The chap to whom I was referring was Ben Goldacre, at the Grauniad. The chap who said,

… the whole field of biometrics and ID is rather like medical quackery: as usual, on the one hand we have snake oil salesmen promising the earth, and on the other a bunch of humanities graduates who don’t understand technology, science or even human behaviour. Buying it. Bigging it up. Thinking it’s a magic wand.

It’s absolutely true, as well. I really don’t consider understanding technology to be that complicated, but I spent eight years working in the IT industry, and Kevin still works in the IT industry, and it’s riddled with people making management decisions like this, with no understanding of the implications, no sense to ask the people who would understand, and utterly carried away by the empty promises of a few unscupulous sales people, who probably don’t understand it properly, either. But they came with free tickets to a big game at Anfield, so they must be right…

The bit that alarms me about this, is that I can’t just opt out. I can refuse to engage in biometric data, refuse to get a passport and therefore stay here, use cash if/when my bank decide to jump on the band wagon, but that doesn’t actually protect me. I also need a t-shirt saying “I refuse to engage with biometric data, so please don’t chop my finger off.” And a mugger who can read.