Friday, 3 July 2009

Back Door ID Cards = National Identity Register

Over the last few days Alan Johnson seemed to retreat, only to then start spinning on ID cards. They won't be compulsory, they're to protect your identity, they were never for terrorism and the nation is crying out for them.
The home secretary emphasised his personal commitment to a voluntary scheme, saying it should be a personal choice for British citizens in the same vein as obtaining a passport.
Heathrow Terminal 5 had a similar scheme, the bases was you couldn't get on the plane unless you were fingerprinted. I don't call that voluntary, I call that compulsory in all but name. Much like the "voluntary" scheme this government want to bring in.

As I've said before the ID Card scheme is interlaced with the passport application process, why? The real point to this is not the question of an ID card but a National Identity Register and the overall cost to the government. As the Guardian reports the passport scheme is being pushed though parliament:
two batches of draft regulations to be approved by MPs tomorrow and next week are expected to include powers to make the passport a "designated document" under the national identity card scheme. This means that anyone applying for or renewing their passport from 2011 will have their details automatically added to the national identity databases.
The identity register will include, name, date and place of birth, address, gender, immigration status, facial image and fingerprints. This information will be available to government agencies and private businesses. At the moment of course, but this government have always moved the goal posts and their "anti terror" checks are abused by people and councils all the time. Combine that with CCTV, DNA, phone, emails and on-line tracking databases, it starts to become Orwellian.

Which is what it distils down to, I don't trust this government with my data, in fact I don't trust them with anything. It's incredibly back handed to not be clear about what's happening, while pretending to be "honest Alan", he's is no more honest than Jacqui Smith was. He's just taken away the symbolically contentious element, in order to push through legislation on what the government really wanted the ID card for, a National Identity Register.

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