ID Cards may be dead, but the quest for your identity goes on

ID Cards were always an expendable experiment, they were only the front end, the big of plastic. The read danger was always the databases that lay behind them, gathering every bit of information about you. Just because the ID Card scheme has gone does not mean that Governments and the international Communitarians still want all your personal details so that they can tag, label, track control and tax you.

Have you been receiving phone calls during this past month from organisations, councils, housing associations, companies that you deal with telling you that they are updating their systems and they need to verify your details?

ID Cards have been soundly rejected by the public, so now they (the powers that be) have turned to deceit. Like a great big phishing scam they are getting you to part with your personal details on a voluntary basis to add to an online data store.

The proponents are selling this idea on the basis that it gives individuals control over their own personal data, allocating people a digital data store which they can then choose to share with different organisations.

In January 2009, the then Justice Minister Jack Straw gave greater powers to the government to share data, and now this government has gone commercial with it.

Its called PROJECT MYDEX

Participants trialling the service include the Department for Work and Pensions, London Borough of Brent, London Borough of Croydon, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and the social network Netmums. External verification is provided by Experian. Additional recruitment of individual triallists and research will be provided by YouGov.

Official observers and contributors include the Information Commissioner’s Office, Directgov (now part of the Cabinet Office), the Direct Marketing Association, Open Society Foundation, Olswang LLP, UCL, Swirrl IT Limited, Workdocx, HometownPlus, Patients Know Best, The Customer’s Voice and Ctrl-Shift. Azigo joins the prototype as lead technology partner.

Mydex is based in the Young Foundation’s ‘launchpad’ service.

The project is backed by Red Tory Philip Blonde, by arch Fabian and Common Purpose founder Geoff Mulgan, and now by Cameron’s government.

This project completely destroys the fundamental data protection principle that information provided to one government agency, for one purpose, should not normally be used by another for a different purpose.

To say that this data will be under your control is a deceit of huge proportions. To call it Citizen Control of Personal Data is an outright lie. Its the commercialisation of your personal data, and its being collected by government departments, quangos, local authorities and housing associations.

A neighbour provided me with this copy of a request from their Housing Association, asking them to provide information that has little to do with a housing organisation, such as date of birth and NI number, mobile phone and next of kin, yet collects all the information that would have been on an ID Card, and asks them to sign away their rights over their information to boot.

Quite rightly, they have told them to get stuffed.

Participants trialling the MYDEX ‘service’ include the Department for Work and Pensions, London Borough of Brent, London Borough of Croydon, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and the social network Netmums. External verification is provided by Experian. Additional recruitment of individual triallists and research will be provided by YouGov.

Anyone been contacted by Mydex to ask permission to store your personal details? No thought not. You see its not your data as far as they are concerned, its their data.

Its just the latest move in the Communitarian approach to making sure that every individual is watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.

This is Cameron’s Big Society. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, imprisoned, judged, condemned, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown it all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured.

That is this government; that is its justice; that is its new morality.

COMPUTER SAYS NO – get used to it.

.

You can read more about MYDEX in these links

Councils to test personal data stores
13 October 2010, Rebecca Thomson, Computer Weekly
http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2010/10/13/243320/Councils-to-test-personal-data-stores.htm

ID Political Innovation No6: Citizen-control of personal information
13 October 2010, by William Heath, Political Innovation
http://www.politicalinnovation.org/2010/10/political-innovation-no6-citizen-control-of-personal-information/

cards are dead, long live ID
October 18 2010, By Mark Ballard, Computer Weekly
http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/tony_collins/2010/10/id-is-dead-long-live-id.html

ID v2.0 – the ConDem Pitch
October 22 2010, By Mark Ballard, Computer Weekly
http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/public-sector/2010/10/id-v20—the-condem-pitch.html

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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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11 Responses to ID Cards may be dead, but the quest for your identity goes on

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention ID Cards may be dead, but the quest for your identity goes on | IanPJ on Politics -- Topsy.com

  2. Oh poof. What utter tosh.

    > ID Cards have been rejected by the public, so they have turned now to deceit.

    Who have? The ID Cards?

    > Like a great big phishing scam they are getting you to part with your personal details on a voluntary basis to add to an online data store.

    Who are “they”

    > The proponents are selling this idea on the basis that it gives individuals control over their own personal data, allocating people a digital data store which they can then choose to share with different organisations.

    That’s me and the other founders of Mydex. This is Mydex’ idea. Mydex is not the government. We’re entrepreneurs with various backgrounds. I co-founded Open Rights Group and support No2ID. So what conspiracy are you promoting exactly?

    > In January 2009…now this government has gone commercial with it.

    Tosh.

    > Its called PROJECT MYDEX

    There is something called Mydex, but you dont understand how it works or what its real purpose or impact is.

    > The project is backed by Red Tory Philip Blonde

    First Ive heard of it. Never met him. Never had any support moral or practical from him.

    > by arch Fabian and Common Purpose founder Geoff Mulgan,

    Indeed. Well, by the Young Foundation which created Open University and the Consumers Association Which, as well as many other good things.

