Wales said no to ID cards

By EDRi · February 13, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Welsh Assembly Government proposal for a “smart card” to be used to access
public services in Wales was considered by civil liberties groups as a way
of introducing identity cards “through the back door” and was rejected by
the Liberal Democrats supported by the Labour Party members as well.

The Government has claimed that the card was aimed at improving the way
people use library and travel services but Suw Charman, founder of the
EDRi-member Open Rights Group, considers the scheme as “pointless”. “I
haven’t seen an argument about what’s wrong with the existing cards. (…)
Why do we need to put all this information on one smart card that’s going to
keep a log on what people do and where they go? It’s treating people like
criminals” was her statement to BBC.

Concerns were also expressed in relation to the smart cards holding too much
information especially in the light of the numerous incidents of data losses
in UK during the last two years. Peter Black, social justice spokesperson
stated: “We have already seen that Government cannot be trusted with our
private data. If that database were also to include details of our medical
treatment, our use of local government services and our education records
then not only would our entire lives be an open book to anybody with a
suitable card reader, but the risk of identity theft and fraud would be
magnified many times. We cannot take that risk. (…) The frightening
prospect of a draconian future rears in front of us wherein hospitals,
police stations and social security offices across Britain, electronic
readers will connect scanned cards to a massive central database in order to
prove the identities of card-bearers.”

Mike German, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats expressed the
satisfaction that the Assembly was unanimous in its position sending “a
strong message to your (Labour) colleagues in London that ID cards are not
welcome in Wales”. He added that “ID cards are an excuse for the state to
meddle in peoples’ lives. They are an unwarranted intrusion in our lives.
They won’t combat terrorism and fraud, because we’ve seen in other countries
these crimes still exist”.

Rights attack on smart card plan (6.02.2008)

ID cards not welcome in Wales (16.01.2008)