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Public Service Card - ID card by stealth?

  • 23-08-2017 3:19pm
    #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 18,081 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    There is a report in the IT about a woman refused social welfare because she refused to get a Public Service Card.

    This card has been introduced at a cost of some €60 m or so with over 2 million issued to date. The card is an attempt to reduce fraud and is a pre-requisite before being granted a driving licence or a passport. It is also used as a free travel pass, with electronic validation similar to a leap card.

    Is this an ID card? And if it is, why the fuss as I would assume it is valid for the state to require validation of people ID before they give out benefits?

    The particular case relates to a woman who is in receipt of a contributory pension but also qualifies for a non-contributory pension of €166 pw but is refused that until she gets the PSC. Now I do not understand how anyone can qualify for both a contributory and non-contributory pension at the same time, so maybe that is part of the problem.

    Would a state ID card be a good idea, particularly with Brexit hanging over us? Is the security aspects of this card good enough for such a use? And what of the credit card passport - surely that is a better way to go?


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Comments

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 17,909 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Kimbot


    There is a report in the IT about a woman refused social welfare because she refused to get a Public Service Card.

    This card has been introduced at a cost of some €60 m or so with over 2 million issued to date. The card is an attempt to reduce fraud and is a pre-requisite before being granted a driving licence or a passport. It is also used as a free travel pass, with electronic validation similar to a leap card.

    Is this an ID card? And if it is, why the fuss as I would assume it is valid for the state to require validation of people ID before they give out benefits?

    The particular case relates to a woman who is in receipt of a contributory pension but also qualifies for a non-contributory pension of €166 pw but is refused that until she gets the PSC. Now I do not understand how anyone can qualify for both a contributory and non-contributory pension at the same time, so maybe that is part of the problem.

    Would a state ID card be a good idea, particularly with Brexit hanging over us? Is the security aspects of this card good enough for such a use? And what of the credit card passport - surely that is a better way to go?


    I read a little about this yesterday, it seemed to imply that she had no other form of national ID (Drivers lisence/passport) and wanted her to get the card to use as the ID.

    I believe the pension is to do with her late husband??


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,676 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    Great system to help stop many going to different counties etc. For extra payments.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,542 ✭✭✭✭ Spanish Eyes


    Well she refused to get a card, so didn't get any payments either. I read somewhere that she hasn't been able to collectup to €13k in pension payments because of her refusal to get a card.

    Now this lady had a contributory pension which was presumably small, and according to reports applied for and was means tested for a non contributory pension to bring her up to normal levels for a pension.

    She must have some means if she can forego 13k and rising!

    Why did she apply for it in the first place if she obviously doesn't need it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭ Meeoow


    Why did she apply for it in the first place if she obviously doesn't need it.[/quote]

    Because she's entitled to it??


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,188 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Chips Lovell


    Is this an ID card?

    Not in my understanding of what a national ID card is. For example, in Spain, they are mandatory and you have to carry one with you at all times.

    This is a little different.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 18,081 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Not in my understanding of what a national ID card is. For example, in Spain, they are mandatory and you have to carry one with you at all times.

    This is a little different.

    Well, it is not mandatory - but only if you do not need a driving licence or passport, or you do not need social security payments. It is only a small step to make it so you need it for a bank account, etc. Then it becomes essential - but not mandatory - which is a question of semantics.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,659 ✭✭✭✭ Gatling


    What I don't get the person would have needed the old white SW card to collect her payment and now she's objects to the new pcs which she was invited to get ,
    Having been through the process there is no threatening letters

    Langley, Virginia

    6410



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,188 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Chips Lovell


    Well, it is not mandatory - but only if you do not need a driving licence or passport, or you do not need social security payments. It is only a small step to make it so you need it for a bank account, etc. Then it becomes essential - but not mandatory - which is a question of semantics.

    You could say the same thing about a passport. Not mandatory, but you need it to travel.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    I've never understood what the problem is with an ID card anyway.

    She doesn't want to get the card, so she can't claim an entitlement which requires the card. If she didn't want to have a passport, she couldn't travel to almost any other country. If she didn't want to have a driving licence, she couldn't drive a car.

    Her stance seems to be "I want something, but I don't want to meet the requirements to get it." That's not a perspective I have a lot of sympathy for.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 18,081 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    You could say the same thing about a passport. Not mandatory, but you need it to travel.

    To get a passport, you need to have a PSC - otherwise you cannot get one, so no foreign travel. If you want a driving licence, you need a PSC - otherwse no driving licence and so no driving. If you are getting free travel, you need a Free Travel Pass, which is one of the functions of the PSC.

    So not mandatory, but essential for normal life, because without one, much of what you need from the government will be denied, with probably more to come. Perhaps library cards will be next, or maybe banks will be forced to need them to combat money laundering. Who knows?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,966 ✭✭✭ screamer


    So those who think this is by stealth think what? No one knows you exist.......or that you can hide..... I don't get it at all. It's a card to access public services. If you don't and won't need these then don't get one and don't complain about not getting your entitlements either. Now income tax..... There's stealth for you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,987 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    National ID cards with compulsory registration of abode are actually very convenient. No "utility bill" nonsense when opening bank accounts or getting a mobile phone etc.

