Friday, 3 July 2009

Lobby your MP now

The Conservatives have called for a debate on ID cards this Monday 6th July. Key statutory instruments required before the scheme can proceed have still to be laid before Parliament. See the Public register.

As part of the initial proposals for the NIS, applicants for the new generation of biometric passports – due to be available by 2011 – would have their personal data placed on the NIR. Applicants could also then choose to have an ID card, but their refusal would not mean the removal of their data from the NIR.

Parliament is expected, this week and next, to approve this retention proposal in two batches of draft legislation. They would provide the Home Office with the powers to make the passport a "designated document" under the NIS. This would make its data eligible for entry onto the NIR.

The regulations may also include powers to levy a fine of up to £1,000 on those who fail to tell the authorities of a change of address or amend other key personal details such as a change of name within three months.

Isabella Sankey, director of policy at Liberty, complained that the NIS is still compulsory in practice:

"However you spin it, big ears, four legs and a long trunk still make an elephant. And this white elephant would be as costly to privacy and race equality as to our purses."

It would be well worth telling your MP your views regarding the National Identity Register and the ID card scheme before this debate. Please contact your MP now.

No comments: