ask a little question: one I haven’t seen answered anywhere… Continue reading I’ve got a Child Benefit question

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More ID card hubris

I admire Liam Byrne’s effort to position ID cards as a great national institution. Really. Eight-out-of-ten for effort. My position on ID cards is similar in that I agree we should aim to position Britain as a pioneer and an innovator with regard to ID. Where we disagree is on whether we should be doing… Continue reading More ID card hubris

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Would you carry an ID card?

I might carry an ID card. I might carry one that said something like: “the bearer has proven, to the satisfaction of somebody accountable, that he is the person he says he is”. I might even carry one that contained some kind of biometric fingerprint so that nobody else could use it and pretend to… Continue reading Would you carry an ID card?

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The last time we tried ID cards

Spot-on opener for the new series of Jonathan Freedland’s The Long View on Radio 4. The programme’s about the last time we tried ID cards in the UK and the court case that brought it all to an end in 1950. I could say something glib: ‘important lesson’, ‘timely reminder’, ‘tinker with an Englishman’s rights… Continue reading The last time we tried ID cards

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