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ID Cards – the story continues:


I wanted to get a copy of my application form for free travel so I could check what I'd signed up for and if there were any onerous conditions.

I called the ‘SIC National Entitlement Card’ Helpline. (0870 428 8246).

During the conversation I was told they run the London Oyster Card scheme. The woman I spoke to was referring to her organisation as ‘the company’. I asked the name of the company, but she would not give it. I persisted and she passed me up the line to ‘David’. I found it very strange that a company dealing with my personal information was not prepared to tell me who they were. What do they have to hide?

I again asked who they were, but he adamantly refused to tell me, only saying that they run the National Entitlement Card Scheme for the Scottish Executive.

He said that they could not send me a copy of my application form. When asked why, he said it was ‘company policy’. When further pressed, and after consultation with a colleague/superior, he said they would ask the SIC to send me a copy of my form.

The form was duly sent. Nothing on the application says I agree to my card being read.

Form is headed: Application for Scotland-wide Free Bus Scheme for Older and Disabled People – NOT the National Entitlement Card!

With the form was the note: ‘Re phone request from Novacroft’.

Googled Novacroft and found Novacroft website, which tells nothing about their activities, but has an email address at www. Eec2.com. This redirects to: http://www.novacroft.com/Innovator/novacroft/website/website.jsp?WS=ENERGY&SW=1024&SH=768

Lots of information about energy efficiency, IT projects, Project management etc. – nothing on National Entitlement Card Scheme.

3rd January 2007:

A further call to the ‘Helpline’, asking what information is actually held on the card chip only got the response that I had to call my local authority, but a direct question ‘Are you Novacroft?’ was answered in the affirmative. So much for their security!

So, although they do not admit it on their website, try to pass themselves off as ‘The Shetland Islands Council National Entitlement Card Helpline’ and don’t seem to want to have their name connected with it, this is the company responsible for the implementation of the National Entitlement Card Scheme. This is the company to whom I am entrusting the safety of my personal data.

I called my local authority asking what information was held on the card. I was asked my name and was told all the details that were held. I asked if all this information was actually held on the card chip and was referred back to the helpline because the local authority ‘only had access to the information on the company database’. Before ending the call, I asked for confirmation of sample details and had my date of birth and email address read back to me. None of this seems very secure to me – anyone could have picked up my card in the street.

Back to the ‘Helpline’. They cannot confirm what information is held on the chip. They say that no personal information is held, but have no means of confirming their statement. They refer me back to the local authority.

And so it goes round………

My previous card, issued by the SIC only had to be shown to the driver. My contention is that sight of the new card is sufficient to prove my entitlement to the service. I will be testing this out shortly.

Watch this space!