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Credit Card size National ID card?

  • 24-07-2012 9:41am
    #1
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    These days we are being increasingly asked for ID everywhere we go. For instance the post office requires ID to pick up packages, banks require it to open accounts, pubs require it to serve alcohol, etc.

    But I find it very frustrating to have to carry either the big bulky passport or big bulky drivers license. Because of the bulkiness of them, I rarely carry them, but then get caught out when I need them (e.g. the post office).

    I look on in jealousy as my continental European friends even use their credit card sized national ID card instead of a passport when flying across Europe.

    These cards are far more convenient, easily slipping into a wallet.

    I wish we could have the same here. I know some people object to the idea of a mandatory national ID card on privacy grounds. But why not make it optional for those of us who might find it useful? Perhaps it could be optionally issued along with your passport.

    I've also heard that a credit card sized drivers license is being developed, but rather then be forced to carry two cards, they could integrate them both onto one. And then they could scrap the pretty useless national age card.

    A further some what related issue that really bugs me, is that opening bank accounts (and contracts for mobile phones, etc.) you are required two have two forms of id and one form of proof of address.

    The proof of address is usually an original bank account statement or utility bill. However they only accept originals, yet nowadays most banks and utilities only issue online bills (for the sake of the environment and their wallets), but a print off of an online bill isn't acceptable, a catch 22.

    Something really needs to be done about this, such as you being able to easily order a proof of address letter from the government. Or even better a change in the rules to allow print offs of the online bills.

    BTW This thread might seem a little strange in the infrastructure forum. It might not be what people normally think of infrastructure (e.g. roads, rail, etc.) but I believe an ID card it is a form of virtual national infrastructure.

    So what do other people think of the merits of rolling out a national id card?


Comments

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    So did a bit of reading into this.

    It seems we have two sort of national ID card schemes coming, but in typical Iish fashion, both leave a lot to be desired.

    1) New Credit Card size EU standard driving license.

    - To be introduced from January 2013.
    - Looks like a really good card, but unfortunately it doesn't list your nationality so I don't think it could be used for travel outside the UK and Ireland :(
    - While it can optionally also carry your PPS number and address, no sign that the Irish version will do that.

    The final obvious issue with it, is that you have to be a driver, it is no use for travel and id to people who don't drive or are too young/old to drive.

    2) New Public Services Card.

    - To be used to access Public Services. Also a credit card sized card.
    - While it will have your name, PPS Number and picture on it, it won't have your age printed on it (so can't be used in pubs) and won't have your nationality printed on it (so can't be used in place of passport).
    - It will have these details on the smart chip, but that isn't of any use outside the public services.

    Finally we also have the European Health Insurance Card, which seems totally pointless. Why it can't just be replaced by the PSC cards I don't know and a really stupid card given that it needs to be renewed every two years.

    So neither of these cards really give us what we want and of course they aren't integrated.

    Hopefully at some point in the not too distant future, all these cards will become unnecessary as we instead carry the info on our smartphones.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,330 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    Jaysus you must have an easy life if that's all that's troubling you! :)


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    AngryLips wrote: »
    Jaysus you must have an easy life if that's all that's troubling you! :)

    LOL, I know!! But these sort of small, but easy to fix things always bug me!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    I personally like the idea of an optional card coming with your passport. I don't see why that couldn't incorporate the functions of a public services card, especially considering you need to have a PPS number to obtain an Irish passport anyway. The age cards are frankly rubbish.

    I'm not sure if I'd be for mandatory I.D cards though (although I accept there's an argument to be made that if it wasn't mandatory it might not be workable or efficient). But certainly optional ones for those of us who wish to reduce the amount of time we spend needlessly faffing about for 70 different documents/cards/forms etc.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,332 ✭✭✭ Mr Simpson


    I'd also be very much in favour of an optional card. Plus self service passport control, but thats for a different thread.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,210 ✭✭✭ donkey balls


    The drivers digi card that the RSA issue to bus&truck drivers have your full name DOB and address and is the size of a credit card so maybe the new licences will be the same.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    The drivers digi card that the RSA issue to bus&truck drivers have your full name DOB and address and is the size of a credit card so maybe the new licences will be the same.

