Identity cards

(Redirected from ID Cards)

What is it?

A card and a database.

Executive Summary

The Government has suggested that the new measures introduced by the Identity Cards Bill will tackle a number of issues, such as terrorism, identity theft, illegal immigration and benefit fraud. NO2ID contends that the legislation proposed will do little to combat any of these problems, while restricting the freedoms and contravening the civil rights of law-abiding citizens.

51 categories of registrable fact are set out in the Bill, though they could be added to. Every registered individual will be under an obligation to notify any change in registrable facts. Overseas ID cards are not comparable, many western countries that have ID cards do not have a shared register. Mostly ID cards overseas have been limited in use, with strong legal privacy protections, not so with the UK ID card. Limited provision for oversight has so far been included.

The National Identity Register (NIR) is a giant database used to hold information about people registered on the Identity scheme.

The cards will be a credit card-sized photo card and will include a computer chip. there will be two forms of biometric data on the card iris scans, and fingerprints. The current Identity Cards Bill does not make it compulsory to carry the card.

Estimates of the cost-per-head of the system vary widely. There have been widely varying estimates of the cost to the individual, from the £93 official Home Office quote to the £300 of the LSE report.

No2ID The problems with "ID Cards Also see Biometric passport

What are the party lines?

  • Labour: In favour
  • Conservatives: Against (although they did support the government by voting in favour of them)
  • Liberal Democrats: Against

On 7 February 2007 the following was agreed in the House of Commons:

That this House ... welcomes the introduction of biometric identity cards to combat immigration abuse, illegal working, identity fraud and crime as well as strengthening national security and improving access to public services;[1]

Why do I care?

The seizure of ID cards by criminals could fatally compromise your liberty and wreck your finances. It will be easier, not harder, for criminals to create a false ID.

Numerous surveys in a variety of countries - Spain, the US and China among them - have indicated that the possession of ID cards is no deterrent at all to terrorism

Illegal immigrants and those who profit by bringing them into the UK already operate using false passports, social security details and driving licences. This information, transferred to an ID card, consolidates rather than exposes their false identity

The Government has an appalling record of database malfunctions. If the ID card database fails, you might find you can't leave the country, drive a car, withdraw money from your bank or even go shopping.

ORG has got two priorities:

We need to help create better understanding about the digital-rights issues surrounding the Home Office ID plan. This will be controversial and unpopular. There may be civil-rights activity and protest. ORG's job is to help key people understand the digital rights issues.

But there's a second issue which ORG needs to help people understand better. What is the general consumer need for identity in an de-enabled world. What technical options are there that people can understand, use and trust? That's the story ORG needs to get out.

Government is treating these as the same issue. But they're separate, because for all its expense and intrusion the Home Office plan won't meet the requirements of the on-line world.

  • Identity cards are also prone to copying, if people acquire the tooling to do so.

Home Office IT systems hacked 5 times in 5 years

Nick Clegg MP - To Ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many a) suspected and b) confirmed security breaches of databases controlled by his Department occurred in each of the last five years

Home Secretary - All incidents listed are confirmed security breaches. No areas have reported suspected security breaches

Year Incident
2001-2 1
2002-3 1
2003-4 0
2004-5 1
2005-6 2

See Also





2009-04-08 - ZDNet - ID card data will remain unreadable until 2010
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: The UK will have no way of reading the data stored on ID cards until 2010 — more than a year after the first cards were issued. Readers capable of scanning the cards' chips will not be in place until they are introduced at UK border-entry points next year, Bill Crothers, chief information officer for the Identity and Passport Service.
2009-04-07 - Computing - £650m ID cards contracts awarded to CSC and IBM
Author: Tom Young
Summary: Home secretary Jacqui Smith has announced that IBM and CSC have won £650m-worth of contracts to deliver IT systems to support the controversial identity cards scheme.
2009-04-07 - ZDNet - IBM, CSC win ID card biometrics contracts
Author: Tom Espiner
Summary: IBM and CSC have been awarded contracts to run some of the technology behind the government's ID cards and passports schemes. On Tuesday, the Home Office announced that IBM had won a £265m contract to build and run the UK Border Agency (UKBA) database of fingerprints and facial images taken for passports and visa applications, called the National Biometric Information Service (NBIS). The NBIS database will feed into the National Identity Register, the database behind the ID cards scheme.
2009-04-07 - Computer Weekly - First ID Cards Contracts Awarded
Author: Toby Stevens
Summary: The Identity and Passport Service has announced the award of the first two contracts under the National Identity Scheme. CSC has been awarded the £385m contract for Application and Enrolment, whist IBM got the £265m contract to build the National Identity Register. These are the first in a series of components being procured under the framework agreement, which also includes EDS (HP), Fujitsu and Thales. ... The Chief Executive of IPS confirms the long-standing assertion that the primary form of binding between cardholder and card will be Chip and PIN. "One of the reasons for the format of the card is we have the opportunity to put it in to card readers and potentially use it in existing networks such as the ATM network."
2009-04-07 - Kable - CSC and IBM win ID contracts
Summary: The Identity and Passport Service has announced the impending awards of two of the National Identity Scheme's main contracts to CSC and IBM. The two firms are the preferred bidders for the contracts, which will be signed later this month. CSC will be paid £385m over 10 years, having beaten Fujitsu to deliver the application and enrolment contract for passports and identity cards. IBM has won out over Thales to establish and run the national biometric identity service for the same period, for which it will receive £265m.
2009-02-25 - Computer Weekly - ID Cards insider: scheme is "largest , most complex and sensitive undertaking in Government"
Author: Tony Collins
Summary: The problem now is that, through practice rather than any specific plan, the DWP's CIS is becoming the government's main citizen database. This means that thousands of council staff and other public and civil servants are being given access to it. And some council staff have already been using the CIS to check the data it holds on their friends and relatives.
2009-02-24 - Computer Weekly - ID cards database breached by nosey council staff
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: Staff at 30 local authorities have been responsible for "serious security breaches" in the government database that will form the core of the national ID cards programme.
2009-02-24 - Telegraph - Identity database accessed by town hall staff without justification
Author: Matthew Moore
Summary: A database which is to be used as a model for the proposed ID card scheme has been accessed more than 30 times by council staff without authority.
2009-02-12 - ZDNet - Home Office expands scope of compulsory ID cards
Author: Tom Espiner
Summary: The Home Office has made a formal request to parliament to increase the scope of ID cards for foreign nationals. ... Until now, only students and foreign nationals applying to stay in the UK on the basis of marriage have been obliged to have the biometric cards. Now, those required to give their fingerprints to the police will include visitors representing overseas companies in the UK; those visiting for private medical treatment; domestic workers in private households; people with a Commonwealth passport; and people aged over 60 who are able to support themselves, plus their partners and children.
2009-02-07 - The Register - UK gov unleashes biometric IDs
Author: Rik Myslewski
Summary: The British Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has spent £4.7bn ($6.6bn) on its new biometric ID card system. But it has not established a timeline for a card-reader rollout. Without the necessary card readers, the biometric information such as fingerprint scans stored in the cards is inaccessible and therefore useless for ID verification.
2009-02-06 - ZDNet - European ID card data is not encrypted
Author: Tom Espiner
Summary: None of the data stored on identity cards in the European Union is encrypted, according to a study by the European Network and Information Security Agency.
2009-02-06 - The Times - The first ID cards are here - but no one in the UK can read them
Author: Murad Ahmed
Summary: Thousands of ID cards have already been issued to foreign residents in the UK as part of the government's £4.7 billion scheme, but no one can read the details stored on them
2009-02-05 - Evening Standard - National ID card database "will never be 100% secure' put citizens at risk"
Author: Martin Bentham
Summary: A report, whose authors were commissioned by firms including Microsoft, BT and Symantec, says no database can be "100 per cent secure or failsafe" and that accidents and security breaches will occur. It warns that the creation of expanded national databases, such as that which will be used for the ID card scheme, will present "fresh opportunities" for criminals to exploit and suggests that the risks to the public will be further increased by the "poor information management culture" that exists in many areas of Whitehall.
2009-02-05 - ZDNet - EU lacks common ID privacy specs, says agency
Author: Tom Espiner
Summary: European Union members lack a co-ordinated strategy on how to protect citizen data linked to ID cards, according to an EU agency. That lack has hindered the development of interoperability standards that would let each country's authorities work with the electronic identity card (eID) of another, the European Network and Information Security Agency (Enisa) said.


