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Pandemic 2020 - the day after

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PDR
1378777.  Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:47 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
I do believe you are once again struggling with English.
I asked criss how far we should go (something you are still to offer a lucid suggestion for)
That in no way implies, in a civilised world, that anyone is inferior to another.
What it does suggest is that we need to find a solution for the problem, and where we draw the line under the problem and point out that the solution offered is a bigger problem than the problem itself.
For example, at an extreme level we could just trust that everyone offered has had the required vaccinations to prevent the spread of this pesky virus. However that would present its own problems that would render that solution impractical.
So, rather than take us down an ad hom alleyway, how about actually joining in with the conversation?


I have offered you the acceptable intentional exclusion rate - it's zero.

We keep a register of who is allowed and competent to drive and we provide those people with computer-readable plastic cards so that their status can be cross-verified on demand. That's affordable with a permissible exclusion rate of zero. We have similar databases of people who are banned from entering the UK which si verified by computer-readable hardware (electronic passports) and retina scanners. This has a design exclusion rate of zero, although arguably it could exclude people who have no retinas but the verification systems have back-up biometric methods for these exceptions. This is affordable too. Fingerprint readers are cheap, so we could simply have a biometric scan verifying the card belongs to the one holding it. This is affordable and only excludes people with no fingers and pineapple peelers (who are exceptions for which alternative affordable options are available).

So the point at which the number is so small that the cost of including them it unaffordable is zero - it's just that the proposed method (using smartphones) is completely unsuited to the application.

Everyone else seems to be grasping this - why is it so hard?

PDR

 
barbados
1378778.  Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:03 pm Reply with quote

What happens if your card doesn't arrive?
Are you not allowed out until you get a replacement? So that takes away your zero
You are expecting all businesses - that are struggling to remain solvent - to pay for the equipment to verify the pieces of plastic you are suggesting everyone should carry around with them. That would discriminate against business who cannot afford to have this equipment. Again - there is your zero out the window,
If we are taking the card presentation as sufficient so as not to impact on, already hard done by, business then how do you combat the inevitable forgeries used by the anti-vaxers.
And finally, who pays to produce the plastic cards, and furthermore how does the card get updates - seeing as it looks as though the way forward is an annual booster?
Simply saying "just use a plastic card" is not a solution is it?
And the reason I'm not "getting it" is because prior to your last post, your total contribution has been ad hom, and "zero threshold" on where the line gets drawn on what is practical......

 
PDR
1378781.  Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:40 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
What happens if your card doesn't arrive?
Are you not allowed out until you get a replacement? So that takes away your zero


Precisely the same thing as what happens when your smart phone dies, gets left at home, runs out of charge, runs out of credit etc etc (all of which is much more likely) so this is a common-mode exception which all schemes must have a solution for.

Quote:

You are expecting all businesses - that are struggling to remain solvent - to pay for the equipment to verify the pieces of plastic you are suggesting everyone should carry around with them.


In the same way all businesses already have card readers for credit cards. In fact you could probably use the same devices for part of it. It also would not be unreasonable to expect BUSINESSES to have some form of fingerprint reader. We're talking about a £10 device they could plug into whatever laptop or phone the business uses. In these days of electronic VAT filing and almost universal contactless card payments[etc] that's not an unreasonable requirement. The government has actually considered free-issuing fingerprint readers to all VAT-registered businesses (we tendered for the contract, but it's on hold) as an anti-fraud measure.

Quote:

That would discriminate against business who cannot afford to have this equipment. Again - there is your zero out the window,
again, not.

Quote:
If we are taking the card presentation as sufficient so as not to impact on, already hard done by, business then how do you combat the inevitable forgeries used by the anti-vaxers.


These technologies (3-factor including fingerprint) are currently taken to be sufficiently secure. The tech exists - we (the UK and the US) use it for access control to certain very secure locations and facilities, so we can assume that problem does not exist.

Quote:
And finally, who pays to produce the plastic cards, and furthermore how does the card get updates - seeing as it looks as though the way forward is an annual booster?


As I said - HMG is already considering free-issuing all this stuff because it's overall cost is not a serious issue. The cards themselves run out at around six or seven to the pound at the moment, which is less than HMG pay for the VAT registration cards.

