The Guardian reports that the cabinet has secretly given the go-ahead to the chancellor, Gordon Brown, to set up Britain’s first national population computer database that is the foundation stone for a compulsory identity card scheme.
The “citizen information register” is to bring together all the existing information held by the government on the 58 million people resident in Britain.
It will include their name, address, date of birth, sex, and a unique personal number to form a “more accurate and transparent” database than existing national insurance, tax, medical, passport, voter and driving licence records.
The plans for a citizen information register have not been announced and the only official reference was a brief mention to a feasibility study in the government’s consultation paper on identity cards published last July. The scheme is a joint project between the Office of National Statistics and the Treasury and is designed to ensure that “public sector organisations have the right records about the right people at the right time.”