    > This project completely destroys the fundamental data protection principle that information provided to one government agency, for one purpose, should not normally be used by another for a different purpose.

    No. The principle remains intact. Mydex protects and supports it.

    > To say that this data will be under your control is a deceit of huge proportions.

    I think you should withdraw that. You need to understand this before you can criticise it effectively.

    > To call itCitizen Control of Personal Data is an outright lie.

    I think you should withdraw that too. I feel it’s demonstrably false, and damaging to a new business which relies on a reputation for trustworthiness. I feel very sensitive about this.

    > Its the commercialisation of your personal data

    Do you understand the scale of the personal data market today? But it happens without the individual’s participation, consent or benefit. It’s commercialised already and you dont get a look-in. So it’s degraded, destroying value.

    > , and its being collected by government departments, quangos, local authorities and housing associations.

    You cant escape the statutory requirement to fill out a form if you want a parking permit or a benefit.

    • Ah, excellent, lets get talking.

      To begin a few questions.

      As a Commercial organisation in ‘partnership’ with Department for Work and Pensions, London Borough of Brent, London Borough of Croydon, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead etc can you tell me where MY data is being held and by whom.

      Please understand that whilst I may give certain amounts of MY data to specific organisations for specific purposes, I do not give consent for that data to be shared to all and sundry for any other purpose than that for which it was disclosed in the first place.

      It is MY data, and first and foremost the government have a duty of care to any information that I give them, so please explain how your involvement protects that.

      Can you tell my readers at what point specific permission will be gained and from whom for the holding/processing of MY data. Will it be from the ‘organisation’ you partner with, or from the individual.

      At what point will the ‘citizen’ – I prefer to call them members of the public – gain access to and control over their data, and how will they do so.

  3. Furthermore

    > Anyone been contacted by Mydex to ask permission to store your personal details? No thought not. You see its not your data as far as they are concerned, its their data.

    No it’s not. It’s the individual’s data. It’s not the government’s data or business’ data. Nor Mydex’ data.

    It’s bizarre that you’re criticising this project for doing the opposite of what it does.

    > Its just the latest move in the Communitarian approach

    WTF???

    Did you read “Database state” which I co-authored?

    Honestly, you’re welcome to use your own blog for grandstanding hogwash, and to announce to the world that you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. But please do not spread misleading and damaging tripe about this project we’ve worked on very carefully and very hard for many years.

    I’ve no idea if anyone reads your blog, but if they want a better-informed description of what Mydex does please refer them to last week’s Wall Street Journal
    http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2010/11/09/mydex-proposes-a-free-market-solution-to-privacy-worries/
    or indeed our own web site (which is of course biassed but AKAIK at least accurate)

    • Lets see what the Wall St Journal had to say.

      Mydex is a Community Interest Company (CIC). The CIC legal form allows Mydex to be sustainable and requires it be run for community benefit.

      “The characteristics of the community interest company are interesting and a bit counter-intuitive. It can take shareholders; it can borrow money, it can be entrepreneurial, it can change what it’s doing, and it can make a profit,” explained Mr. Heath, chairman of Mydex.

      “But, it has to be highly transparent, the majority of its profits have to go back to serving its stated community service and it has a statutory asset-lock.

      “We could never sell Mydex to Microsoft or Google or Paypal. It’s not shareholder-value play but it does have shareholders and if Mydex is very profitable they will be rewarded but they will just get a feed of a minority of profits.

      “There is a very good reason for that and that is the difference about this way of working is the data belongs to the individual and the ownership maintenance and control of the data must belong to the individual and the crucial quality is trust. The individual has to be absolutely sure that there isn’t a hidden agenda.”

      Well until proven otherwise, this particular individual does believe that there is a hidden agenda – Communitarianism.

  4. Our White Paper is on mydex.org; see also the FAQs section. If your question isn’t covered already please add it and we’ll make sure it’s addressed. Please remove the damaging inaccurate statements you made which I highlighted above. I don’t propose to say anything more here. You know, DFTT etc

    • Don’t feed the trolls? This is an open forum, perhaps you don’t like the scrutiny?.

      If you are not prepared to answer legitimate questions on a subject of major concern to privacy advocates, then unfortunately that only adds to my concern. This blog post is my personal opinion based upon the amount of information I have been able to gather about Mydex so far, which people are also free to read.

      I will not be bullied or intimidated, but I am however willing to discuss in an open manner and be persuaded otherwise, although I cannot promise that I will change my mind.

      If Mydex was as truly open as you say, then surely you would be talking to the public at every opportunity though forums such as this rather than govt agencies, getting the public to buy in to this scheme.

      As a very private person, I choose what information about myself I give to people or organisations, and for what purposes. It is MY data and mine alone. I can see NO community benefit in my details being kept in a community store by you or anyone else, and as of now I specifically forbid Mydex or any of its partners or agents keeping, storing, processing or handling data about myself without my express written permission.

