Just a brief note: the poll reported in the Times and elsewhere on ID cards was conducted for IT consultancy Detica; they have carefully prepared pro and anti press releases about the results from the poll.
- Support for ID cards overall is high with 80% of the public saying they are in favour of the proposed national ID card scheme.
- 74% stated that they are either not very or not at all concerned about the impact a card would have on their civil liberties.
- 83% said they would be happy to carry the card with them at all times.
- 42% would not mind their eyes being scanned as part of the scheme.
- 35% were happy for the card to store their DNA details(!)
- More than three quarters said that the most important benefit of identity cards would be to stop services or goods being bought fraudulently in their name.
- Similar numbers said the card would stop people claiming benefits to which they were not entitled and make it easy to prove identity.
- 48% said they are not prepared to pay anything towards cards.
- Only 20% are prepared to pay over £25.
- 58% have little or no confidence that the government can introduce the scheme smoothly.
- 41% were also concerned that the Government could not be trusted to hold personal information securely.
So the take home message is that people believe that the card will be useful, but they are concerned about the ability of the government to introduce it without making a tremendous balls-up of it. This is sad -- since it tells us that people have accepted the fiction about the efficacy of the card -- but it shows that the policy has serious weak points; in particular, people really don't want to pay for the thing. Cost is clearly the thing to emphasise here.
Update: `Spy Blog' has a better analysis (in my defence I'll say that I jotted down the above just as I was rushing out of the door this morning) which links to the in-depth results from the poll which are themselves worth a look.