Quote:
Simply saying "just use a plastic card" is not a solution is it?


Turns out it is. WHo'd have thought it.

Quote:
And the reason I'm not "getting it" is because prior to your last post, your total contribution has been ad hom, and "zero threshold" on where the line gets drawn on what is practical......


Whereas your continuing contribution is simply to continue to spout twaddle even when you've been shown to be wrong. We get it - you're the sort of person who believes that excluding 14% of the population because they're too pikey to own a smartphone is a good thing. People can form their own opinions about your character from that.

PDR

 
barbados
1378783.  Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:54 pm Reply with quote

I'd suggest you go back and read my contribution.
It has been to ask what the solution would be to get around the 16% of people who don't possess a smartphone - rather than the lower order as per your suggestion.
Your resolution is to get the already struggling hospitality industry to shell out some more money to allow them to open up and do all the really want - which is earn a living.

 
Brock
1378787.  Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:08 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
I'd suggest you go back and read my contribution.


He won't bother. Once he gets it into his head that someone has said something or believes something, it's impossible to shift it. I know you didn't say what he claims you said, but I've taken the trouble to re-read the thread several times. PDR just puts his own spin on things and belittles everyone who disagrees with him.

Quote:
It has been to ask what the solution would be to get around the 16% of people who don't possess a smartphone - rather than the lower order as per your suggestion.


Paper, apparently:

"Work is also underway to use the existing NHS app to allow people to display their Covid status securely, and there will be a paper version available for non-smartphone users."

https://www.publictechnology.net/articles/news/government-trial-coronavirus-%E2%80%98status-certification%E2%80%99

 
CB27
1378789.  Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:17 pm Reply with quote

There won't be one solution.

I've worked on digital programmes for local authorities and RSLs, and we always know that we cannot cater for all people. I don't use "most" because it was never acceptable that even a single person could miss out.

However, it's not the same as saying we go ahead with a programme because most people can use it.

You don't hold back a solution that works for most because of a minority, you release it, and then look at either improving the system to include more people, or provide a number of solutions that fit different needs, and you also provide a facility to help provide workarounds for people who don't fit any single solution.

This is where many local authorities and RSLs and regional organisations have done the right thing. It does seem to be a bit of hit and miss with different NHS trusts.

I can't really say the same for central organisations, and in particular DWP. Ironically, they are notoriously bad at providing access for all.

 
barbados
1378790.  Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:23 pm Reply with quote

Precisely CB27.
The only thing that we can surmise is it is a complex issue that is going to take a lot of consideration.

 
suze
1378803.  Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:13 pm Reply with quote

Let me just step back a bit.

barbados wrote:
Do we just believe Karen when she tells us she is vaccinated?


I imagine that you want the answer to this question to be "no", and indeed "no" is the sensible answer to it.

But we do just believe Karen when she asserts that she is exempt from wearing a face covering while visiting the supermarket. There is no requirement for her to carry any kind of evidence to support her assertion. Those who do choose to carry so-called evidence usually do that by visiting a website and printing out a document which any of us can print out with no need to demonstrate that we are acting in good faith. What's more, it is widely believed - whether correctly or not is not entirely clear - that supermarket staff are not allowed to question the truth of the assertion.

I do not know what proportion of the population genuinely qualifies for that exemption, and I don't think anyone does. But I seriously doubt whether it's anything like the approximately one third who are still claiming it when visiting Sainsburys in Chatham town centre.

To me, this is a much bigger issue than deciding who we're going to let into Wetherspoons - and there appears to be no will to do anything about it.

 
barbados
1378815.  Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:53 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:

To me, this is a much bigger issue than deciding who we're going to let into Wetherspoons - and there appears to be no will to do anything about it.

What actually is the bigger issue then?
Because the answer to the question “what about the people without a smartphone?” Is “there will also be a paper version available”

The big question for me, is how do you police a paper version of the certificate?

 
Leith
1378820.  Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:37 am Reply with quote

I need an annual license to take my kayak on the local waterways. I apply for one each year and they send me a plastic card with an expiry date on it that the bailiffs / harbour masters can visually inspect if they want to. It's that simple.

The cards aren't sophisticated and could be reproduced by a skilled forger, but most people either lack access to a skilled forger or aren't inclined to that sort of law breaking in the first place.