2008-12-23 - ZDNet - Home Office has received over 1,000 ID card requests
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: Over the past two years, 1,142 out of 3,073 pieces of correspondence to government on the biometric cards have been classified as "wants an ID card", according to home secretary Jacqui Smith. Smith revealed the figures in a recent parliamentary written answer where she added that the cards appear to be growing in popularity. "From October 2007 to September 2008, the number-one theme every month, accounting for by far the most common subject matter, has been 'wants an ID card'," she said.
2008-12-18 - Home Office - First identity cards issued to foreign nationals in Sheffield
Summary: For the first time, foreign nationals in Sheffield can enrol for identity cards containing their facial image and fingerprints, the Home Secretary announced during a visit to the city today. ID cards will securely lock foreign nationals to one identity and help businesses crack down on illegal working. Biometric enrolment for the cards - which involves individuals having their digital photograph and fingerprints recorded - will take place at the UK Border Agency?s Vulcan House building. The Home Secretary opened the building today and met some of the 1,900 staff working there.
2008-12-08 - Kable - IBM crossed off ID application shortlist
Summary: The Identity and Passport Service has cut down its shortlist for the biggest contract within the National Identity Scheme. It has dropped IBM from the competition for the application and enrolment procurement, leaving CSC and Fujitsu in contention. In September, IPS said that all three firms were on the shortlist for the deal, which home secretary Jacqui Smith recently estimated would be worth £350m-450m. However, IBM is on the shortlist for the smaller card design and production contract...
2008-11-27 - Computing - Whitehall bungling undermines ID plans
Summary: As is so often the case with government IT projects that go awry, it is not the technology that is to blame, but the quality of leadership. So even if the deployment of ID cards passes off without a hitch, the scheme is fundamentally flawed because of a lack of public support and the perverse decision to ignore the recommendations of the Treasury-commissioned Crosby study.
2008-11-25 - Kable - IPS lowers estimates of ID contracts
Summary: The home secretary has said the three main contracts establishing the National Identity Scheme will cost between £800m and £1.05bn combined, down from an earlier estimate of £1.5bn. Jacqui Smith said the cost of the application and enrolment contract is now estimated at £350m-450m, while the National Biometric Identity Service will cost £200m-250 and the figure for the design and production of the national identity card is £250m-350m. In May, the Identity and Passport Service's (IPS) executive director Bill Crothers said that the three main deals would each cost around £500m.
2008-11-22 - The Guardian - £1,000 penalties for out-of-date ID details
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: People who fail to tell the authorities of a change of address or amend other key personal details within three months will face civil penalty fines of up to £1,000 a time when the national identity card scheme is up and running, according to draft Home Office regulations published yesterday. The Home Office made clear that repeated failures to keep an entry on the national identity register up to date could ultimately be enforced by bailiffs being sent round to seize property.
2008-11-19 - ZDNet - Gov't: Most biometric checks will bypass ID database
Summary: Identity checks will normally rely on the biometric data held on ID cards and passports rather than the National Identity Register, according to identity minister Meg Hillier. "Verification checks of biometrics identifiers will be made against the card in most cases using the biometrics stored in the chip, for example if the facial image or fingerprint biometrics are verified as part of an immigration check at the border," Hillier said in a parliamentary written answer on 17 November, 2008.
2008-11-19 - Kable - Virus hits three London hospitals' IT
Summary: St Bartholomew's and the London NHS trust shut down email systems and internet access for its three hospitals, diverting ambulances to other trusts. Staff at Bart's hospital in the City, the Royal London in Whitechapel, and the London chest hospital in Bethnal Green used back-up systems to keep operating theatres and outpatient clinics in service, reports The Guardian.
2008-11-18 - Telegraph - Pilots threaten strike over ID card plan
Author: Jon Swaine
Summary: The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), which represents most of the country’s commercial pilots, said the Government's "early warning system should be flashing" over its opposition to plans to force aviation workers be the first Britons to carry ID cards. Jim McAuslan, Balpa's general secretary, said his members resented being treated as guinea pigs and added: "It may come to an industrial dispute." "We would want to avoid that. We would want the Government to think again about the whole scheme," he told The Independent. The Government insists that the cards must be fast-tracked to airport staff due to the importance of high security in their workplaces. The Home Office is preparing to unveil a plan to make staff at Manchester and London City airports sign up for an ID card before they can apply for security accreditation necessary for workers at the sites. Under the plans, ID cards will be issued to staff from next autumn.
2008-11-18 - The Independent - Pilots threaten to strike over ID cards
Author: Ben Russell
Summary: The British Air Transport Association, which represents airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, branded the scheme a "dubious PR initiative by the Government and one that fails to offer any real benefits". The shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, said: "Labour should take their heads out of the sand and abandon this £19bn white elephant which will do nothing to improve our security but may well make it worse." The Tories have pledged to scrap the scheme if elected. Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, added: "It is no surprise that pilots are up in arms since they are one of the few groups selected as guinea pigs for this benighted experiment."
2008-11-16 - The Times - 'Sneak' plan for mandatory ID cards
Author: David Leppard
Summary: Ministers have been accused of trying to introduce compulsory identity cards through the back door, despite promises that people will not have to carry them. Lawyers at Liberty, the civil liberties group, say that little noticed clauses in the draft immigration and citizenship bill introduce new powers to make people produce identity documents or face arrest. The bill is expected to be in the Queen’s speech next month. At issue is a clause in the bill which says that anyone who is to be examined by an immigration officer "must produce a valid identity document if required to do so". Failure to produce an identity card or otherwise prove identity will become a criminal offence. At present, producing a passport counts as proof of identity.
2008-11-14 - Kable - Public rejects high street biometrics
Summary: Less than 30% of people want to enrol for identity cards at private sector retailers, despite the home secretary's promotion of such locations. Only 25% of more than 2,000 people questioned for the government's Central Office of Information would consider having their fingerprints, photo and signature recorded for an identity card in a supermarket, according to research commissioned by the Identity and Passport Service. This increased to just 26% for a petrol station, to 28% for a department store and 29% for a local shop. People responded more positively about post offices, which would be considered by 53%, local authorities (63%) and banks (66%). But the preferred locations for identity card enrolment were passport offices and police stations, with results of 84% and 85% respectively.
2008-11-05 - The Telegraph - Post offices could take fingerprints for ID cards
Summary: Jacqui Smith has announced that the Home Office will be approaching outlets such as supermarkets and Post Offices to help issue ID Cards. ... Guy Herbert, from the No2ID campaign, added: "It sounds like a mad fantasy of setting up something like a Photo-Me kiosk to collect fingerprints. "Leaving aside the technical and security issues, both would be risky from the point of view of the reputation of the organisations involved, and financially terrifying." "Who would install or prepare to install such a massive infrastructure with the opposition committed to scrapping the scheme?"
2008-10-27 - The Register - No2ID shakes fist at plod print scanner plan
Author: John Oates
Summary: Privacy group No2ID is calling for legal protections before the introduction of mobile fingerprint scanners next year. As we reported in May the National Policing Improvement Agency handed over £50m for mobile devices to police forces. These will allow officers to check fingerprints against the Police National Computer. ... No2ID quoted figures from a 2004 Passport Service pilot which showed 19-20 per cent of people could not be matched to fingerprints entered minutes before and that 4 per cent could not be enrolled at all.
2008-10-18 - The Guardian - Free agent
Author: Decca Aitkenhead
Summary: Former MI5 chief and spy novelist Stella Rimington speaks her mind - on Iraq, the 'huge overreaction' to 9/11, and why the secret service is much more liberal than we think ... She is opposed to ID cards, because she can't see how they could be "a significant counter-terrorist measure", and although she admits she's "had more time to think about it since I left the service", she says her attitude to civil liberties has always been liberal. The big change, she argues, has been not her position, but the politicisation of the issue.
2008-10-17 - Public Servant magazine - Credit locks better than ID cards
Summary: The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, has said giving people the power to lock their credit report would be a better way to combat identity theft rather than identity cards. Clegg said letting people lock their credit reports would make it harder for fraudsters to open bank accounts or apply for credit cards in other people's names. Speaking on a visit to Cambridge University, where he met credit card fraud expert Professor Ross Anderson, he said: "People currently have no control over who accesses their credit history. Sloppy credit-granting practices have made life easy for identity thieves, who can get credit and open fake bank accounts in other people's names.
2008-10-16 - The Register - Wacky Jacqui's yoof ID site goes silent
Author: John Oates
Summary: The Home Secretary's opinion-harvesting site for young 'uns,, has shut up shop and looks likely to drag its feet on publishing the research. Jacqui Smith launched the site back in July to kickstart debate amongst the yoof about government ID cards. The only trouble was that opinions expressed by those using it were overwhelmingly negative. The requirement to register to post on the boards didn't stop the No2ID crowd getting involved. Still, the views posted did not seem to match the Identity and Passport Service's claims of majority support for ID cards among young people - the site being only for 16-25 year olds. This morning, as scheduled, the survey ended and the site disappeared. This was despite promises from site admins that the results of this penetrating research would be published on the site itself.
2008-10-01 - ZDNet - Tories attack Labour surveillance schemes
Summary: Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, has criticised the ID-card scheme, among other government projects, in his speech at the Conservative conference. In Birmingham on Tuesday, Grieve said the public is "fed up with the creeping growth of a surveillance society which intrudes into their private lives and loses their personal data". He said the government had "created the worst of all worlds", by increasing surveillance while levels of crime heightened. "We're less free. We're less safe," Grieve said.
2008-09-29 - Kable - About turn on ID card rules
