The Scottish Identity Card Scandal:
Campaign News - 2013
42. Herald - Open Letter, 6 June 13 - The Scottish Identity Card Scandal, John Welford
Most people will recognise the card pictured: it's the pensioner bus pass, first introduced by the Scottish Government in 2006. Well no, actually it isn't. In fact, it's a fully functioning Scottish identity card. And its covert and dishonest introduction has been a gross national scandal. I think that it's time at last for the Scottish people to know the truth...
This is one of the most shocking governmental scandals that I can ever recall. It has involved a deliberate, systematic deception of the Scottish people by their government over several years. Stealthily creating a National ID scheme and supporting database represents a most sinister and despicable conspiracy against the people. And yet it continues today...
Please do take whatever action you can. This Trojan Horse ID card has absolutely no place in Scotland, so complain to your MSP and council about it...
Demand honest government and transparent, privacy-friendly entitlement systems.
We deserve nothing less - take action now.
Herald full page image (2.4Mb): http://www.jwelford.demon.co.uk/docs/heraldopenletter.pdf
Herald Open Letter, text only (115Kb): http://www.jwelford.demon.co.uk/docs/heraldopenlettertext.pdf
43. Herald - Letter, 7 June 13 - Privacy implications of Scotland's bus passes, Dr Geraint Bevan
DR John Welford describes the similarities between concessionary bus passes and ID cards (Open letter to readers: The Scottish identity card scandal, The Herald, June 6).
It would be appropriate for the Scottish Government to now review the privacy implications of these passes (National Entitlement Cards) and their associated Citizens Accounts...
Unfortunately, National Entitlement Cards and Citizens Accounts were designed before [its Identity Management and Privacy Principles] guidelines were written. The guidelines state that bus passes should prove entitlement without requiring the user to reveal unnecessary personal information, so age-restricted services should simply require proof of age rather than more detailed information; large centralised databases should be avoided; and persistent identifiers should not be shared between different systems. Scottish concessionary travel cards fail on all of these points.
It will undoubtedly require time and money to redesign smart bus passes to adhere to the Scottish Government's privacy principles. Meanwhile, concessionary ticket holders should be given the option of using old-fashioned, and cheaper, passes that simply confirm entitlement to travel on the basis of a photograph.
44. Herald - Letters, 8 June 13 - The one-file citizen concept should not be considered a problem, Bill Brown and Bob Downie (two letters)
IT was to be anticipated that Dr Geraint Bevan of NO2ID Scotland would write (Letters, June 7) in support of the full-page open letter from Dr John Welford (The Herald, June 6).
Dr Welford takes the view that the Scottish free bus pass is in fact a covert identity card. While I admire his passion for the subject I remain unconvinced that the issue should create public anxiety .
This letter is a form of identity exposure in that I append my own name and address. Interestingly, I note that the open letter from Dr Welford did not finish with details of his own home address. Perhaps it is not so open after all...
I have no difficulty with the concept of the "one-file citizen" as such. It would assist areas of public concern such as in tracing benefit fraud. What evidence exists that bus pass information is actively causing me harm?
I would be concerned if there was proof of misuse of personal information on myself for someone's commercial gain, for example, if it was discovered bus companies sold on such details or if the information on a card was manipulated to my financial detriment.
46 Breadie Drive,
I NOTE with interest the question of National Entitlement Cards as raised in the open letter from Dr John Welford. The concerns he raises on the setting up of Scottish National Identity Register are very valid, and the lack of political debate troubling.
I challenge our political leaders to address the questions raised by Dr Welford. I can see no need to monitor, record and link all our interactions with the Government and government services.
We the public must be in control of our data and personally decide when it appropriate to share it, when it is appropriate to keep it to ourselves.
66 Mansewood Road,
45. Herald - Letter, 10 June 13 - We should be taking a pre-emptive stance on identity theft, John Welford
I WAS amused to be chided by Bill Brown (Letters, June 8 ) for the supposed lack of openness in my recent open letter (June 6).
For on the contrary, and unlike Mr Brown, I revealed significant details about my past employment and doctoral research, as well as providing my email and website addresses. In comparison, I know nothing about him, apart from his name and address.
Mr Brown asks: "What evidence exists that the bus pass information is actively causing me harm?" In most areas of life, people facing risks of all kinds operate on the basis of the precautionary principle...
[For example, most people] know that it's wise to use different passwords to access the different systems and services they use, rather than adopt the same password for all...
As the Scottish Government's privacy principles recommend, such compartmentalisation of individual systems and databases is therefore considered to be the much-preferred approach, both for data security and personal privacy reasons.
And it's why the one-file citizen approach and the use of the persistent "person number for life" identifier built into the current entitlement system needs to be dismantled and replaced.
Dr John Welford,
14/4 Boat Green,