    • Ok, William is being very protective of his project, and in some ways I don’t blame him. He has decided that he does not wish to discuss the issue here, and has responded to my last comment on his own blog. http://williamheath.net/?p=464

      By way of response, here are my thoughts on the idea, and why I feel that as a project it may have possibilities if it was being done for purely the right reasons, but unfortunately I see the project has the wrong backers, they have form in east german style politics.

      Leaving the politics aside for a while, he speaks of legalities, and that is where the crux of the matter lay, along with the technology that they aim to utilise and the safeguards to the individual.

      A data store, whether you call it personal or not, will be stored in a central location, and would have to utilise backup and fail-over sites for anything that could service a sizeable amount of the population. Their technology aims to be platform neutral, which means you can keep a copy on your mobile phone, laptop, pda or whatever, but the data itself will remain in the central store. It has to be centralised in order to utilise backups, or re-installation when you change your end device.

      From what I have read on the Mydex site it will work much in the same way as Microsoft Exchange does, the Exchange Mail client on your laptop or mobile phone synchronises with the Exchange Server, all your data is primarily stored on the server, not the client. What is on the client is only a copy, and when you change anything on the client it synchronises with the server.. Although it gives the impression of personal use, it is a group-ware product, and I can share my emails, calendar, todo list and even my read/write rights with others on the same system that I trust.

      Mydex is no different except it takes the concept outside of the single corporate or group area into the wider world, linking ‘partner’ organisations into the group-ware. That in itself creates huge security issues, and I do not know of any security system that is totally uncrackable. I hope that he has presented his product to the hacker community to extensively stress test it, and find/fix the flaws before these trials began.

      The other primary issue is more legal, in that although it gives the impression that the user decides who gets to share the information, or how much of it, in reality the laws as they presently stand allow any government department who partners such a venture, open access, not just the access that I decide. So that it becomes a smoke and mirrors presentation. The other major legal problem is jurisdiction. Just where will his primary, secondary, backup/restore/archive servers reside and under what law will they be protected. The existing DPA does not cover this and would have to be stringently amended to provide any kind of safeguard for the individual if indeed it were covered by UK law at all.

      The fact that he says that information presented in the client area will be verified by 3rd party organisations such as Experian immediately means that this 3rd party is also updating its own files in the process, it would have to in order to undertake the data matching for verification, which then takes the data out and very clearly into the commercial world. In the case of a NO from Experian, who would Mydex believe, Experian computers or the individual?

      Government departments, local authorities and many more quango and state agencies can already use the existing draconian anti terror laws to access bank accounts, email accounts, web browsing and a host of other so called personal data sources, but this would be the big one. It would become the de-facto NIR, the source of all knowledge, all given willingly by a gullible public and yet its big picture use could and would be totally deniable by government, and would sit well outside of any FOI requests as to its use.

      There is one other legal aspect that is not covered, nor mentioned. That is English Common Law, the law of our constitution guaranteed by Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights 1698 and the Act of Union 1703, which cannot be cancelled out by statute legislation. Under such it is the right of every subject in the UK to be called by any name they so choose providing it is not for the purpose of fraud, and to permanently change their name using a deed poll (I know, I run a deed poll business). People want to change their name for a huge number of reasons, but such a system as Mydex will effectively promote the Computer says No syndrome which even now becomes more common on a daily basis.

      People used to laugh when I told them about Poindexter and TIA, but this is very much a real version of just that.

      I don’t doubt that William Heath sees a business opportunity for the very best of reasons, however it is those who sit outside of his control that concern me far more than he.

      Finally, what happens to those people who are not net connected. I am sure that somewhere along the line the extra services that William speaks of will include the banking industry, and that for a fee, one will be able to visit the bank, have all your details input into the Mydex system and verified there and then, where you will be offered a card as your access point..

      I wrote many years ago that bank cards would eventually become the ID Card of the future, it is an industry space that they know well, and the Treasury along with their EU counterparts have been planning this particular route since 2003. Just as the SEPA project was designed to link and rationalise EU bank card systems, projects like Mydex just helps that NIR system along the way.

      Now if you want to know what I meant by the Poindexter reference, you can read more here. https://pjcjournal.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/information-is-power-1-eu-funding-orwellian-technology/

      My final comment to William is this. William, if you are doing this for the right reasons and can personally guarantee that this will not be hijacked or bastardised by the powers that be, I wish you well. If you are just doing it for the buck, remember that history is littered with those who thought they were doing the right thing but were used by those in authority, they eventually became known as patsies, saps, useful idiots and I would hate to see any brilliant mind end up there.

  5. Pingback: ID Cards may be dead, but the quest for your identity goes on | The Albion Alliance presents

  6. cpcorruption says:

    “Mydex is registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC), supported by the Young Foundation which specialises in launching sustainable social enterprises”

    http://mydex.org/about-us/

    Young Foundation + sustainable + social enterprises reeks of Agenda 21, Common Purpose and communitarianism.

    Mydex are up to something.

  7. Pingback: ID Cards may be dead, but the quest for your identity goes on | Centurean2′s Weblog

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