Summary: The new "level 1 guidance", published on 26 September, says that contrary to a document issued by the Home Office the day before, it will not be mandatory for people from outside the EU to show their identity cards to officials if they want to claim benefits.
2008-09-29 - ZDNet - ID-cards scheme will 'drown' in mismatches
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: The government has underestimated the probable failure rate of the ID-card scheme, according to a biometrics expert who reviewed the system. ... academic John Daugman, a former member of the Biometrics Assurance Group (BAG), which reviewed the scheme, said its reliance on fingerprints and facial photos to verify a person's identity will cause the system to collapse under the weight of mismatched identifications. ... "The use of fingerprints will cause deduplication to drown in false matches."
2008-09-28 - Kable - No ID cards for youngsters
Summary: The government has denied reports that identity cards will be offered to under 16s. ... However, the government is considering the starting age for an early aspect of the scheme, under which young adults will have the choice of whether or not to apply for cards is under consideration. "We believe young people, who often have difficulty proving their identity, will benefit from the scheme which is why we have decided to offer them some of the first cards from 2010. We are currently considering which age group of those older than 16 will be able to first apply for ID cards," the IPS spokesperson added.
2008-09-25 - Conservatives - The Government must scrap the expensive ID cards project
Author: Dominic Grieve MP
Summary: Dominic Grieve has said it is "high time" Labour abandon their "ill-fated" ID cards project after Jacqui Smith unveiled the design of ID cards for foreign nationals. The Shadow Home Secretary stressed, "ID cards are an expensive white elephant that risk making us less - not more - safe." And he said the Government were "kidding themselves" if they think ID Cards for foreign nationals will protect against illegal immigration or terrorism - as they don't apply to those coming here for less than three months. A Conservative Government would abandon the ID cards project, and Dominic said he hoped Labour had taken that into account when they negotiated the contracts. "If they have not acted on this to protect the British taxpayer, it is reckless in the extreme at a time of heightened economic uncertainty."
2008-09-25 - Computing - Government unveils the first identity card
Author: Tom Young
Summary: The Home Office has unveiled the first prototype ID card, as it tries to build momentum towards the beginning of the scheme in November 2008 when the first cards will be issued to foreign nationals. "ID cards for foreign nationals will replace old-fashioned paper documents, make it easier for employers and sponsors to check entitlement to work and study, and for the UK Border Agency to verify someone's identity," said home secretary Jacqui Smith. ... the Tories have reiterated their intention to scrap the ID cards plan should they get into power. "ID cards are an expensive white elephant that risk making us less – not more safe. It is high time the government scrapped this ill-fated project," said shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve.
2008-09-25 - The Guardian - ID cards: a wasteful government folly
Author: Nick Clegg
Summary: It is shameful for ministers to exploit powerless groups to impose the new cards by stealth, and to stoke public fear by tainting foreigners with suspicion. It is patronising that they think we will not speak up for our privacy, and the privacy of others. The liberal commitment to freedom is universal, it shouldn't be determined by the colour of your skin.
2008-09-25 - ZDNet - ID cards for foreign nationals unveiled
Author: Tom Espiner
Summary: The Home Office unveiled ID cards for foreign nationals on Thursday, attracting protests from opposition parties and campaigners. ... Campaigners against ID cards also lambasted the government, saying it had chosen foreign nationals as a "soft target". "Here's Brown at the Labour conference saying they want a fairer Britain, and the government is picking on soft targets — people who have no choice but to comply," Phil Booth, national co-ordinator of No2ID, told "They're actually targeting people who are completely justified in being here."
2008-09-25 - Home Office - First ID card unveiled by Home Secretary as scheme builds momentum
Summary: The first UK Identity Card was unveiled today by the Home Secretary. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "Today shows we are delivering on our commitment to introduce the National Identity Scheme in order that we can enjoy its benefits as quickly as possible." "ID cards will help protect against identity fraud, illegal working, reduce the use of multiple identities in organised crime and terrorism, crack down on those trying to abuse positions of trust and make it easier for people to prove they are who they say they are." "ID cards for foreign nationals will replace old-fashioned paper documents, make it easier for employers and sponsors to check entitlement to work and study, and for the UK Border Agency to verify someone's identity. This will provide identity protection to the many here legally who contribute to the prosperity of the UK, while helping prevent abuse."
2008-09-25 - Kable - ID card could damage airports, say unions
Summary: The Trade Unions Congress has told home secretary Jacqui Smith that forcing airport staff to join the National Identity Scheme could be 'highly counterproductive' On 25 September 2008, Smith claimed that the Home Office has made "considerable progress" in the discussions, and expected UK nationals working in airports to be issued with cards next year as planned. However, the Trades Union Congress' deputy secretary Frances O'Grady raised concerns that "trialling an untested ID card system in such a sensitive industry could be highly counter-productive and, in the event of a problem, lead to unintended consequences," in a letter to Jacqui Smith. O'Grady added that airport security should be "de-coupled" from the introduction of national identity cards. She said that the scheme could create confusion, given that employees would not have to carry the government cards, but already have multiple cards to use in their work.
2008-09-25 - Liberal Democrats - ID cards a 'laminated poll tax'
Author: Chris Huhne MP
Summary: Today’s unveiling of the design for ID cards is another step towards the Government’s creation of a "laminated poll tax", Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Huhne, said today. The Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed ID cards, which are being introduced by the Labour Party and were initially supported by the Conservatives. Nick Clegg has already said that he will break the law and refuse to provide his details to the ID Card database rather than sign up for the scheme. Commenting on the new design revealed today, Chris Huhne said: "It does not matter how fancy the design of ID cards is, they remain a grotesque intrusion on the liberty of the British people." "The Government is using vulnerable members of our society, like foreign nationals who do not have the vote, as guinea pigs for a deeply unpopular and unworkable policy." "When voting adults are forced to carry ID cards, this scheme will prove to be a laminated Poll Tax."
2008-09-22 - BBC - Younger teens 'to get ID cards'
Summary: Identity cards could be handed out to children as young as 14, a home office minister has suggested. The first ID cards are due to be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds from 2010 as part of a plan to introduce the controversial scheme in stages. But Meg Hillier said the age range was still "up for grabs" and could be lowered "if they prove popular".
2008-09-15 - Computing - Lib Dems vote down e-petitions plan
Summary: A bid to commit the Liberal Democrats to an e-petition system capable of vetoing unpopular new laws has been defeated at the party's annual conference in Bournemouth. ... The debate kicked off a conference at which party leader Nick Clegg and shadow chancellor Vince Cable made clear they would seek to ditch remaining delayed components of the NHS computer system, as well as drop the government's ID cards scheme to save money to fund other social objectives, including tax cuts.
2008-09-08 - Computing - ID cards limited to 50,000 in first six months
Author: Tom Young
Summary: The National Identity Scheme will produce just 50,000 cards between the launch this November and April 2009. It has also been revealed that the government has yet to appoint a commissioner for the scheme, or finalise a budget for his or her work. Home secretary Jacqui Smith outlined the 50,000 figure in response to a parliamentary written question from Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary Chris Huhne.
2008-08-22 - - Prisoner data breach firm paid £100m
Author: Natasha Lomas
Summary: The management consultancy firm at the centre of the latest government data breach storm has been paid almost £100m over three years for its services by the Home Office and its agencies, with individual consultants from the company being charged to the department at an average of more than £1,000 per day. This week it emerged a USB memory stick containing unencrypted data on all the prisoners in England and Wales - some 84,000 individuals - had been lost by PA Consulting. Details stored on the memory stick include names, dates of birth and some expected release data. It also contains the names and dates of birth of some 10,000 individuals who are classed as prolific and priority offenders, as well as the initials of individuals involved with the Drug Interventions Programme. ... Phil Booth, No2ID national co-ordinator, said in a statement: "The question is not why was this data lost - it was lost because they had it - but why anyone got hold of individually identifiable mass data from the supposedly secure Police National Computer at all. No more excuses, no more buck-passing. When is this going to stop?" "The Home Office's policy of casual data trafficking, and the Ministry of Justice's stated goal to 'remove barriers to data sharing', are arrogant beyond belief. If they did this with PNC data, what will they do with your personal identity details?"
2008-08-22 - The Conservative Party - Where does latest data loss leave ID cards?
Author: Dominic Grieve MP
Summary: The Shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, has demanded Jacqui Smith explain what the loss of thousands of criminals' details by the Home Office means for Labour's ID card scheme. He said the public would be "alarmed" that Labour are planning to entrust their £20bn ID card project to the firm involved in this "shambles". And he stressed that this latest data loss fiasco could be the death knell for Labour’s ID card project: "This will destroy any grain of confidence the public still have in this white elephant and reinforce why it could endanger - rather than strengthen - our security."
2008-08-21 - Financial Times - Unions join protest against airline ID cards
Author: Jean Eaglesham
Summary: Unions have thrown their weight behind airlines and airport operators in lobbying against the proposed roll-out of identity cards to the industry, adding to the political pressures on the government over the contentious scheme. The Trades Union Congress has told Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, of its "significant and substantive" concerns about the plans for thousands of airport workers to become the first British nationals to be issued with the new biometric cards.
2008-07-29 - Liberal Democrats - Government cannot be trusted with blank passports let alone ID Cards
Author: David Howarth MP
Summary: Commenting on the theft of 3,000 blank passports from a hijacked van, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, David Howarth said: "The Government has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted with sensitive documents." "If passports can be stolen this easily, why can't ID Cards?"
2008-07-23 - Computer World - ID cards software 'to blame for passport service job cuts'
Author: Leo King
