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Public Service Card - ID card by stealth?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,939 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko




  • Registered Users Posts: 10,339 ✭✭✭✭LoLth


    The new system for validating ID used by the PSC and is sufficient for proving you are who you say you are. If you have proved who you are to the satisfaction of the PSC, then the rest of the Gov services accept that validation. [At least that is my understanding]. Validation and security is improving with every iteration - current passports are much more secure than they used to be.

    You need a passport and a ppsn to get a psc. So why is the psc the ONLY form of ID accepted for a function that is not ppsn related and why is a passport no longer enough? The only difference is the ppsn aspect of the card.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭michaelp97


    Think I read something about the public service card before about how it could become like a leap card topped up with the welfare payment but people would not be able to use it to purchase luxury goods like alcohol and cigarettes


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,939 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    I can see this issue growing legs now, the Irish Council of Civil Liberties has called for clarification. I think this card is such a great fraud prevention measure but can see the tinfoil hat wearing gang pushing this issue until the cards are no longer mandatory :s

    As mentioned above, the €60m project has prevented €1.7m of fraud. Not quite sure if that's a huge success.
    Karsini wrote: »
    Personally I don't understand why a national ID card system is such a bad thing? Other countries have it.
    And other countries don't have it also. The UK, which has the closest legal and government system to ours threw it out before it got going.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/may/27/theresa-may-scrapping-id-cards


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    LoLth wrote: »
    You need a passport and a ppsn to get a psc.

    You don't need a passport. They'll issue one to you if you don't have one.


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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    As mentioned above, the €60m project has prevented €1.7m of fraud. Not quite sure if that's a huge success.

    €60 million was the overall cost of the project.

    €1.7 million was the total fraud saving until the end of July 2016.

    That only relates to fraud where the person has been caught. It can't quantify how many people stopped committed fraud as a result of the PSC:
    The Accounting Officer pointed out that the savings recorded relate to the cases where DSP actually caught the person using a false identity. The Department cannot assess the actual savings that have been made in cases where a person signed off or claimed they no longer needed social assistance/benefit instead of going through the SAFE registration process

    The €1.7 million was part of the an overall saving of €2.5 million achieved up to that date.

    Social Protection said that fraud savings were not the main goal of the PSC:
    DSP stated that the main benefit of the PSC is in the saving of time previously spent re-verifying identity when a member of the public accesses a public service. DSP considers the reduction in the number of people who fraudulently claim to be someone else and a reduction in the potential for forgery as ancillary benefits. DSP did not set a savings target in this area given the difficulties in assessing how many people have been or are engaged in identity fraud


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,810 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    €60 million was the overall cost of the project.

    €1.7 million was the total fraud saving until the end of July 2016.

    That only relates to fraud where the person has been caught. It can't quantify how many people stopped committed fraud as a result of the PSC:



    The €1.7 million was part of the an overall saving of €2.5 million achieved up to that date.

    Social Protection said that fraud savings were not the main goal of the PSC:


    None of those facts will stop those on Twitter with an agenda from spouting rubbish about only €1.7m being saved.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,810 ✭✭✭✭blanch152




    And other countries don't have it also. The UK, which has the closest legal and government system to ours threw it out before it got going.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/may/27/theresa-may-scrapping-id-cards

    Other countries don't have it?


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_identity_card_policies_by_country

    "A national identity card is defined as an identity card with photo, usable as an identity card at least inside the country, and which is issued by an official authority. Driver's licenses and other cards indicating certain permissions are not counted as national identity cards."

    "According to a 1996 publication by Privacy International, around 100 countries had enacted laws making identity cards compulsory."

    "As noted above, certain countries do not have national ID cards, but have other official documents that play the same role in practice (e.g. driver's license for the United States). While a country may not make it de jure compulsory to own or carry an identity document, it may be de facto strongly recommended to do so in order to facilitate certain procedures."


