The ID scheme rides again… *sigh*

A copy of the comment I left on the slides to Cabinet Office / Government Digital Service’s recent ‘SPRINT 13’ conference, Workshop 2 on “Electoral Registration Transformation”:

Please provide a human-readable transcript!

The following is just gobbledegook, e.g. ‘5. Electoral Registration after 2014 Each person Choice of digital Electoral Names Citizens registers and non digital Registration Officer added to exercise individually and routes during must verify name, electoral right to voteprovide identifying transition DOB, National register, held information to (barriers to Insurance Number locally.enable verification digital channels with DWP using IER of entitlement to removed). Digital Service. register. Adoption of ID Assurance when market developed’

With regard to Slide 5: I note the (convenient?) omission of the Query engine that will effectively federate the locally-held electoral registers – conveniently cross-matched with the NINO – that makes this *whole scheme* a direct analogue of the Home Office’s ID scheme, and Treasury’s ‘Citizen Information Project’ before that.

To call this a mere ‘electoral registration transformation’ misses the point. (Deliberate myopia or paranoid political PR?) Anyone smart enough to engineer a system like this should know that – or they shouldn’t be building population-scale systems at all. And you people aren’t stupid.

The Coalition may have scrapped the Home Office ID scheme; with this programme, Cabinet Office is bringing it back.

And in the process it is perverting some of the very principles of our democratic ‘contract’. Compelling or coercing people to vote is one thing; coercing people to *register* to vote is about building a register, not about widening participation or preventing fraud. (Fraud which in large part was exacerbated by ‘innovation’ with postal votes.)

(Slideshare’s comment system doesn’t appear to respect line breaks, so I thought I’d put a more legible copy here.)

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