In normal times, waterways licenses aren't rigorously enforced, but during lockdown I'm hearing of a lot more people being challenged. This involves a simple visual inspection of the card, just as producing Id to buy alcohol might.

If the government deem a vaccine passport system necessary, there is absolutely no need for an over-complex digital system that systematically excludes large segments of some of the most vulnerable in society and doesn't work in areas with no mobile signal.

Such a system does not need to be 100% fool-proof in most cases. If used for access to a concert venue or night club (right to enter checked on the door as normal for such places) it just needs to discourage enough unvaccinated people to reduce risk of transmission acceptably (assuming, of course, that vaccines actually provide such protection, which looks increasingly likely, but still needs more evidence to confirm).

If it becomes necessary in more rigorously enforced scenarios like airport security, then the cards will need to be made harder to forge and would benefit from some sort of machine-scannable code. Places like airports that already need to perform rigorous Id checks have the necessary infrastructure for doing this sort of check. Just because cards might need to support airports doing such rigorous checks, doesn't mean pubs and clubs would have to perform checks to the same level of rigour.

 
barbados
1378821.  Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:33 am Reply with quote

Leith wrote:

Such a system does not need to be 100% fool-proof in most cases. If used for access to a concert venue or night club (right to enter checked on the door as normal for such places) it just needs to discourage enough unvaccinated people to reduce risk of transmission acceptably (assuming, of course, that vaccines actually provide such protection, which looks increasingly likely, but still needs more evidence to confirm).

That is where the complexity comes in, because how many is “enough” It only takes one asymptomatic person who thinks he knows better, then by the rules of Kevin Bacon / Black Sabbath (although that should obviously be Deep Purple) everyone is infected.

 
CB27
1378843.  Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:20 am Reply with quote

Going back to the "paper option", it doesn't need to be that simplistic.

We have credit card technology that allows us to produce quite cheaply individually marked cards.

By themselves these cards will not need to hold any personal information, they simply need to be linked to the information of an individual.

In the same way you have card readers for accepting payments, you can have card readers that read these cards (or a signal from a phone) which displays the required information, which can even include a passport photo.

This is one "possible" solutions, and there are plenty of others.

The bigger question is, will politicians and certain interest groups play politics with this kind of proposal by claiming it invades our privacy?

I mean, people have no problem presenting a card to be read by a card read operated by a waiter that is linked to their bank account and financial information, which will include details such as their address, date of birth, possibly national insurance number, and depending on receipts, could include place of employment, wages, places you've spent money on, etc.

But we're meant to believe that a card that will hold more basic details, and are linked to whether you're vaccinated or not, is an invasion of your privacy that is a step too far.

 
barbados
1378860.  Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:46 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:

But we're meant to believe that a card that will hold more basic details, and are linked to whether you're vaccinated or not, is an invasion of your privacy that is a step too far.

It's a weirdly British thing isn't it, we have loads of ways in which our privacy is infringed upon in a surreptitious manner, but if we are told "you need to carry round this card/install this app on our phone" we kick up a fuss in such a manner you would think we had woken in North Korea.

 
Brock
1378862.  Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:56 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
CB27 wrote:

But we're meant to believe that a card that will hold more basic details, and are linked to whether you're vaccinated or not, is an invasion of your privacy that is a step too far.

It's a weirdly British thing isn't it, we have loads of ways in which our privacy is infringed upon in a surreptitious manner, but if we are told "you need to carry round this card/install this app on our phone" we kick up a fuss in such a manner you would think we had woken in North Korea.


Very well put!

My impression is that people only seem to object when the Government is behind it. If it's a private corporation, they don't seem to care - presumably because (at least in theory) they don't have to do business with that corporation. Yet there are companies like Facebook with a virtual monopoly, using people's data in ways that they'd never trust the Government with.

 
CB27
1378914.  Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:21 pm Reply with quote

I think it's down to the fact people have not yet completely understood that the "free" service they get from the likes of Facebook is actually a transaction.

You are selling them your digital details, which can be sold on to firms that can target you more precisely, and they provide you a service which you use.

I think if the Government were to make ID cards transactional in a way that allows people to get some "free" services, they'd become very popular.

 

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