Friday, 10 June 2011

What could possibly go wrong?

Here's an amusing piece of made-up news from those cheeky rascals at the Daily Mash:
Facebook and other social networks could be used by British citizens to sign into public services online...

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman confirmed to us this morning that the department was speaking to "a range of industry" about its ID assurance scheme, a prototype for which is expected in October this year.

Correction - it's actually a real news story  ... oh ... *facepalm*.


Meridian said...

The system whereby you can access various government departments via t' web is pretty well established: I recently used it to order a new photo driving licence. The system is sufficiently joined up that it used my passport photo once I gave it my passport number. At no point did the system ask for any info it didn't already have. That said, twitter is a toy for egomaniacs and Facebook is a device for bullying others and humiliating yourself. But both of those are true whether the government is on the other end or not.


Andrew King said...

I'd quibble with the idea that Facebook is just a device for people to bully others and humiliate themselves. These are accidental byproducts of its primary function, which is to capture as much data as possible to sell to advertisers.

It's successful in doing this by creating an environment that encourages users to share as much personal information as possible with world + dog (You could be on Facebook, tweak the privacy controls and not give Facebook any information you'd be unhappy to share with a complete stranger, but that would severely limit it as a social networking tool).

In short, what Facebook is all about (encouraging users to share all sorts of personal information which it then hoovers up and commoditizes) is the precise antithesis of best practice for government departments (working with users to keep their data private, capturing only the limited amounts of data relevant to the services they provide and sharing data internally only on a strictly controlled, need-to-know basis).

Facebook + government departments; not, IMHO, a marriage made in heaven.