    But it doesn't have nationality, which is the important point in using it as a replacement for a passport when travelling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,210 ✭✭✭ donkey balls


    I know what you mean by there being no nationality on the card but do many airlines accept these cards for travel I don't think ryanair accept anything but a passport.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    I know what you mean by there being no nationality on the card but do many airlines accept these cards for travel I don't think ryanair accept anything but a passport.

    Ryanair accept European credit card national ID cards like the ones Polish people have.

    Such cards are considered exactly the same as passports within the EU and have to be accepted by all airlines within the EU.

    The new European style license is just one piece of information away from being a national id card. With nationality on it, then it could be considered a national id card and Ryanair, etc. would be required to accept it. Without nationality on it, they aren't required to accept it.

    So close to what we want, yet so far.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,978 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    bk wrote: »
    Ryanair accept European credit card national ID cards like the ones Polish people have.

    Such cards are considered exactly the same as passports within the EU and have to be accepted by all airlines within the EU.

    The new European style license is just one piece of information away from being a national id card. With nationality on it, then it could be considered a national id card and Ryanair, etc. would be required to accept it. Without nationality on it, they aren't required to accept it.

    So close to what we want, yet so far.

    It's taken soooo long to get a CC licence I don't want any more delays with adding National ID to it. It could take another 10+ years for them to figure our where to put RoI or Ireland

    IIRC we can't have national ID cards unless the UK does due to our free travel area


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Del2005 wrote: »
    It's taken soooo long to get a CC licence I don't want any more delays with adding National ID to it. It could take another 10+ years for them to figure our where to put RoI or Ireland

    Actually the new Irish driving license is based on the standard for the European driving license. The European driving license standard doesn't include a field for nationality.

    But it would be trivial to add one, just not sure if it is allowed under the EU standard.
    Del2005 wrote: »
    IIRC we can't have national ID cards unless the UK does due to our free travel area

    No, the free travel area would have no impact on us having national id cards are not. Yes, it means mandatory national id cards would be pointless as people from the UK wouldn't be required to carry ID in Ireland. However nothing stopping us having voluntary national id cards, which we aren't required to carry and show, but we can opt to have them for convenience if we like.

    Again we could opt to get one along with our passport.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 367 ✭✭ The Idyll Race


    I'm waiting for the roll-out of the new Irish driving licence before I swop out my nice UK plastic one. Not going back to the crappy folding card.

    Whereas I like the convenience of the credit card sized driving licence, I would have a huge problem with any form of National Identity Card. I do not want the Guards to have the power to randomly stop me while I am going about my legal business and have to prove who I am. A bit old fashioned but its a civil liberties issue for me.

    Any compulsory national ID card would go in my jocks if I was ever forced to carry one.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Whereas I like the convenience of the credit card sized driving licence, I would have a huge problem with any form of National Identity Card. I do not want the Guards to have the power to randomly stop me while I am going about my legal business and have to prove who I am. A bit old fashioned but its a civil liberties issue for me.

    I agree completely. I would love if we have a credit card sized passport/national id card. But only if it was optional to get it and only if it was optional to carry it and show it if you had it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,978 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    You do know that if the Gardaí ask for your name and you don't have any ID they can detain you till they are satisfied you are who you claim you are. Not carrying ID just means that you spend quality time with our police force while some scumbag is getting away with a proper crime.

    A national ID card won't make any difference, since you need to carry ID now and most people are already carrying several forms of ID either in bank cards or driving licence


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,374 ✭✭✭✭ foggy_lad


    Del2005 wrote: »
    You do know that if the Gardaí ask for your name and you don't have any ID they can detain you till they are satisfied you are who you claim you are. Not carrying ID just means that you spend quality time with our police force while some scumbag is getting away with a proper crime.

    A national ID card won't make any difference, since you need to carry ID now and most people are already carrying several forms of ID either in bank cards or driving licence
    They would of course have to have some reason to ask your name and to detain you apart from just checking your identity, if the suspected you of involvement in some crime for example. otherwise they would have some good tangible reason to doubt who you claim to be.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Del2005 wrote: »
    You do know that if the Gardaí ask for your name and you don't have any ID they can detain you till they are satisfied you are who you claim you are.

    I think this is a good thing and should continue even if we end up getting some sort of passport id card.

    The time it takes stops Gardai from randomly and frivolously asking people for their id.