Summary: The Public and Commercial Services Union said human processes were being automated, and resources were being "diverted from passport processing to the introduction of ID cards. The government plans to close a key passport office in Glasgow, and has offered passport staff a below-inflation 2.5 percent pay rise. In May, five IT suppliers were selected for the ID cards project. The PCS complains that the pay rise comes at a time when the IPS has spent “nearly £50 million” on consultants. Some 3,000 staff at the Identity and Passport Service will strike over the next three days.
2008-07-21 - The Register - Unions line up against airline ID cards
Author: John Oates
Summary: Unions representing airline and airport staff are to tell Home Secretary Jacqui Smith that her plan to force staff to carry ID cards will add nothing to airport security. ... The major UK airlines have already come out against compulsory ID cards for their staff.
2008-07-11 - The Register - ID scheme undermined by poor-quality fingerprints
Author: Tom Espiner
Summary: The National Identity Scheme could be undermined by the quality of fingerprints from people aged 75 and over, according to an official report. The Biometrics Assurance Group (BAG), a group of independent experts which reviews biometrics implementation across government, brought out an annual report at the end of June. The report was extremely critical of many aspects of the government's biometrics plans, especially those around the National Identity Scheme (NIS).
2008-07-11 - The Register - Yoof forum eats schoolkids, spits out ID card robodroids
Author: John Lettice
Summary: The Home Office ID card yoof discussion forum has banned users "David Blunkett" and "Jacqui Smith" along with other "inappropriate" comedy logins ... Moderator Debbie G reveals that "users with the Shooters usernames are students from Shooters Hill College in Greenwich. To launch the site they were given a presentation by Jacqui Smith and then given the opportunity to log on and post."
2008-07-04 - ZDNet - ID cards: Aviation workers being 'used politically'
Author: Tom Espiner
Summary: Representatives of the aviation industry have said they are being used as political pawns to further the government's controversial ID cards programme. "We do feel we're being used politically," Roger Wiltshire, secretary general of Bata told on Friday. "The government intends a creeping introduction, to [lend the cards credibility]. We will be the first industry to have compulsory ID passes, even before the voluntary scheme is in place."
2008-07-04 - The Register - IPS finds no nuggets in ID checking goldmine
Author: John Lettice
Summary: Government plans to position the Identity & Passport Service as the UK's de facto identity services broker seem not to have entirely caught the imagination of the private sector, figures in IPS' annual report and accounts suggest. Although IPS recruited 44 new customers for its Passport Validation Service (PVS), income from this for the year ending March 2008 was only £357,000. ... To put the £357,000 into perspective, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office paid IPS over £3 million for use of passport equipment, while IPS' total income was just under £380 million. Assuming there really are 63 customers now, that would give us an average spend per customer of around £2,000 - not all the customers would have been signed up (it's a subscription service) for the whole year, of course.
2008-07-02 - The Register - Top airline bosses launch assault on airport ID card plan
Author: John Lettice
Summary: The bosses of the UK's major airlines have attacked plans to force airport workers to enrol in the national ID card scheme, claiming that "the UK aviation industry is being used for political purposes on a project which has questionable public support." If anything the move, they say, could reduce security by adding a "false sense of security to our processes." In a letter sent to home secretary Jacqui Smith under the auspices of the British Air Transport Association, the bosses of airlines including British Airways, Virgin, BMI and EasyJet, the MDs and CEOs of several airports and the general secretary of airline union BALPA express their "determined opposition" to the proposal.
2008-06-24 - Computing - Identity card scheme will not mandate fingerprint readers
Author: Tom Young
Summary: The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will not mandate the use of any particular type of hardware for collecting biometrics under the National Identity Scheme. A report by the Biometric Assurance Group to the IPS has noted that a proliferation of different fingerprint reading machines will be used in government programmes.
2008-06-23 - ZDNet - ID cards face fingerprint errors, say experts
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: Experts have warned that the ID-card scheme risks being derailed by mistakes in fingerprint matches. The £4.4bn National Identity Scheme's reliance on fingerprint and facial-recognition biometrics exposes the system to error, according to the independent Biometrics Assurance Group.
2008-06-23 - Liberal Conspiracy - If I could commission one government IT project
Author: Lynne Featherstone MP
Summary: I've been pretty critical of two massive government IT projects - the existing plans to introduce mandatory identity cards with a huge database behind them and also the Home Office talk of a database of all phone calls and emails made anywhere in the country. My criticisms in both cases are three-fold: the money involved could be better spent on other projects (such as giving us more police rather than keeping huge databases of the activities of innocent people), they involve a huge infringement of our liberties and privacy, and - thirdly - big IT projects like this are likely to go wrong and to be vulnerable to misuse.
2008-06-20 - The Guardian - Post Office calls for ID contract to cut closures
Author: Patrick Wintour
Summary: Ministers are being urged by the Post Office to give it valuable contracts to take over the distribution of ID cards, biometric data, and e-passports, in a bid to save it from a further round of politically-damaging closures, and loss of customers. The organisation is arguing in private talks with ministers that it is best placed to take on some of these contracts since it is already responsible for checking passport applications and has an existing national network to draw upon. Ministers in both the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Home Office are stressing that they cannot hand out the contract without open commercial competition, but see both political and business advantages to a deal.
2008-06-17 - Kable - ICO to review surveillance annually
Summary: The prime minister has defended identity cards, biometrics and CCTV, but has agreed that the information commissioner will write an annual review of government surveillance for Parliament. Gordon Brown accepted the proposal, made by the Home Affairs Select Committee in its recent report A Surveillance Society?, in a speech on 17 June 2008 to the Institute of Public Policy Research's Security Commission.
2008-06-09 - OUT-LAW - MPs propose new safeguards for Government uses of personal data
Summary: A Parliamentary committee has called on the Government to be more transparent about its uses of personal data and to adopt "a principle of data minimisation." Its report includes safeguards it recommends to avoid the UK becoming a surveillance society. The Committee examined surveillance in public and private life, from CCTV and plans for a national ID card to credit card records and search engine logs. Warning of the risks of excessive surveillance, the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee called for a new approach. "In the design of its policies and systems for collecting data, the Government should adopt a principle of data minimisation: it should collect only what is essential, to be stored only for as long as is necessary," said the report, released yesterday." It warned that the Government "should resist a tendency to collect more personal information and establish larger databases."
2008-06-09 - The Guardian - ID cards could help turn Britain into a surveillance society, warn MPs
Author: Nicholas Watt
Summary: A compulsory national identity card scheme could be used to monitor the movements of British citizens because of the dangers of "function creep", a committee of MPs warned yesterday. Britain is in danger of turning into a "surveillance society", the Commons home affairs select committee says in a report which calls on the government to promise that the multibillion-pound ID card scheme will not be used as a matter of routine to spy on people. "We are concerned about the potential for 'function creep' in terms of the surveillance potential of the national identity scheme," the cross-party committee concluded. "Any ambiguity about the objectives of the scheme puts in jeopardy the public's trust in the scheme itself and in the government's ability to run it."
2008-06-09 - The Times - MPs fear ID cards could be used for spying
Author: Richard Ford
Summary: The multibillion-pound identity card scheme could be used to carry out surveillance on millions of people, a Commons select committee said yesterday. MPs added that they were seriously concerned at the way that local councils and other agencies were using spying powers to deal with low-level crimes such as dropping litter. In a 117-page report on surveillance, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee urged the Government to make it easier for the public to challenge decisions to keep their DNA on the national database. Keith Vaz, its chairman, said: "What we are calling for is an overall principle of 'least data, for least time'. We have all seen over the past year extraordinary examples of how badly things can go wrong when data is mis-handled, with potentially disastrous consequences."
2008-06-09 - Liberal Democrats press release - Unnecessary surveillance has undermined trust in government
Author: Christopher Huhne MP
Summary: Commenting on today’s Home Affairs Select Committee report A Surveillance Society which calls on the Government to minimise the amount of personal data it collects and retains, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Affairs Secretary, Chris Huhne said: "Ministers must end their unhealthy obsession with monitoring the lives of ordinary people." "Unnecessary surveillance and gross incompetence have undermined public trust in government, eroded individual liberty and intruded on personal privacy." "Ministers must adhere to the ground rules identified in this report or risk leading us further down the road to a surveillance state." "The quickest way to restore public confidence would be to scrap the ridiculous ID card scheme, and invest the money saved in front-line policing where it can really make a difference."
2008-06-08 - BBC - ID cards 'could threaten privacy'
Summary: The government should limit the data it collects on citizens for its ID card scheme to avoid creating a surveillance society, a group of MPs has warned. The home affairs select committee called for proper safeguards on the plans for compulsory ID cards to stop "function creep" threatening privacy. It wants a guarantee the scheme will not be expanded without MPs' approval. The Ministry of Justice said it had to balance protecting the public with protecting a right to privacy. The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show that many people welcomed the use of devices such as CCTV cameras.
2008-06-08 - The Register - UK is not a surveillance society, MPs claim
Author: John Oates
Summary: The Home Affairs Committee has called on the government to follow a "minimum data, held for the minumum time" approach to British citizens' personal information in its long-awaited report into surveillance. ... On Home Office use of databases and sharing data the committee said there were three questions to be answered: "Where should the balance between protecting the public and preserving individual freedom lie? How should this balance shift according to the seriousness of the crime? What impact will this have on the individual and on our society as a whole?"
2008-06-05 - Computing - ID card critics query competitiveness of bidding process
Author: Tom Young
Summary: Last month's announcement that all five remaining suppliers bidding for £2bn-worth of contracts for the government’s ID card programme have gone through to the next round has prompted critics to question the rigour of the procurement process. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has yet to reject a single bidder from the original shortlist of eight ­- Accenture, BAE Systems and Steria dropped out of their own accord ­- while CSC, EDS, Fujitsu, IBM and Thales all went through to the next round.
