The government has introduced draft legislation for potentially compulsory biometric identity cards and a central database of all citizens. A trial of related biometric technology has already been launched. The card system will cost at least £3 billion and is likely to become an essential part of life for everyone residing in the UK. Read more.
Home Secretary David Blunkett thinks that the "ID Card Scheme is the key to the UK's future" whilst affirming that they will be a crucial tool in the "prevention of terrorism" and against "illegal immigration". Citizens organisations such as Privacy International, Stand, Liberty, Statewatch and FIPR strongly refute these views. On Wednesday 19 May in London they held a public meeting under the title "Mistaken Identity".
The meeting gave a resounding vote of no-confidence over the national Identity Card. Leading politicians, lawyers, regulators, security experts and civil libertarians were unanimous in condemning the proposals. The president of the Law Society, representing 116,000 solicitors throughout the UK, also warned in his statement (pdf) that the government's draft legislation contained dangerous provisions. For corporate media coverage, see the articles from Silicon.com, BBC, and the Guardian.
A similar meeting was held on May 20th in Glasgow.
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