Tuesday, October 18, 2005

ID cards

While we were all distracted over the Conservative Party leadership election, MPs were preparing to vote on the ID cards bill. The Opposition wanted to amend the Bill to remove the requirement for applicants for a passport to submit their details to the ID card database. Unfortunately, the Government got its way, albeit with a slashed majority of 32. The Bill is scheduled for a Third Reading next week, and some more backbench rebellion can be expected. I for one am still hopeful, even in the teeth of indications to the contrary, that this Bill can yet be defeated. In June 2005, the Government was forced to deny claims that it would sell our details to private companies to pay for the ID card scheme. That sits somewhat oddly with a Home Office statement that banks would be able to check our details against the ID cards database. And what is a bank if not a private enterprise? It is a short step from that to opening up the database to other companies. There are many reasons to oppose the introduction of ID cards. Catch up with me another day, say next week, and I will give you the civil liberties argument. I will be following this Bill's progress and commenting as necessary.
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