ID card debate hijacked

I wonder if the Home Office is regretting its MyLifeMyID website yet? The Drupal-based website, aimed at 16-25 year olds (for some reason?), isn’t having trouble attracting traffic… but unfortunately, a large chunk of its traffic is using the site to actually organise an anti-ID Card campaign.

This topic was always going to attract ‘undesirable’ use; and I’d personally have advised against an open forum model. But having made the decision to go ahead with it, I don’t think the requirement to fill in a complex registration form (age, gender, location, ethnicity) before commenting was smart.

I still believe there’s a case to be made for an ID system of some kind, based on the potential benefits to public services, if the technical hurdles can be overcome – or at least mitigated. We need ministers (or officials?) to accept there’s a massive engagement task here, probably the biggest currently on the government agenda; and to embark on a slow, sustained process to demonstrate that all the issues are being taken seriously, and that individual citizens will see real, direct, personal benefits as a result of it. And to accept that the public’s answer may still be ‘no’.

I’m not sure this site has done a lot to advance the cause.