2008-06-03 - Kable - ID supplier doesn't fear Tory government
Summary: The European boss of Fujitsu, one of the contractors to the National Identity Scheme, said he does not fear a Conservative victory at the next election The party's shadow home affairs minister David Davis has written to Fujitsu Services and the other vendors stating the Conservatives' intention to cancel the identity card scheme if they win the general election which must be held by 2010. But Richard Christou, Fujistu's corporate senior vice-president and head of European operations, told GC News: "I don't see that presents a particular problem. If you look at the contracts, the way they are let, a lot of them are to do with managing passports and the national identity database. I think those will happen in any event."
2008-05-27 - ZDNet - Fresh calls to bin ID cards as IT suppliers dwindle
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: The government is facing more calls to cancel its ID card scheme after it announced that all of the five remaining IT suppliers have now been short-listed to deliver the system. Opponents questioned whether the complex £2bn system has any chance of being run effectively or competitively when the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has just five companies left to choose from and five parts of the contract to fill.
2008-05-12 - Computer Weekly - The Sun reports on potential security flaw in NPfIT Choose and Book
Author: Tony Collins
Summary: The Sun has reported on a potential security breach with the “Choose and Book” system – part of the NPfIT - at a GP practice at Essex; and it has an editorial under the headline "Data Dunces". The editorial says: "There’s nothing more private than your medical records. Yet it seems anyone can access the NHS computer database. The Government promised it couldn’t happen. Yet a GP finds he can log in without security checks. Labour insist that the ID Cards database will be totally secure. But how can we believe them?"
2008-05-11 - The Observer - ID cards scheme 'is open to fraud'
Author: Jamie Doward
Summary: A government-appointed panel of experts is warning that the new ID cards system will be open to fraud by the people running it. The acknowledgements come as the government has admitted it is to contract out the taking of fingerprints and photographs of ID card applicants to the private sector to save money. The news has alarmed opponents of the scheme, who say this will increase the risk that the data of individuals will be illegally shared with third parties. 'By cutting costs and cutting corners, the Home Office has fundamentally undermined the integrity of the scheme,' said Phil Booth, spokesman for the campaign group, No2ID.
2008-05-08 - Guardian comment is free - Give it up, Gordon
Author: Damian Green MP
Summary: As the delays have grown, public support for ID cards has shrunk. The combination of the lost discs with 25 million people’s financial details, the 5,000 illegal immigrants cleared to work in the security industry, and the half a million false names on the DNA database have convinced people that putting all their most private information in the hands of the British state might not be the best of way of keeping it safe and secure. As a final killer blow, the government has lost the intellectual argument for the scheme, mainly because it keeps changing its case. At various stages, ID cards have been necessary to protect us from terrorism, illegal immigration, and benefit fraud. But former home secretaries, academics and senior figures in the IT industry have lined up to demolish each individual argument. I hesitate to suggest that the prime minister does something popular, right, and helpful for the public finances. This is not the usual role of opposition politicians. But the time has come, Gordon. Put yourself and us out of this particular piece of misery. Scrap the ID cards scheme now.
2008-05-08 - Kable - ID set up cost rises 37%
Summary: The cost of setting up the National Identity Scheme has risen by more than a third, as IPS considers discounts for off peak applications. In its biannual report on costs released on 6 May 2008, required under the Identity Cards Act 2006, the Identity and Passport Service said that the cost of establishing the scheme for the decade from October 2007 has risen by 37%, from £245m to £335m.
2008-05-07 - The Inquirer - Apparatchiks seek to cut costs of UK ID scheme
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: Following years of criticism that the ID scheme will amount to nothing more than an expensive bodge, the Identity and Passport service said it has slashed the cost by nearly a £1 billion. But opponents say it has cut corners to cut costs and British citizens will suffer the consequences, while the Home Office has had to create a rush job mini-ID scheme to meet its own 2009 deadline. The IPS said today that its cost estimate for giving ID cards to every UK national and running the system for 10 years had been cut from £5.43 million to £4.56 million. It had done this, it said in its quarterly ID costs report, by deciding to leave the “open market” to capture citizens’ biometrics, effectively outsourcing the cost of enrolling people onto the ID scheme.
2008-05-05 - The Scotsman - ID cards? Government can’t be trusted with our personal information
Author: Margaret Smith
Summary: We have seen only recently just how incompetent the Government is at keeping our personal information secure. Last year, HM Revenue and Customs lost computer discs containing the personal information of about 25 million people, including their bank account details and National Insurance numbers. ... The danger of databases increases with every increase in the amount of data they hold. A comprehensive national identity database, holding 50 pieces of personal information about every person in the UK, would be the most dangerous database of all. Yet the Government are still determined to press ahead with this scheme.
2008-04-22 - Kable - Minister seeks to cut £30 ID card cost
Summary: Home Office minister Meg Hillier has said the government wants industry to help drive down the cost of the identity cards to the public. The first cards will be issued at a charge of £30, but Hillier said that as the volume issued increased, companies should be able to produce them more cheaply. She emphasised, however, that most of the cost of the scheme was created not by the cards themselves, but by databases and supporting systems.
2008-04-09 - Kable - IPS wants service pilots for ID cards
Summary: The Identity and Passport Service is discussing a round of pilots that use identity cards to join up service delivery. James Hall, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service, told GC News the agency is talking to government departments about how the card may be used to support service delivery. He said the move has the enthusiastic support of the home secretary and that the IPS is aiming to run some early pilots.
2008-03-14 - Information World Review - MPs raise fears over data protection for national ID register
Summary: Repeated breaches of data protection laws by government departments raise huge question marks over plans for the national identity register required for ID cards and biometric passport, an influential parliamentary human rights watchdog has warned. MPs and peers on the Lords and Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights said repeated losses of personal information by departments had increased their concern, and announced they "intend to take a close interest in the government's detailed proposals for the national identity register as and when they emerge."
2008-03-13 - Computing - Experts wary over ID card plan
Author: Tom Young
Summary: Home Office slows ID card rollout as independent Treasury study recommends fast implementation. The government's failure to take on board the recommendations of independent reports on the national identity card scheme may lead to faults and extra cost, warn experts...
2008-03-11 - ZDNet - ID cards chief dismisses U-turn claims
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: The head of Britain's ID cards project and national identity database has defended the government's revised ID-card plans in the face of allegations of a U-turn, after the project was scaled back. ... Shadow home secretary David Davis launched a further attack, citing the risk of a massive data breach on the system. He said: "It is something very dangerous the government [is] doing. We would cancel this database."
2008-03-08 - Daily Mail - Nothing to hide, but plenty to fear from Ms ID Card
Author: Peter Hitchens
Summary: Ms Smith has now put off plans to force us to be fingerprinted when we renew our passports, probably until 2012. Originally, this was meant to have started by now, but thousands of people renewed their passports early – to avoid being fingerprinted and to protest – and this has plainly frightened the Home Office. We can still beat this grotesque plan.
2008-03-06 - The Times - Identity cards link to passports is cut
Summary: The public will be allowed to apply for identity cards without having to wait to renew their passports, under moves to speed up the scheme and cut its £5.6 billion costs (Richard Ford writes). Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, will announce the move today in the belief that there is a large market for the card, which can be used for travel within the European Union. This would speed up the issuing of cards and help to get people’s biometrics on to the national identity register. Ms Smith will also announce that some foreign nationals resident in Britain will be issued with an ID card within the next few weeks under a pilot scheme.
2008-03-06 - The Daily Politics - Id Cards
Summary: Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn discuss ID cards with Meg Hillier of the Home Office and Phil Booth of NO2ID, a campaign group opposed to the initiative. They're also joined by Baroness Young
2008-03-05 - Computing - First compulsory ID cards to be announced, claim Tories
Summary: The Conservatives have claimed that the government will announce plans tomorrow to make identity cards compulsory for airport workers. Shadow home secretary David Davis said he believed Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will make the announcement on Thursday in breach of an undertaking not to introduce compulsion without a prior vote by MPs. About 100,000 airside staff are expected to be covered in a statement from Smith to MPs, which is thought to be in line with leaks last month indicating a national rollout is being postponed to 2012 but that workers in sensitive locations would be covered sooner.
2008-02-26 - silicon - ID cards: Gov't slap on fines of up to £1,000
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: The latest government ID card plans have revealed people will face fines of up to £1,000 for skipping biometric scans. Penalties ranging from £125 for not notifying the government of the loss of an ID card, to £250 for not applying for a card or missing an appointment for fingerprint and facial scans, were revealed in the Home Office consultation papers. The fines would apply to foreign nationals entering or living in the UK, who will be required to have ID cards from November - ahead of the cards' introduction for UK citizens next year.
2008-02-20 - Channel 4 Political Slot - Channel 4 Political Slot: No to ID cards
Author: Nick Clegg MP
Summary: Nick Clegg featured in a anti id video ... "under the proposed id card scheme, the government will start collecting massive amounts of information about each and every one of us. Where you have ever lived, where you where born, your pin number and eventually even your fingerprints. We will have queue up out side registration centres to be checked, they will look at details of our bank and mortgage accounts, and then we will have to pay through the nose for the privileged. No wonder the more people know about this scheme, the less they like it." ... "The projected cost of id cards, surprise surprise, keeps going up, they told us it would cost 1.3 billion pounds, but the latest estimate for the whole scheme is 7.5 billion pounds. If we spent that money on extra police we would have far more impact on crime terrorism. This wasteful scheme is an out rage. I promise to do every thing I can to stop it. I personally will refuse to put my details on the register, even if that means going to court. By acting together we can stop this government from forcing us to give them precious personnel information about each and every one of us. Information which fraudsters are gaging to get their hands on."
