Update: United Kingdom

By EDRi · January 29, 2003

On 31 January 2003 consultation in the United Kingdom ends on plans for a national ‘Entitlement’ card, widely perceived to be an identity card. A six month consultation on the initiative was launched by the Government in July last year. Civil rights groups have demanded to abandon the scheme in the wake of criticisms including invasion of privacy, the risk of abuse of a centralised repository of identity information, cost and an extremely low key consultation process.

Co-ordinated action amongst several UK based groups including, Privacy International, and the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR) has led to a surge of responses opposing the scheme. A website allowing the public to contact their elected representative directly has collected more than twice as many responses than the government has received through traditional channels. In a first for the UK, a voicemail system has also been used that converts voice messages and sends them to the Home Office via email. The UK Government has confirmed it will regard these as legitimate responses to the consultation.

The official consultation page

HTML version of the consultation document

Privacy International ID overview (PDF, updated September 2004)

Submit a response via

(Contribution by Matthew Postgate, EDRI-member FIPR)