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Blunkett presses on with compulsory ID card plans

Silicon.com reports that despite government figures showing growing opposition the government will now issue standalone compulsory biometric ID cards as part of changes to the draft ID card bill issued by Home Secretary David Blunkett.

The cards will be issued with passports but will not be incorporated into either the existing passport or driving licence as previously proposed, with a standardised online verification service used to check card details against those held on the National Identity Register (NIR). Blunkett said:

I will now bring forward legislation to bring in a compulsory, national ID card scheme.

A new executive agency incorporating the UK Passport Service and working with the Home Office’s Immigration and Nationality Directorate will now be set up to deliver and run the ID card scheme.

The Government would not agree with the use of the word ‘sensitive’ to describe most of the data to be collected and stored. Most of the data which will be held by the scheme is already public and is used routinely in everyday transactions, like opening a bank account or joining a library.

The ID card consultation summary can be found here and the Home Office’s response to the select committee report can be found here.

1 comment to Blunkett presses on with compulsory ID card plans

  • Guy Herbert

    The second quote is wonderfully selected, and indicates the Home Office’s mendacious technique in action at its most blatant.

    Information does not cease to be sensitive (or private) because you use it. On the contrary it is sensitive and private if you choose it to be so, because you wish it to be restricted to your uses for it. Often such restriction is not explicit, but part of one’s ordinary expectations about life.

    The HO is playing on the fact that people are so used to ordinary information about themselves, such as our addresses, our children’s names and ages, our banking details being in practice restricted almost entirely to those they deem need to know, that they have never even thought about how private it is, or the consequences of its becoming available to a vast cohort of unknown officials.

    On the other hand, the government is exceedingly careful to guard the securuty of information that it uses every day, and not just through Official Secrets legislation. It has consistently refused to give important information about its plans to invade our privacy on grounds of “security” and commercial confidentiality. And it continues to hunt down leaks with great assiduity.