    It's not just that the state knows where you are. It also makes it possible for private citizens to find credit defaulters etc. The state can find you through other means.

    The actual carrying of the card is secondary. In Germany it's not compulsory to carry it, just to possess it and keep it up to date with current address.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭ TheShow


    If she wants the money, she should get the card as required and stop whinging. end of.
    The notions of some people in this country astounds me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,303 ✭✭✭ SPDUB


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    I've never understood what the problem is with an ID card anyway.

    She doesn't want to get the card, so she can't claim an entitlement which requires the card. If she didn't want to have a passport, she couldn't travel to almost any other country. If she didn't want to have a driving licence, she couldn't drive a car.

    Her stance seems to be "I want something, but I don't want to meet the requirements to get it." That's not a perspective I have a lot of sympathy for.

    Her stance is more that "you have come out to my house to identify me and seen my marriage cert etc and you believe I am who I say I am and you agree I am due the payment .Furthermore you say the card is not compulsory to get the payment so pay it to me "

    Given that the minsters guidelines only say you have to be suitability identified and the department agrees she is identified and the card is non compulsory then she should be paid

    The Govt have a simple solution in this case just make it compulsory .Why they haven't is the question


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    SPDUB wrote: »
    Her stance is more that "you have come out to my house to identify me and seen my marriage cert etc and you believe I am who I say I am and you agree I am due the payment .Furthermore you say the card is not compulsory to get the payment so pay it to me "
    None of that is clear from the article linked in the OP. Do you have another source of information on the story?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,303 ✭✭✭ SPDUB


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    None of that is clear from the article linked in the OP. Do you have another source of information on the story?

    Another story in the Irish Times

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/woman-s-pension-cut-after-she-refuses-to-get-public-services-card-1.3194216
    The woman had told officials that she would get the card if they could show her it was “mandatory” but nothing had been produced to show her that this was the case.

    She said ...., officials had called to her house to verify her details, including her marriage certificate.

    ETA https://twitter.com/cearta/status/900002199799029761

    Eoin O'Dell @cearta Academic lawyer @TCDLawSchool

    for the material about being suitably identified


  • Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭ marcus001


    The fraud aspect is just an excuse. I'm a hardliner when it comes to welfare fraud but even I can see that the savings from this will be minimal which means the real motivation is to bring in a national ID. The fact you need it to get a passport or drivers licence now is all the evidence you need that its effectively mandatory.

    So the debate shouldn't be about fraud it should be about whether we want a national ID card, but clearly the government is smarter than most of us and so we'll end up arguing about fraud instead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭ marcus001


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    I've never understood what the problem is with an ID card anyway.

    She doesn't want to get the card, so she can't claim an entitlement which requires the card. If she didn't want to have a passport, she couldn't travel to almost any other country. If she didn't want to have a driving licence, she couldn't drive a car.

    Her stance seems to be "I want something, but I don't want to meet the requirements to get it." That's not a perspective I have a lot of sympathy for.

    They don't make us safer and they don't save us money. They can only be useful against us.

    Once everyone has one its not too much of a stretch to make it mandatory and from there not too much of a stretch to require everyone to carry it on them. Once that happens (and it won't all happen at once or under one government) it effectively becomes a walking licence, a licence to protest, a licence to breathe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭ TheShow


    marcus001 wrote: »
    They don't make us safer and they don't save us money. They can only be useful against us.

    Once everyone has one its not too much of a stretch to make it mandatory and from there not too much of a stretch to require everyone to carry it on them. Once that happens (and it won't all happen at once or under one government) it effectively becomes a walking licence, a licence to protest, a licence to breathe.

    Those notions I was referring to....


  • Registered Users Posts: 44 Dantian


    It's a free form of official ID - for those that dont have passports.

    You don't HAVE to carry it like in the US, and cops can't ask you for it. However, proving who you are is necessary from opening bank accounts to accessing social welfare. The card if simply a free way of getting an official form of ID


    (you dont need a PSC to get a passport, because no one in NI has a PSC card but do have passports, so there is an alternate route there.)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,987 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    marcus001 wrote: »
    They don't make us safer and they don't save us money. They can only be useful against us.

    Once everyone has one its not too much of a stretch to make it mandatory and from there not too much of a stretch to require everyone to carry it on them. Once that happens (and it won't all happen at once or under one government) it effectively becomes a walking licence, a licence to protest, a licence to breathe.
    Yawn. Germany has had compulsory IDs for decades. I've never seen protests (including disgraceful torching of private property by the far left) in Ireland like you'll see in Germany.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 18,081 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    I think that one thing that is missing from the PSC is an address. It would be required for the card to be a national ID card. Now that Eircode is rolled out, and only consists of 7 characters (8 if you include the space), so it would be a small load on the space available and would be unobtrusive.

