Secure printing is on its way to being one of the casualties of the digital revolution. It hasn’t yet gone away of course, with bank notes remaining its apotheosis. There is a reason for that complexity and the costs which go with it, which is that fundamentally bank notes are self-authorising.
That used to be true for lots of other things as well, some of them quite banal.
Now we are all counted. The location of everybody in the country on Sunday is plotted with absolute precision. Public services over the coming decade can be fine tuned to take account of who is where. I am in favour of that. I have no problem with the general principle of a census. But the […]
“Why”, asked the visiting official from Singapore, “do civil servants have to fill in tax returns?” He was genuinely puzzled. It was 2000, and the world of e-government was still in its infancy, though more advanced in Singapore than most places. His thought was simple. The government pays its staff in the first place, why […]
The VRM challenge is not just that information is held in big databases. It is that every bit of process – human, clerical, IT system, legal framework, behavioural expectations – is currently designed, or rather has grown up over the years without very much overall design, on the assumption that data is to be found in databases.
Following remarkably quickly from the general point, here is a very particular example: A person claiming to be the hacker who obtained access to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo e-mail on Tuesday has posted a supposed first-person account of the hack, revealing the relatively simple steps he says he took to crack the private […]
There is a famous New Yorker cartoon – two dogs sitting in front of a computer with the caption, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”. I would save you the trouble of clicking on the link to see it, except that the New Yorker would like me to pay them $360 a year […]
Kable reports that: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa) has become less effective in enforcing road traffic legislation, as a result of a government wide rule banning devices holding unencrypted personal data from leaving the office. … Transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick said in a written parliamentary answer to Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins on 2 […]
The popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook and My Space is beyond question. Their significance – for those who are part of them and for society more generally – is less easily understood. Whether explicitly intended or not (and ‘not’ seems much the more likely), they entail an approach to managing identity and […]
When you aggregate your online identities you actually loose control of your data – you loose the social mechanisms we create to keep our ‘real life’ social networks apart. In many ‘vanilla’ examples that ‘loss of control’ is actually a good thing – it might be unlocking a corporate contact network so that everyone in […]
The Register doesn’t ususally do thoughtful and considered, but there’s an article today which expresses identify management thinking in unusually comprehensible language. It all sounds profoundly sensible to me – and if no longer the absolute opposite of ID card thinking, still a good way away from where the discussions are within government. There are […]