    The Gardai would only take you back to the station if you actually committed a crime. Which is as it should be. You shouldn't be required to reveal your id just for any reason.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,016 ✭✭✭ Finnbar01


    Do people think that ID cards should be mandatory? And what do you think should happen if you refuse to carry one with you?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Finnbar01 wrote: »
    Do people think that ID cards should be mandatory? And what do you think should happen if you refuse to carry one with you?


    No and nothing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Finnbar01 wrote: »
    Do people think that ID cards should be mandatory? And what do you think should happen if you refuse to carry one with you?
    I believe they should be, as they are in dozens of other developed countries. The penalty should be in the form of being detained until you can prove your identity tbh.

    In Germany you must register a change of address within 7 days at the new town hall. Your national ID card (Ausweis) is then altered with a stamped sticker with your new address on it. This card is valid for travel inside the EU and for most if not all day to day ID needs in Germany, including signing of contracts etc. Can't really think of any reason you'd need a passport unless travelling outside the EEA.

    Your driving licence is seperate. It proves your right to drive, nothing more, so it has no address on it and it never expires.

    You theh have a "health card" with a picture and chip on it which you use to access medical care. It proves you are insured under the system but is and always will be a stand alone card, given the sensitive nature of some of the data that can be stored on it.

    The ID card is very useful here because it must be cureent. When you want to open a bank account you don't need this utility bill or that. You just bring your ID card and that's it.

    As a foreigner in Germany from a country that has no ID cards, I have to use my passport and copy of registration of address to collect post from the post office etc. It is really annoying that we have no national ID card tbh.

    The only people who have any civil liberties issues to fear are scumbags. A national ID card would help the cops target the real criminals and quickly identify those who pose no threat (99% of us).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,016 ✭✭✭ Finnbar01


    murphaph wrote: »
    I believe they should be, as they are in dozens of other developed countries. The penalty should be in the form of being detained until you can prove your identity tbh.

    So if I'm doing nothing wrong I should be imprisoned until I prove who I am? I think it is sinister and immoral for the state to suggest that you are guilty until you prove your innocence.
    The only people who have any civil liberties issues to fear are scumbags. A national ID card would help the cops target the real criminals and quickly identify those who pose no threat (99% of us).

    This is the nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide fallacious arguement. There are plenty of things I wish to hide or more aptly, keep private. In countries where they have ID cards, they still have criminals.

    Then we have the whole notion of gardaí going on power trips to contend with.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Finnbar01 wrote: »
    So if I'm doing nothing wrong I should be imprisoned until I prove who I am? I think it is sinister and immoral for the state to suggest that you are guilty until you prove your innocence.
    You're not being asked to prove your innocence, just who you are! Do you think the Gardai should have the right to stop a "tracksuit wearing gentleman" walking around a housing estate at 3am "just looking up at the alarm boxes" for example? He's doing absolutely nothing illegal but personally I would prefer it if a patrol car could stop him for ONE MINUTE and verify his identity, just in case anything "might" happen that night. Prevention is better than cure and all that.

    What if the same gentleman had just burgled your house and was sticking the key of your BMW 7 series in the lock (ok, pressing the remote) and the guards cruised by and knew full well sometthing wasn't right with this picture, but the guy doesn't appear to be breaking any laws (getting into an expensive car with the key at 3am whilst wearing a tracksuit, fred perry top and burberry cap is not in itself illegal) so they keep going. How would you feel about that situation? They respected the guy's civil liberties to the last, but your motor is now being stripped for parts, never to be seen again.
    Finnbar01 wrote: »
    This is the nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide fallacious arguement. There are plenty of things I wish to hide or more aptly, keep private. In countries where they have ID cards, they still have criminals.
    They do have criminals in Germany but crime and especially crimes against the person are much rarer here (and in Ireland I believe quite firmly that crime is under reported as people have no faith in the system).

    ID cards make life easier on citizen, when combined with compulsory registration of abode. If someone owes you a debt and "does a bunk" in Ireland, it's actually really hard to find where they've gone. Not so here.
    Finnbar01 wrote: »
    Then we have the whole notion of gardaí going on power trips to contend with.
    I've never been asked for ID by a German cop, depite them having the powers to do so. We entrust the police with certain powers over us as it is. We have a constitution to protect us from abuse of those powers. We just have to make sure that the checks are in place. If we take civil liberties to extremes, we should realistically reject all law and order and any attempts to impose it on us. Random drink driving checkpoints? Civil liberties issue?