2008-02-20 - Finacial Times - MPs deride £5.4bn cure-all
Author: Jim Pickard and Jimmy Burns
Summary: Meg Hillier, Home Office minister, will next week outline details of the next phase of Britain's £5.4bn ID card programme - with the government insisting that the public still wants the scheme. But with MPs yesterday calling for the project to be ditched, ministers have a fight on their hands to justify not only its cost but its scope.
2008-02-13 - The Register - How believable are government claims on ID cards?
Author: John Oates
Summary: British people are maintaining steady levels of disbelief over goverment claims about ID cards, according to official Home Office research.
2008-02-13 - Daily Mail - Less than a quarter of us think ID cards will work
Author: James Slack
Summary: Only 24 per cent of us are convinced that the £5.5billion ID card scheme will achieve its aims, a survey revealed yesterday. The poll, by the Government’s own Identity and Passport Service, showed that there is widespread scepticism about the plans. Only 27 per cent of the 2,000 surveyed found it "very believable" that ID cards would disrupt terrorist plots. Just 29 per cent believed identity fraud would be slashed. On the matter of making it more difficult for illegals to work in the UK - one of Labour’s key aims for the cards - the figure fell to 24 per cent. The report on the findings admitted: "Across the board, full buy-in and belief in the scheme’s ability to deliver the proposed benefits is weak."
2008-02-13 - The Times - New database increases power of surveillance over citizens
Author: Richard Ford
Summary: More than half the population supports the Government’s controversial identity card scheme, according to a survey for the Home Office. ... The research, the most recent available, was carried out before HM Revenue and Customs lost two CDs containing the personal details of 25 million people.
2008-02-11 - BBC - The campaign group: No2ID
Author: Brian Wheeler
Summary: Like many great - and not-so-great - ideas, the No2ID campaign against identity cards and the "database state" started with a trip to the pub. In less than four years it has become one of the best-known single issue campaign groups. Public concern about data security is running high at the moment, after the loss of millions of bank details by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and other scandals. Even Prime Minister Gordon Brown appears to be having a few second thoughts about whether the cards should be compulsory - and the scheme’s introduction was recently delayed by two years. But in early 2004, when the then Home Secretary David Blunkett first proposed a national identity register, it seemed the only real opposition would come from what Mr Blunkett liked to deride as "airy fairy libertarians". Groups attending a public meeting at the London School of Economics in May 2004, where the idea of a campaign against ID cards was first proposed, included Privacy International and Liberty. Speakers included the future Conservative leader David Cameron. In the pub afterwards, the No2ID campaign was officially born.
2008-02-10 - The Times - The Last Enemy turns eyes on the spies
Author: Sally Kinnes
Summary: With the would-be energy and pace of the American series 24, The Last Enemy is a cautionary tale about where such a technology-driven society might lead. It tells the story of Stephen Ezard (Benedict Cumberbatch), a brilliant but reclusive mathematician who has obsessive-compulsive disorder. He returns to Britain after several years when his brother (Max Beesley) is killed, and finds that it is an ID-demanding, card-swiping, body-searching nation where surveillance is omnipresent. For Berry (who also wrote Prime Suspect 6), the germ of the idea was planted when he saw two men at Euston station. “They were businessmen, in overcoats, and one was larger than the other. The larger one picked a piece of lint from the smaller one’s coat, as though he owned him. The other one looked completely powerless.” For Berry, this was a metaphor for identity cards. While The Last Enemy is not about the rights and wrongs of ID cards, the threat that the technology behind them will get out of hand makes for high, perhaps paranoid drama. "The idea of having to account for yourself to someone who has power over you is so appalling," Berry says. "You may not have to carry it, but if you don't, you will have to report to a police station within 24 to 48 hours. I don't want to live like that." Anyway, like all technology, ID cards are open to fraud. The series demonstrates how to forge fingerprints for £10.
2008-02-07 - The Register - Brits split on ID cards
Author: John Oates
Summary: The British public is evenly split on ID cards - 47 per cent think they're a good idea while 50 per cent think not. Fuller survey results available as a pdf here.
2008-02-07 - ZDNet - Half of UK opposed to ID cards
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: Support for the UK's national ID card programme continues to plummet, with one quarter of people saying they are strongly opposed to the scheme. The idea of the government taking data submitted for one use and sharing it between departments also made 52 percent of respondents uncomfortable.
2008-02-06 - The Guardian - Poll shows growing opposition to ID cards over data fears
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: 25% now strongly against their use, says ICM survey, Majority concerned about sharing of personal details, 50% against 47% in favour. The number of people strongly opposed to the introduction of a national identity card scheme has risen sharply, according to the results of an ICM poll to be published today. Those campaigning against ID cards said last night that the poll, with results showing that 25% of the public are deeply opposed to the idea, raises the prospect that the potential number of those likely to refuse to register for the card has risen. If the poll's findings were reflected in the wider population, as many as 10 million people may be expected to refuse to comply. The ICM survey also shows that a majority of the British people say they are "uncomfortable" with the idea that personal data provided to the government for one purpose should be shared between all Whitehall-run public services.
2008-01-31 - The Guardian - Our state collects more data than the Stasi ever did. We need to fight back
Author: Timothy Garton Ash
Summary: To trust in the good intentions of our rulers is to put liberty at risk. I'd go to jail rather than accept this kind of ID card. ... Today, the people of East Germany are much less spied upon than the people of Britain. The human rights group Privacy International rates Britain as an "endemic surveillance society", along with China and Russia, whereas Germany scores much better. ... All this from a government which, having collected so much data on us, goes around losing it like a late-night drunk spreading the contents of his pockets down the street. Twenty-five million people's details mislaid by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs; at least 100,000 more on an awol Royal Navy laptop; and so it goes on. ... The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has said he would go to jail rather than accept an ID card of this intrusive kind. So would I. And so, I believe, would many thousands of our fellow-citizens. (There's a good website called NO2ID where you can join the fray.) Which is why, I suspect, the government won't be so foolish. But we need to draw the line well before ID cards. There are liberties that we have already given away, while sleeping, and we must claim them back.
2008-01-29 - The Register - Forget passports - teachers and kids are the new ID card targets
Author: John Lettice
Summary: Teachers and 16 year olds are the favoured 'soft targets' for the redesigned ID card scheme rollout, according to an Identity & Passport Service planning document. As suggested in leaks last weekend, IPS now plans to soft-pedal fingerprints and - astoundingly - it seems on the point of abandoning the notion of forcing ID cards onto the public via passport renewals.
2008-01-28 - Kable - IPS sticks to fingerprint plan
Summary: The Identity and Passport Service has denied that fingerprints could be dropped from the National Identity Register. An IPS spokesperson also described as "entirely wrong" reports of plans to prevent young people who do not have an identity card from obtaining a student loan in the future.
2008-01-27 - The Guardian - Costs set to rule out register of fingerprints
Author: Jamie Doward
Summary: The future of the UK's identity card scheme was thrown into further confusion last night after it emerged that the Home Office is looking to scrap one of its key components - a national register of fingerprints.
2008-01-27 - Financial Times - No ID, no problem
Summary: In the two years since legislation for a UK national identity card scheme gained royal assent, the case against the multi-billion pound programme has become overwhelming. The government’s arguments in favour have crumpled. Now, if leaked official documents are to be believed, its roll-out is to be delayed until 2012. Some investors, concerned that it is not worth the wait, are already walking away. Gordon Brown inherited this deeply flawed plan from his predecessor as prime minister. He should follow his instincts and abandon it altogether.
2008-01-25 - ZDNet - Students refuse to be 'guinea pigs' for ID cards
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: Students have launched a stinging attack on UK government proposals to make young people "guinea pigs" for ID cards. Leaked Home Office documents reveal teenagers may need an ID card to open a bank account or take out a student loan from 2010 — making them among the first people to have the biometric cards in the UK. The National Union of Students (NUS) described the revelation in the leaked National Identity Scheme Delivery Strategy document as "morally reprehensible" and said it would bog students down in red tape.
2008-01-24 - The Register - Accenture and BAE pull out of ID card project
Author: John Oates
Summary: The UK ID card project suffered another serious blow today with news that two potential suppliers have pulled out of the procurement process. ... Documents leaked yesterday reveal the Home Office will target teenagers for early take-up of the cards. Anyone wanting to open a bank account, apply for student funding or buy alcohol or cigarettes will be forced to buy an ID card.
2008-01-24 - Kable - Two retreat from ID card procurement
Summary: BAE Systems and Accenture have withdrawn from discussions on the procurement framework for the National Identity Scheme. A spokesperson for the Identity and Passport Service, which is managing the scheme, confirmed to GC News that the two companies had dropped out of the process, saying it was "part of the competitive dialogue".
2008-01-24 - The Guardian - No student loan without ID card, says government
Author: Anthea Lipsett
Summary: Students will be "blackmailed" into holding identity cards in order to apply for student loans, the Tories have warned. According to Home Office documents leaked to the Conservative party last night, those applying for student loans will be forced to hold identity cards to get the funding from 2010. ... Shadow immigration minister Damian Green called the plans "straightforward blackmail" to bolster "a failing policy". "This is an outrageous plan. The government has seen its ID cards proposals stagger from shambles to shambles. They are clearly trying to introduce them by stealth."
2008-01-24 - Daily Express - Students will be bribed to accept the first ID Cards
Author: Tom Whitehead
Summary: Students are to be "blackmailed" into having ID cards, the Tories warned yesterday. Without them they would be unable to open bank accounts or access loans, it was claimed. ...

