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Tony Blair calls on the UK government to create effective online ID system

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Now here’s a blast from the past: former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and his thoughts on just about anything.

This time – he thinks citizens of his country should enjoy “a proper identity system.”

That means ID cards like most the rest of us on the continent now have, folks.

Blair now speaks as a very well-paid lobbyist, and the head of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change non-profit NGO.

Although while in power as the Labor leader and a major hope for the wider “liberal movement” Blair ended up overseeing a couple of big wars his country fought without proper authorization from anybody – none of those wars in any way touched on, say, a country like Saudi Arabia.

No wonder, then, that the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has received 9 million British pounds in donations from the very country.

While ID cards have been a mainstay in many European countries – especially in former communist ones – in the UK, the issue has remained controversial.

It used to be just a piece of paper with your picture and signature, the unique citizen number (something of an equivalent of the US social security number) and basic information – well, we say, “just.”

Over the past five or so years, these ID cards, and even passports have also have carried biometric data and ID chips.

Blair once already tried – and failed – to launch a similar initiative in his country in the past.

The GOV.UK Verify program cost GBP 158 million, and for naught – as the UK Treasury will drop its funding in 2020.

And while finding appropriate words to even defend that failure – now Blair has a much better proposal for British citizens – at least is sounds incomparably better: “A self-sovereign identity model in a decentralized database”!

The Register went to the pains of quoting an anonymous “digital identity expert” as having their doubts.

They said: “I think the need for identity in a digital economy is about far more than most people keep going on about – so individuals, yes, but also businesses, people acting on behalf of others and devices acting on behalf of others.”

Anything less doesn’t seem to solve the real problems said the source, and added that it “seems more about trying to come up with new forms of ID card (even if on a smartphone) rather than tackling the bigger issues.”

The Register attempt their brand of humor by closing the article by saying that “the Middle East might actually be an easier problem to solve.”

But nevermind being cheeky about far-away regions today. How about the future of Europe – where people may be referring to the “European ID problem” as that perennially difficult problem to solve for decades to come?

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