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    Finnbar01 wrote: »
    So if I'm doing nothing wrong I should be imprisoned until I prove who I am? I think it is sinister and immoral for the state to suggest that you are guilty until you prove your innocence.
    As it is at present, if a Garda has reasonable suspicion, he can ask you to identify yourself and detain you if he's not satisfied as to your identity.

    I don't think that national ID cards should be mandatory as in essence then a Garda could arrest you and detain you for nothing more than failing to identify yourself, but in an ideal world you would only be asked to produce your ID if you had been stopped for a good reason.

    Is there a halfway house - make it mandatory to carry an ID card but it's only an offence if the Garda can show good reason for stopping you? I can't see Gardai wasting their time inventing reasons to hassle people for ID cards, but I equally can't see the type of "citizen" that ID cards target as being any more likely to carry them in case they're stopped.
    Which basically means that you're targetting law-abiding citizens and gaining practically nothing in terms of law enforcement.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    The problem is if you make it a requirement to carry it, a national id card will never happen. Irish people are just to opposed to the whole concept of required national id cards.

    Better to make it optional but very convenient to have * and continue with the current system where a Garda can detain you if he isn't satisfied with whatever ID you do show him when asked.

    * Make it required for accessing all public services, etc.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,635 ✭✭✭ eth0


    DOWN with that sort of thing!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,016 ✭✭✭ Finnbar01


    murphaph wrote: »
    You're not being asked to prove your innocence, just who you are!

    It is the same thing.
    Do you think the Gardai should have the right to stop a "tracksuit wearing gentleman" walking around a housing estate at 3am "just looking up at the alarm boxes" for example?

    Yes I think the gardaí have ever right to stop and question him because they have reasonable cause that he's up to no good.
    He's doing absolutely nothing illegal but personally I would prefer it if a patrol car could stop him for ONE MINUTE and verify his identity, just in case anything "might" happen that night. Prevention is better than cure and all that.

    And if he has an ID card they just let him carry on?
    What if the same gentleman had just burgled your house and was sticking the key of your BMW 7 series in the lock (ok, pressing the remote) and the guards cruised by and knew full well sometthing wasn't right with this picture, but the guy doesn't appear to be breaking any laws (getting into an expensive car with the key at 3am whilst wearing a tracksuit, fred perry top and burberry cap is not in itself illegal) so they keep going. How would you feel about that situation? They respected the guy's civil liberties to the last, but your motor is now being stripped for parts, never to be seen again.

    Again the gardaí, if they suspected something wasn't right, would have every reason to stop and question him.

    They do have criminals in Germany but crime and especially crimes against the person are much rarer here (and in Ireland I believe quite firmly that crime is under reported as people have no faith in the system).

    Maybe crime is lower because the German courts are more severe in their sentencing? I don't know for sure.
    ID cards make life easier on citizen, when combined with compulsory registration of abode. If someone owes you a debt and "does a bunk" in Ireland, it's actually really hard to find where they've gone. Not so here.

    If you want ID go for it, I just don't want it too be mandatory.
    I've never been asked for ID by a German cop, depite them having the powers to do so. We entrust the police with certain powers over us as it is. We have a constitution to protect us from abuse of those powers. We just have to make sure that the checks are in place. If we take civil liberties to extremes, we should realistically reject all law and order and any attempts to impose it on us. Random drink driving checkpoints? Civil liberties issue?

    We have examples of people in authority abusing their positions and gettting away with it. I do not trust Irish authorities with rolling out an ID card system. I would not trust the gardaí with policing this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,133 Stonewolf


    I've had Gardai stop and question me when out for a walk at night in a nice neighbourhood, there is nothing that not having a national identity card prevents them from doing except perhaps conclusively identifying people they've arrested immediately (and it's in such persons bests interests to cooperate in identifying themselves anyway).

    I'm not in favour of mandatory national ID cards but I do agree with optional ones. I want one bloody number that I can take to any arm of the government I need to and just give them that. No need to fill out yet again all of the 100,001 details they already have on me just to get some service.


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