On the targeting of young people, Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "This is an outrageous plan."

2008-01-24 - Silicon - Students revolt against being ID card "guinea pigs"
Author: Nick Heath
Summary: Students have launched a stinging attack on UK government proposals to make young people "guinea pigs" for ID cards. ... The National Union of Students (NUS) described the revelation in the leaked National Identity Scheme Delivery Strategy document as "morally reprehensible" and said it would bog students down in red tape. ... Shadow immigration minister, Damian Green, said: "The government are clearly trying to introduce the cards by stealth. This is straightforward blackmail and a desperate attempt to bolster a failing policy."
2008-01-24 - The Mirror - ID cards by 2010..but just for students
Author: Bob Roberts
Summary: Students are to be "blackmailed" into carrying ID cards two years before the rest of Britain, leaked papers revealed last night. Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: "This is an outrageous plan. The Government have seen their ID proposals stagger from shambles to shambles. They are trying to introduce them by stealth by making them necessary if you want to work for the Government, take out a student loan or open a student bank account."
2008-01-23 - Daily Mail - Youngsters to be 'blackmailed' into getting identity cards
Author: James Slack
Summary: Young people who want to open bank accounts will be "blackmailed" into having ID cards by 2010, leaked documents revealed last night. Anyone aged 16 or over will be expected to obtain a card - costing up to £100 - when they first open an account or apply for a student loan to get through university. ... Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green called the plans "straightforward blackmail" to bolster "a failing policy". He added: "The Government have seen their ID cards proposals stagger from shambles to shambles. They are clearly trying to introduce them by stealth."
2008-01-23 - The Financial Times - Companies abandon ID card project
Author: Maija Palmer and Jimmy Burns
Summary: The IT services company Accenture and the defence company BAE Systems have decided not to pursue contracts linked to the biometric identity card system, with IT experts warning that some suppliers are growing increasingly frustrated with the government’s indecision. ... Last night the Home Office confirmed a further leak suggesting that smaller volumes of ID cards should first be issued from 2010 onwards to young people to "assist" them in opening up their first bank accounts as well as to individuals employed in "positions of trust", such as teachers and social workers. ... Damian Green, shadow immigration minister, said last night that the leaked documents showed that the government was engaged in an "outrageous plan" which was "staggering from shambles to shambles". Mr Green said: "They are trying to introduce ID cards by stealth by making them necessary if you want to work for the government, take out a student loan or open a student bank account." "This is blackmail and a desperate attempt to bolster a failing policy."
2008-01-23 - Telegraph - National ID cards scheme delayed until 2012
Author: James Kirkup
Summary: The Government's national identity card scheme was "in the intensive care ward" after leaked documents showed plans to issue UK citizens with the cards have been delayed until after the next election. Amid growing doubts that the multibillion pound scheme will ever see the light of day, a confidential Home Office report suggests that the widespread introduction of cards for British nationals will not come until 2012 at the earliest. ... Further fuelling suspicions of a Government climbdown on ID cards, a major review of the scheme appears to have been shelved. James Crosby, the head of the HBOS bank, completed a review of the potential private sector uses for ID cards last year. But the Treasury has now confirmed there is no date set for its publication.
2008-01-23 - Computer Active - ID cards to arrive in 2012
Author: Andrea-Marie Vassou
Summary: UK citizens will receive their compulsory national ID card two years after the proposed date, according to documents leaked to the Conservative party. ... Security expert Richard Clayton agreed, attributing the delay to the Government's recent "incompetent handling of private data". Becky Hogge, director at the the Open Rights Group told Computeractive: "It would come as no surprise if the Government was to reconsider its plans for ID cards given its recent record on data protection."
2008-01-23 - The Guardian - ID card scheme put off until after election
Author: Patrick Wintour and Alan Travis
Summary: A compulsory identity card system for British citizens looks as if it will be deferred beyond the next election, according to documents leaked to the Conservative. Leaked documents show starting date of 2012. Pilot plan for foreign nationals to start this year.
2008-01-21 - The Guardian - The national ID register will leak like a battered bucket
Author: Jackie Ashley
Summary: The record of lost data of the past few years should be a warning to us all: our personal details are safe in nobody's hands. ... With the national database for ID cards looming, just how much do you trust the government to keep your identity details safe? ... The government is going to introduce a single system for all our identities. And I promise, you can't trust it. It will leak like a battered old bucket.
2008-01-15 - The Guardian - ID cards for foreigners within three years
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: The introduction of compulsory identity cards for foreign nationals in Britain will take at least three years to complete, ministers are to confirm this month. Despite repeated promises from ministers, including Gordon Brown, as recently as last week, that compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals will be introduced from this year, the Home Office is expected to confirm that their introduction is to be gradually phased in because that is "less risky" and will "minimise the burden on businesses".
2008-01-14 - BBC - New ID bill 'several years' away
Summary: UK citizens are unlikely to be made to get an ID card for "several years" because a voluntary scheme needs time to "run in", a minister has said. But Home Office minister Liam Byrne insisted the government remained enthusiastic about compulsory ID cards. Gordon Brown last week appeared to have cooled on compulsory ID cards after describing them as just an "option". But Mr Byrne said the PM was reflecting the fact MPs would have to pass new legislation for cards to be compulsory.
2008-01-14 - The Register - Immigrant ID cards and border checks slip towards 2009
Author: John Lettice
Summary: Immigration minister Liam Byrne has concealed what looks like further ID card slippage and set himself a remarkably unchallenging series of immigration and border control targets in a "ten point plan" for 2008. Humorously described by the Home Office as "challenging", the plan consists largely of low targets, targets already achieved, and harder targets lobbed off into the middle distance. Check out the roadmap. Down at the bottom it tells us that Byrne won't start issuing immigrant ID cards until the second week in November (330 days, count them), won't start counting foreign nationals in and out of the country until the year end, and won't hit the target of processing 60 per cent of asylum claims within six months until the end of the year either.
2008-01-10 - The Independent - Brown gives himself 'wriggle room' on ID cards scheme
Summary: The commitment of Gordon Brown to identity cards was in question last night after he declined to say if he personally supported making them compulsory. ... Downing Street and the Home Office insisted that the scheme was on track. But opponents of identity cards detected a softening in the Prime Minister's enthusiasm following a series of scandals over the loss of personal data by government departments.
2008-01-09 - BBC - Brown 'still supports ID cards'
Summary: Gordon Brown has not changed his mind on identity cards despite speculation he is preparing for a U-turn, a home office minister has told the BBC. Meg Hillier said the PM had "made it very clear" he supported the scheme. Tory leader David Cameron has written to Mr Brown asking for clarification after a Commons clash over whether he wants them to be compulsory or not. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said he believed there had been a "significant shift" in the government's position. The row was ignited by an interview Mr Brown gave to a Sunday newspaper in which he said: "Under our proposals there is no compulsion for existing British citizens".
2008-01-07 - NO2ID - Evasive Brown misleads about ID scheme
Summary: Gordon Brown lied in his interview with The Observer, says NO2ID. The civil liberties and privacy campaign this morning accused the Prime Minister of making deliberately misleading statements about ID cards in a "softball" interview with the Observer, published this Sunday, 6th January. A list of statements and links to what is factually incorrect about them.
2008-01-04 - The Guardian - Whitehall wastes £2bn on abandoned computer projects
Author: Bobbie Johnson and David Hencke
Summary: The cost to the taxpayer of abandoned Whitehall computer projects since 2000 has reached almost £2bn, not including the bill for an online crime reporting site that was cancelled this week, a survey by the Guardian reveals. ... The extensive list of failed projects calls into question other major government IT programmes, such as the proposed £5bn ID cards scheme.
2008-01-03 - The Times - Just don't do it: a motto for Gordon
Author: Anatole Kaletsky
Summary: If the Prime Minister wants to get his Government back on track, here is some more seasonal advice to get him started ... You should do exactly the same with the ruinously costly national ID card scheme. The data management fiascos have proved that government cannot cope with more information. Nobody has given a convincing argument for a national ID scheme - and anyway, you will incite a revolution if you try to force the British to carry compulsory identity cards like the Germans and French. You may believe that you have no alternative but to carry on with a programme to which you are publicly committed. But if you are banging your head against a brick wall, there is always an alternative: stop doing it.
2008-01-02 - eGov monitor - 2008 will be a momentous year for the Liberal Democrats
Author: Nick Clegg MP
Summary: ... In control of their own privacy, not forced to submit personal information to a massive government identity database. ... So we should campaign tirelessly to stop the expensive, invasive and unnecessary Identity Cards scheme in its tracks. The child benefit and learner drivers’ data loss scandals mean there is a looming crisis of public confidence in the government’s capacity to look after their personal information. So let 2008 be the year we bring down the Identity Cards scheme.
2008-01-01 - The Guardian - Give them up for new year
Summary: Mr Brown previously let it be known that he saw big problems with Tony Blair's pet ID card project. But when he moved into No 10, polls showing strong support for the scheme deterred an immediate change of course. That support has now slipped thanks to concern about lost data; it will slip further as the costs become stark. After a battering few months, Mr Brown must use the new year to define his government more sharply, making plain how it differs from what went before. He should ditch ID cards — and make a virtue of the change.