    Given the worldwide pressure for security, and the prevalence of ID theft, it is inevitable that a national ID card will be required. But is the PSC card secure enough. Would not a variation on the current CC driving licence not be more useful if a national ID card was to be introduced?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,311 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm


    To get a passport, you need to have a PSC - otherwise you cannot get one, so no foreign travel. If you want a driving licence, you need a PSC - otherwse no driving licence and so no driving.

    Anyone who has had either prior to the the introduction of the PSC doesn't need it for renewals.
    SPDUB wrote:
    Her stance is more that "you have come out to my house to identify me and seen my marriage cert etc and you believe I am who I say I am and you agree I am due the payment .Furthermore you say the card is not compulsory to get the payment so pay it to me "

    Doesn't the card have to be scanned at the post office for pension collection?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,294 ✭✭✭ NinjaTruncs


    Is it the card that is important or the actual process of getting the card? I would imagine it's the latter in that they take a photo of you which they can use with facial recognition software to find people claiming under multiple identities. There was a case in the press a while ago where a woman was claiming under her sister's identity for years, she was only caught when she went to apply for her own public services card at which point she got caught.

    I would wonder why this woman is so set against wanting to get a card, is she concerned with what may be found when checks are done for the card?

    When giving out the huge sums of money we give out in social welfare payment we need to be rigorous in checking for and preventing fraud, ensuring everyone has one of these cards is one step towards stopping fraud.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,622 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    Here's the current plan for requiring the PSC card for further public services;

    http://egovstrategy.gov.ie/annex-b/

    It is interesting to note that there was little uproar when it was required just for welfare, but now that it is going beyond that, it is actually getting some serious attention.

    It is starting to looking very much like a mandatory ID card being introduced on the sly, without any public debate about why we are doing this, whether it is really needed, what are the alternatives and (if it goes ahead) how it will be managed. There are many IT security questions about how this information will be shared being left unanswered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,024 ✭✭✭ jem


    If there was a proper debate about an ID card fine. But there hasn't been.
    yet this is in effect one.
    there are views against it and its legality http://www.mcgarrsolicitors.ie/2017/08/23/public-services-card-id-database-id-card/
    and the privacy/ data protection issues
    https://www.digitalrights.ie/new-egovernment-strategy/
    http://www.thejournal.ie/public-services-card-3496359-Jul2017/

    IMHO the push is all about money, the govt will have to pay more if they dont hit the 3m and are doing everything to get there.

    Personally I am against it.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,188 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Chips Lovell


    To get a passport, you need to have a PSC - otherwise you cannot get one, so no foreign travel. If you want a driving licence, you need a PSC - otherwse no driving licence and so no driving. If you are getting free travel, you need a Free Travel Pass, which is one of the functions of the PSC.

    What I'm driving at was that a passport is a form of identification that people never had any issue with getting, but do have an issue with this identification. What's the difference really?

    Personally, I'd find it more convenient to have to just verify my identity once in order to avail of state services rather than have to go through the same rigmarole every time I apply for a passport, drivers licence etc.

    I think there's a big difference between this and systems where you have to carry ID cards with you at all times and can be subject to random "papers please" checks by the police.


  • Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭ marcus001


    murphaph wrote: »
    Yawn. Germany has had compulsory IDs for decades. I've never seen protests (including disgraceful torching of private property by the far left) in Ireland like you'll see in Germany.

    Germany have had governments that respect civil liberties for those decades well. What if they some day don't and you have a government that can track every citizens movement?

    Why does virtually every civil liberties group oppose national ID cards?

    They never solve the problem they were implemented for. Why would you give government powers it doesn't need or deserve?


  • Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭ marcus001


    What I'm driving at was that a passport is a form of identification that people never had any issue with getting, but do have an issue with this identification. What's the difference really?

    Personally, I'd find it more convenient to have to just verify my identity once in order to avail of state services rather than have to go through the same rigmarole every time I apply for a passport, drivers licence etc.

    I think there's a big difference between this and systems where you have to carry ID cards with you at all times and can be subject to random "papers please" checks by the police.

    International travel is not a constitutional right. You have a right to access public services. Demanding that you fulfill an arbitrary requirement (and this card is arbitrary, no reason you can't identify yourself without it) should be unconstitutional and I think it is.

    Well they can't implement that system here because not everyone has the card, but once everyone has it it becomes possible to implement it should the "need" arise. There'll always be some watershed event to happen in future that will provide the excuse.


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    I do agree that we need a proper debate about a national ID card, but I'm not sure we're capable of having proper debates in this country.

    There are clear advantages to having such a card - just ask anyone living in a country that has them. The disadvantages seem to mostly boil down to "I don't trust the government".

    If we were having a proper debate, we could discuss the risks and the necessary measures to mitigate them. But as long as the debate centres around "ID cards bad mkay" then we'll never get to that discussion.


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