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,939 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    blanch152 wrote: »
    None of those facts will stop those on Twitter with an agenda from spouting rubbish about only €1.7m being saved.
    So why don't you tell us how much was actually saved?
    blanch152 wrote: »
    Other countries don't have it?
    Why the question mark above? Other countries don't have it - that is a fact.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,810 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    So why don't you tell us how much was actually saved?


    Why the question mark above? Other countries don't have it - that is a fact.

    Over 100 countries do have it!!!!!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,019 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    As mentioned above, the €60m project has prevented €1.7m of fraud. Not quite sure if that's a huge success.


    And other countries don't have it also. The UK, which has the closest legal and government system to ours threw it out before it got going.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/may/27/theresa-may-scrapping-id-cards
    You're seriously using something Theresa May did as an example of best practice?!


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,851 ✭✭✭✭_Kaiser_


    Regardless of the merits - or otherwise - of this card, the way this has been handled by our FG Government is yet another mess..."no it's not mandatory.. but we'll accept only it for x, y, z with more to come"

    It's this underhanded means of implementing what is a mandatory national ID card that concerns me. Who has access to the data? For what purpose? Under what controls? What other bodies/companies (eg: contractors retained to supply services to departments) have access?

    All basic and important questions but ones which are being ignored in the rush to get everyone on the system... and no, "but it's handy!" isn't an answer!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭Donal55


    _Kaiser_ wrote: »
    Regardless of the merits - or otherwise - of this card, the way this has been handled by our FG Government is yet another mess..."no it's not mandatory.. but we'll only accept it for x, y, z with more to come"

    It's this underhanded means of implementing what is a mandatory national ID card that concerns me. Who has access to the data? For what purpose? Under what controls? What other bodies/companies (eg: contractors retained to supply services to departments) have access?

    All basic and important questions but ones which are being ignored in the rush to get everyone on the system... and no, "but it's handy!" isn't an answer!

    The other govt party ie FF, have been keeping quiet on this issue up until now. I s'pose they are waiting to see which way the wind blows.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,851 ✭✭✭✭_Kaiser_


    Donal55 wrote: »
    The other govt party ie FF, have been keeping quiet on this issue up until now. I s'pose they are waiting to see which way the wind blows.

    Nothing new in that of course, but FG have proven themselves dangerous on matters like this - look at the whole IW PPS number debacle, and the threats that initially were made if people didn't comply with registration.

    Here we go again... don't get this card, we'll cut off your pension/services.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 789 ✭✭✭Turnipman



    So why don't you tell us how much was actually saved?

    Probably because nobody knows.

    Savings from fraud are - as you probably didn't realise - ongoing. Hence if we look at a conservative timescale of 10 years, the estimated saving would be €17m.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    OSI wrote: »
    It's not remotely an ID. All it has on it is your name, Photo and PPS number.
    That's all the info an ID card needs.The PPS number then leads to more info on nationality etc.
    Missing from the card before it can be an official ID is the person's address (Eircode) and the person's Nationality/Residency status. Perhaps these will be added in the future...
    Your address is not part of your identity, its only the place where you are currently living (or mostly living).

    IMO intoducing this card gradually in this way is a smart move. In a few years there will be hardly anyone who hasn't got one, despite it not being "mandatory". There will be more people with these ID cards than have either passports or driving licences.

    And who are the people most likely to militantly resist mandatory ID cards? Yep, the same ones who resisted "bin charges" and "water charges"; those on social welfare.
    But this time, they will be the first to sign up for it. Nice! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,939 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    murphaph wrote: »
    You're seriously using something Theresa May did as an example of best practice?!
    I know, that did feel a bit icky - but it is an interesting comparison regardless, given the similarities between the two countries.
    blanch152 wrote: »
    Over 100 countries do have it!!!!!!

    Which would mean that about 100 don't have it, including many of the best developed democracies;

    Canada, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, UK


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,810 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    For something that was introduced in legislation in 2010 under an FF/Green government and has been part of everyday life since 2012, there is an awful lot of faux outrage.

    While I have seen lots of that outrage online and in some media circles, which politicians are protesting this?


