"Estonia Built the Society of the Future from Scratch"


(Hugh Wells) #1

I think the concept is very interesting, and in an idealistic world is a very good one. There is nothing I hate more than having to remember my many Government credentials to check whether I owe them money!
It’s interesting, the failed IT NHS patient records system would have been very similar.

What are peoples thoughts? Particularly in regards to security and privacy?


(Tony Hoyle) #2

It’s a great idea but the problem with it is you have to trust the people who hold the data completely… which in most countries just isn’t happening.

care.data is a case in point - from a medical point of view it was a brilliant idea… a central database so not only were patient records finally linked between Hospital and GP, but treatment effectiveness could be measured across the whole population, leading to more effective treatments.

But nobody at all trusted the government not to mishandle the data, so it ended up being politically too sensitive and was canned.

We’ve tried ID cards too. Again too controversial because we don’t trust the government.

If something like this comes along it’ll come from google/facebook, not from government (which is in my view a mistake, because we give control of our data to people who want to profit from it, but it seems I’m in a minority).


(Eve) #3

We have a similar system in Singapore- we have identity cards, and a lot of things are automated/ streamlined because we can simply sign into a govt system and arrange for a new ID, a new passport, apointments, calculate tax rebates, pay fines, and loads more I don’t know about since I’m still a fledgling adult. I logged in to the same site to collect $500 since they allocated the budget for the year and had an excess, so all eligible adults could get a nice bonus :sparkles:

I trust my government with my details/ I’m used to this sort of system, so I don’t have the same concerns about privacy people here might have. I find it terribly inconvenient to have to send letters to apply for things or keep trying to ring up to numbers that are constantly busy (eg I tried to ring up the embassy in London, all 4 lines of theirs were unanswered and their inbox was full).

I don’t think it’s very hard to move everything online or provide some sort of identity number (like the one you get when you vote? Or NIN). The gov.uk site gives me anxiety just thinking about it. Their contact form is limited to 250 or 400 characters and I have to fill it in 4 times just to explain myself. Then, they reply via a noreply email and I have to fill in the stupid form another couple more times to reply to them. They messed up the date for my visa and it took me 9 months to get it escalated and resolved, since I kept having to explain who I was.

I was going to ask why you guys don’t trust the govt much but I think I’ve answered my own question. It’s a shame, since it would make everyone’s lives so much easier.


#4

I had a UK national identity card and was furious when they scraped them. I particularly like the idea of one central computer so all Government departments have access to one up to date record rather than dozens of computer systems with conflicting information on where one may have your current address, one the previous but another one from a decade ago.

I have used the Estonian ID card and am impressed by how good it is. You can also use it for travel on public transport and electronically signing documents, etc. When I got my UK ID card I saw the chip and asked if I would be getting the PINs (short and long for ID and for signature) thru the post. The woman was puzzled so I explained. It turned out the chip did little but store your info for authorities and gave no functionality to the citizen who’s card it was. She went on to say maybe they will do something like that in the future as if it was all magical and high tech when it is something they should have had from day one.