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Saturday, July 09, 2005

 

I can see a commercial opportunity here…

Was reading Muriel Grey’s (See title link) piece in the Guardian online regarding the much-lambasted ID card scheme. Never mind the “The innocent have nothing to fear” argument, she puts across a point of view everyone so far seems to have missed; we all have family closets with rattly old skeletons in (Yes you have, I have, we all do.). Nothing indictable (Yet) but just something that might embarrass or make life a little less socially comfortable.

Think about it; what if you couldn’t have a little sneaky weekend with a beloved on the quiet without MI5 / MI6 / SOGAT / Megabank corporation / the world and his wife knowing about it? What if unwanted / embarrassing relatives could get your address and details from one source so that there was no hiding place? As Muriel quite rightly points out, all of us have things we wish to leave behind in this life; unhappy childhoods, miserable schoolmates, eccentric / dangerous ex-partners (It’s good to stalk), ‘difficult’ family members et al. ID cards would make dodging ones unhappy past impossible, whilst not having the slightest effect on organised crime or terrorism.

The commercial opportunities I foresee would be Hotels & other businesses not requiring ID and guaranteeing anonymity, solicitors offering confidential services, accommodation address services with confidential couriers and a whole black economy based on cash only. I know these exist already, but ID cards would push generally law-abiding sorts like you and me into using them. Businesses that demand ID might even see a falling off in trade, because people will not want their entire life history available at the touch of a button to every Tom, Dick or Harriet. The economic implications are tremendous, see this little pastiche from the Rockall Times, which hits the nail right on the head.

Well, it lends veracity to the saying “Every cloud has a silver lining.” The thought of all those moneymaking opportunities fair makes my palms itch.

The LSE’s report on the situation makes for interesting reading too.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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