If the government wants to know where you and what you're up to - as apparently American and British governments do - it could cost as little as $300. Just supply every citizen with an Apple iPod or cellphone equipped with a digital certificate, UK official Patrick Cooper joked at a computer security conference yesterday, News.com reports.
"If you had a mobile phone with a digital certificate, you could dock it into your PC. An iPod with a digital certificate would also work," Cooper said. "My boss would give everyone in the U.K. an iPod. That would also mean there would be no reason for anyone to steal one, because everyone would have one."
Cooper quipped that the iPod scheme would also be a more cost-efficient alternative to other government plans to combat online fraud, such as equipping the proposed National ID Card with a PIN or password system to enable it to work as an online authentication device.
The U.K. government has been facing mounting pressure to combat online fraud after it emerged in December last year that its tax credit Web site had been hit by more than 30 million pounds, or about $52 million, in fraudulent claims.