Wednesday, 24 March 2010

More ID card creep.

A very unpleasant little amendment to the Licensing Act (2003) is in front of Ministers for approval as a Statutory Instrument (SI). It is very rare for a SI to be amended or changed - so, unless it is rejected when presented to Parliament, it will pass on the 6th of April. See here.

The SI in question is there to address binge drinking by restricting licensees' abilities to offer discounted booze and encourage heavy drinking. Part 4 (2) of this particular SI refers to a licensee's policy, and reads as follows:

The policy must require individuals who appear to the responsible person to be under 18 years of age (or such older age as may be specified in the policy) to produce on request, before being served alcohol, identification bearing their photograph, date of birth and a holographic mark .

This effectively forces pub landlords to demand passport, ID card or driving licence as proof of age and will probably cause a boom in fake ID card sales and theft/loss of identity documents. Naturally the young will be told how more convenient it would be to get a national ID card.

This is another back-door attempt to undermine civil liberties and bolster the National ID Service. Why not write to your MP to make them aware of what's hidden in the small print, and demand that the SI is redrafted before it's accepted.

There are contactless proof of age card systems such as Touch2ID that simply contain a biometric hash of the bearer's fingerprint and which cannot be used for identity fraud. However, one might ask why there is such mania for proof of age? It certainly hasn't prevented a rise in alcohol consumption amongst the young; it is simply yet another attempt to counter the side effects of the total liberalisation of alcohol sale and consumption.

No comments: