Changes in the UK ID card scheme

By EDRi · January 17, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The initial plan of the UK Government regarding the national ID scheme was
meant to use photographs, fingerprints and iris scans in a National
Identity Register. The Home Office’s Strategic Action Plan for the National
Identity Scheme considers now that the iris scans is just an option
and only the ten fingerprints will be taken for each new applicant.

According to Home Office officials, the iris scan was dropped due to the
high costs of this process. They also claimed the decision was also related
“with international obligations, most international countries are using
facial and fingerprint recognition so it is to come in line with that.”
However, a return to iris scanning in the future could still be possible.

The UK Government stated in December that the initial-planned single
database National Identity Register would also be dropped. The information
should have been split between 3 existing databases in the Department for
Work and Pensions, Home Office and Identity & Passport Service.

But it seems that the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas’ last year
warnings that Britain was “waking up to a surveillance society that is
already all around us” were not enough. This week Tony Blair has announced
again that a single database might be possible and has presented plans to
make it easier for departments to share information.

The reactions to this new announcement were quick to appear. Oliver Heald,
the Conservative constitution affairs spokesman, accused the Government of
“moving one step closer to a Big Brother state with a database from the
cradle to the grave.”

Civil society group NO2ID accused the government of outright deception. Phil
Booth, NO2ID’s National Coordinator said: “NO2ID’s warnings
about the database state are coming true. Mr Blair doesn’t trust us, but he
expects us to put absolute trust in all government departments. By tearing
down the fundamental safeguard of confidentiality, he intends to give them
all the right to talk about us behind our backs, which means more power to
intervene in our lives when it suits them”.

Government drops iris scan plan (8.01.2007)

Government now can’t be trusted with personal details, says NO2ID

Blair wants Whitehall to share your data (16.01.2007)