BBC prostitutes itself to ID card proponents

July 19th, 2006
Britons face 11 ID checks a year

Two passports

Passports are commonly used to prove identity

UK adults are asked to prove their identity (ID) 11 times on average each year, research from Manchester Business School has found. Laws meant to combat money-laundering and terrorism mean Britons are increasingly being asked to produce ID.

Buying an airline ticket, leasing a property, opening a savings account and registering with a doctor require ID.

And according to the research, by 2010 Britons will be asked to produce ID an average of 17 times a year.

Consumer burden

Most [consumers] are frustrated to be asked to produce documents such as passports and driving licences, often a number of times by different departments of the same business
Rob Laurence, GB Group

Technology firm GB Group, which commissioned Manchester Business School to undertake the research, said UK firms and government agencies were making up to half a billion identity checks on customers each year.

This could place a great burden on individual consumers who had to produce passports or driving licences to prove who they were, the group said.

For example, those moving house may have their identity checked more than five times throughout the process by different organisations such as estate agents, solicitors, financial advisers, lenders and the Land Registry.

“Most [consumers] are frustrated to be asked to produce documents such as passports and driving licences, often a number of times by different departments of the same business,” Rob Laurence, GB Group spokesman, said. […]

A vigilant BLOGDIAL lurker points us to this flagrant piece of PR being hosted free of charge at the BBQ (free of charge apart from the fistful of fivers it took to get it published.)

This story has no author. That is the most telling thing about it. It is a pure regurgitation of a press release from GB Group, who used the cover of Manchester Business School to produce this thinly veiled call for an ID Card to ‘make peoples lives easier’. You will note that there is no link to N02ID in the ‘related links’ sidebar.

The BBC should always be forced to divulge how these ‘stories’ or ‘pieces’ have come to be published in a ‘story audit trail’ so that we can see who the biased writers are, and identify the PR companies that have priveledged access to the BBC.

In fact, if they won’t do it, we can do it ourselvs in a Web 2.0 mashup style, where people can report PR injected BBC URLS in a database, so that we can correlate the authors, businesses and PR firms who are squirting stories into BBQ. Hmmm, “Will someone do it” is the question we ask aloud.

One Response to “BBC prostitutes itself to ID card proponents”

  1. irdial Says:

    No2ID challenge BBQ, who respond with ‘No’:

    Thanks for your comments. This is a report about a survey which is by means necessarily favourable to the supporters of ID cards. We certainly do not mention GB Groups products, but it is our normal practice to link to organisations we quote. We will of course continue to cover the ID debate extensively and ensure that all points of view are heard.

    BBC News Website

    —–Original Message—–
    From: geraint
    Sent: 19 July 2006 13:58
    To: Newsonline General Comments
    Subject: Feedback [NewsWatch]

    From: Geraint Bevan
    Email address: […]
    Country: UK

    COMMENTS: The article “Britons face 11 ID checks a year” is a fairly blatant advert for GB Group’s electronic identity verification product, even if it is not actually named explicitly within the article.

    Given the controversial nature of identity verification in the context of the Identity Cards Act 2006, if this article is to remain on the site it would at least be fair to link to NO2ID – you already have links to the Home Office’s (discredited) ID propaganda on identity theft, which is quoted again on the website of the GB Group (to which you also link) – a company that is interested in getting a slice of the National Identity Register contract.

    Please remove this advert or link to
    Geraint Bevan, UK



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