Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Pigs might fly

The Home Secretary has decided not to antagonise the unions so neither pilots nor airside workers are going to be obliged to carry government ID and be on the National Identity Register(NIR).

Mr Johnson has also announced that ID cards will never be compulsory (except for foreign nationals) and this has been the main emphasis by of the media. He is either using weasel words to mislead the public or he genuinely doesn't know that the main objection to ID cards is the fact that about 50 pieces of personal information will be put on a giant national database in order for you to obtain a passport when mandatory biometric passports are rolled out.

Make sure you renew yours before this happens else you won't be able to retain your civil liberties and travel at the same time.

But really nothing has changed. We have already been told:

From 2012 anyone applying for or renewing a passport in the UK will also enrol their fingerprint biometrics on the NIR and will be able to choose whether they want a biometric passport,an identity card or both.

The ID card idea remains very much alive. Free ID cards are to be given to the over 75s and students are to be encouraged to have them as a convenient way of proving their age. If you are in any doubt have a look at Safeguarding Identity published by the government last week. This tells you that the NIR is the foundation stone of future government services.

p 26 tells us that:
A common definition of identity will be accepted across government- the new NIR will be commonly used across Government as a single, convenient and secure system for establishing and using identity.

You will have a 'unique identifier' or number and there will be a single 'gateway' to all public sector services so you will probably find it convenient to have a plastic ID card as you will already have an e-IDentity.

So, the fight goes on. The NIR is the basis of a labyrinth of proposals which will make your life easy - your information will be totally secure - no details will be shared without your permission and pigs might fly.

Take a look at 'safeguarding identity' and then I think we should ask the Conservatives and Lib Dems whether they will do away with the NIR and if so how do they intend to patrol the labyrinth?

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