  • Registered Users Posts: 869 ✭✭✭cbreeze


    The PSC card is not an ID. The main reason is that your date of birth is not shown. That's what they told me in the Intreo office anyway.

    I agree with everyone having the PSC if it helps to reduce fraud - which we all pay for in the end.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭SPDUB


    cbreeze wrote: »
    The PSC card is not an ID. The main reason is that your date of birth is not shown. That's what they told me in the Intreo office anyway.

    Indeed it is not acceptable ID to open a bank account along with a bill for that address , you are required to bring a birth cert as well whereas a Driving Licence or Passport along with a bill is acceptable


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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,939 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    cbreeze wrote: »
    I agree with everyone having the PSC if it helps to reduce fraud - which we all pay for in the end.
    Just for balance - we all also pay for the costs of the system itself, which at present, outweigh the cost savings by a factor of x20.
    blanch152 wrote: »
    Another frequent lie told on social media, here is the legislation:


    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2010/act/37/section/9/enacted/en/html
    There is nothing in that legislation about it being used for driving licences or student grants or other services.
    This article is from Ocrober 2011 - New social welfare identity cards to be issued next week



    This is from a few years back when it replaced the Free Travel card.



    Another article from 2011 - New biometric ID card aims to prevent welfare fraud

    Here's a Dáil discussion on it in 2015 - Public Services Card Data



    So yeah, this has been well flagged for many years. It has been highlighted in numerous Government / Civil Service publications.

    It's gas that some people are jumping at the opportunity to cricitise this just because they heard it in the news. Hundreds of thousands of people have been using these cards to access social welfare payments and other State services for quite some time now and we haven't heard many complaints.
    Again. nothing in those articles about it becoming a general public service card, outside of the realm of Dept Social Protection. The reference to driving licences there is the reverse of what has actually happened. They stated it it was planned to enhance the driving licence registration to include the application for the PSC. What happened was the reverse - that you must have your PSC BEFORE you apply for a driving licence.
    blanch152 wrote: »
    For something that was introduced in legislation in 2010 under an FF/Green government and has been part of everyday life since 2012, there is an awful lot of faux outrage.

    The issue is that the scope and purpose is now changing significantly, from the original 'welfare card' to a much broader cross-departmental role - with significant privacy and data protection implications.

    Do we have appropriate IT security skills and expertise in the public sector to keep this data safe?


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,810 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Just for balance - we all also pay for the costs of the system itself, which at present, outweigh the cost savings by a factor of x20.


    There is nothing in that legislation about it being used for driving licences or student grants or other services.


    Again. nothing in those articles about it becoming a general public service card, outside of the realm of Dept Social Protection. The reference to driving licences there is the reverse of what has actually happened. They stated it it was planned to enhance the driving licence registration to include the application for the PSC. What happened was the reverse - that you must have your PSC BEFORE you apply for a driving licence.



    The issue is that the scope and purpose is now changing significantly, from the original 'welfare card' to a much broader cross-departmental role - with significant privacy and data protection implications.

    Do we have appropriate IT security skills and expertise in the public sector to keep this data safe?

    No, the issue that has brought it into the public arena is the woman refusing to get one for her pension. Do you agree with her stance?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    cbreeze wrote: »
    The PSC card is not an ID. The main reason is that your date of birth is not shown. That's what they told me in the Intreo office anyway.
    As soon as they scan it, or plug the PPS no. into a computer terminal, they will have your date of birth etc. if they need it.

    Granted, the age is not written on the actual card, so it would not do for buying alcohol in an off licence.

    But if a person is carrying a card, and you can match them to some positive biometric info (eg a photo, at least, which also gives an idea of their age) as displayed or stored in a chip on the card, and the person's name and PPS number is also displayed there, then that's a positive ID of the person.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 51,687 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stheno


    Is the psc linked to your mygov id??


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,337 ✭✭✭✭jimmycrackcorm


    _Kaiser_ wrote:
    Regardless of the merits - or otherwise - of this card, the way this has been handled by our FG Government is yet another mess..."no it's not mandatory.. but we'll accept only it for x, y, z with more to come"

    How is this a mess? It's like arguing that the leap card should not have been introduced because out would be an inconvenience for people who can only handle using cash.

    Still the right way to do things is to provide a incentive to take it up, like the way leap cards are more popular than using cash ( including those with id).
    _Kaiser_ wrote:
    It's this underhanded means of implementing what is a mandatory national ID card that concerns me. Who has access to the data? For what purpose? Under what controls? What other bodies/companies (eg: contractors retained to supply services to departments) have access?

    If you drive then the law states you must carry your mandatory id card (driving licence).

    I still don't get the link to being a national id card as most people don't need it and, you're not obligated to carry it and nearly everyone already has a passport.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,851 ✭✭✭✭_Kaiser_


    How is this a mess? It's like arguing that the leap card should not have been introduced because out would be an inconvenience for people who can only handle using cash.

    Still the right way to do things is to provide a incentive to take it up, like the way leap cards are more popular than using cash ( including those with id).

    It's a mess because rather than come out and say "we're thinking of implementing a national ID card" and having a proper debate on the issue, they're sneaking it in by the back door by taking this card and expanding it way beyond its original scope instead.
    If you drive then the law states you must carry your mandatory id card (driving licence).

    I still don't get the link to being a national id card as most people don't need it and, you're not obligated to carry it and nearly everyone already has a passport.

    If you want a driver license renewal... you need it
    If you want a passport... you need it
    If you access any welfare services... you need it

    And it's been confirmed today that it's to be expanded further.

    You can argue semantics if you wish, but the truth is this is another underhanded, solo run by an arrogant Government who thinks they can just push through whatever takes their fancy without mandate - in this case by dressing it up as combating welfare fraud (which no-one objects to) but yet muddying the debate so the focus isn't on the REAL issue - a mandatory national ID card with little to no detail on where that info will reside, who it'll be shared with, under what controls, and for what other purposes.

    Or do you really believe our present Government and civil service to be competent and professional enough to make such decisions about YOUR data themselves?


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,800 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Which would mean that about 100 don't have it, including many of the best developed democracies;

    Canada, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, UK

    Let's take one of those best developed democracies: Denmark. In Denmark, everyone has an ID number. When you change address, you must inform the government, so the government knows where everyone lives at all times.

    But that's the only entity you need to inform when you change address. Anyone who needs to know your address has been given your ID number, and they've registered with the government. If you change address, the government tells anyone who needs to know.

    That's how bureaucracy works in a well developed democracy. If it was proposed here, we'd lose our sh*t. Hell, we can't even introduce water charges without half the country having a stroke.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Was reading this IT article today when I noticed the following:
    It emerged in May that the card is to be made a requirement for all passport and driving licence applications shortly, including renewals.

    I thought it was going to be required for initial passport applications only? Can't see the sense in having to have one if you are renewing a passport, especially if the old one hasn't expired yet. It's a valid ID before it runs out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,755 ✭✭✭ianobrien


    Just as a point of info. I went to my local social welfare office today to apply for a PSC card. I had no appointment but brought my passport and my most recent P60. After confirming my name, place and date of birth, the welfare officer then proceeded to tell me my parents name off a copy of my birth cert that she had pulled up on screen. A few more clicks and she had my address. If that sort of information is stored in the card (or if the card points to where it is on the central database) it's going to make applying for anything from the government a whole lot easier. The whole process took less than 5 minutes from walking in to walking out.

    My own view is that if you want anything off the government (social welfare payments, driving licence, free bus tickets etc) you need to have ID, and this is their ID card. Hell, I can't get into work without showing my employers ID card. Me waving my driving licence won't leave me into the lab.....


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 789 ✭✭✭Turnipman



    Was reading this IT article today when I noticed the following:



    I thought it was going to be required for initial passport applications only? Can't see the sense in having to have one if you are renewing a passport, especially if the old one hasn't expired yet. It's a valid ID before it runs out.

    All that you are required to do is to input your PSC number when applying for a licence or passport renewal. At least that's what I had to do in May when I renewed my passport.


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