The ID card itself is irrelevant. The scheme is in fact all about the National Identity Register, the database. This will store over 50 categories of information about you – starting with every name you’ve ever been known by, everywhere you’ve ever lived, and fingerprints and facial recognition info. If your record is checked, say to prove your age at a nightclub, your night out will be recorded on a Government database forever. It’s the database which makes the ID scheme different from its European counterparts. No other country seeks to gather, store and share so much information about its citizens – and it would be illegal in Germany!
Your records will be available to civil servants, the police, customs officials and the security services. Private companies too are lining up to get involved, and will also have access to your personal details. If just one of the thousands who will have access to the database is corrupt, your life could end up in the hands of blackmailers or identity thieves.
The Government knows the scheme won’t work. In 2006, it announced that the Register would be a brand new database, since existing sources were too “polluted” with incorrect information. Two years later, they decided to save money and use the existing, ‘polluted’ passport and benefits databases anyway
If you volunteer to pay £60 to register on the database and receive a card, it’s not clear what the benefits are. By 2012 the Government will require you to register on the National Identity Register to receive a passport. They can require registration for any document or service, from driving licenses to CRB checks for teachers. They say it’s voluntary, but it will be impossible to live your life normally without the database and all it entails.
Manchester NO2ID have been active for over three years – on the streets, in the media, at demonstrations, working with local government and trades unions. We are a non-partisan organisation and do not campaign on any issue other than ID cards and the Database State. Please join us.