29
Okt
2004

Identity card plan sparks 'Orwell' fears

MINISTERS were warned yesterday that they were ushering in an authoritarian "world of George Orwell" after saying they would push ahead with plans for a compulsory identity card for everybody in the country. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, explained how the cards would work, who would pay for them and what they would contain. However, he revealed that the cards would go much further than many of his critics feared, giving the security services a complete record of the card’s use, allowing them to see information, for instance, on when the card is checked to verify the holder’s identity. This could even happen on some occasions at visits to the doctor or the bank, if the cardholder is applying for a loan and needs to be identified formally. The cards are being introduced to combat benefit fraud and illegal immigration but critics fear they will infringe on the civil liberties of every law-abiding person in the country.

The Home Office will create a database of personal biometric data for all 59 million people in the UK. Each time a card is checked against this database - for instance, when accessing government-provided services such as healthcare - a record will be created. That record will be accessible to security services.

//news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1246122004


From:
Aftermath News Service
Top Stories - October 29th, 2004
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