Sunday, October 12, 2003

ID cards dropped from Queen's speech?

I spotted this on White Rose. According to the Observer Downing Street is to dump plans for ID cards, apparently because it would "close to useless" for fighting terrorism a point that has been made by opponents of the cards all along. Indeed the Observer report makes some very familiar points:

The move comes after a new report revealed that there are serious concerns at the Home Office that the scheme would be dogged by security and cost problems and that its introduction would do little to help the war on terrorism. Such arguments were a central part of the Government's case for ID cards. Blunkett also said that it would mean only those entitled to do so would be able to use public services.

Critics point out that it is already possible to check National Insurance numbers or passports of people who use the NHS without the need for a new form of identification which could cost each person £40 under a compulsory purchase scheme.

The report also says that legitimate British citizens trying to use their ID card for public services such as a visit to their GP or to book a place in their local school could be barred because of high 'false reject' rates of ID cards.

If the govt really is dropping this it is good news, though I wouldn't be surprised to see them return to the agenda later.

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