2007-12-31 - BBC - Clegg pledging to fight ID cards
Summary: The new Lib Dem leader has pledged to campaign "tirelessly" against "expensive, invasive" ID cards in 2008. Nick Clegg said the recent data loss "scandals" had created a lack of public confidence in the government's ability to look after personal information. His comments were made in his New Year message to the Lib Dem party.
2007-12-30 - The Sunday Times - Beware the state’s ID card sharks
Author: David Davis MP the shadow home secretary
Summary: If Gordon Brown picks one failure from his first six months to learn from, it should be the loss of 25m people’s personal details. If he makes one resolution for 2008, it should be to scrap his reckless plan to introduce compulsory ID cards. "Discgate" was the result of ministerial incompetence, but also flawed policy. As chancellor, Brown relentlessly pursued his forlorn vision of a "joined-up identity management regime" across public services. As prime minister, he continues this vain search, like an obsessed alchemist, for a giant database that his closest advisers ominously refer to as a "single source of truth".
2007-12-28 - The Register - Byrne puts fake ID frighteners on illegal employers
Author: John Lettice
Summary: Immigration Minister Liam Byrne is to celebrate the first wave of the ID card rollout next year with a scary ad campaign threatening employers of illegal immigrants with fines of £10,000 per offence and up to two years in prison. But even by the low standards of the Home Office, "the biggest shake-up of the immigration system for 40 years" promises to be impressively toothless - if Byrne is depending on the fine income for the 2009 New Year party, he will be a disappointed man.
2007-12-24 - The Independent - PM in new pledge to secure databases
Author: Andrew Grice
Summary: Gordon Brown has accepted that the Government will need to bring in new safeguards to restore public confidence in the huge databases held by state-run services. ... His pledge came during a telephone conversation with Nick Clegg in the past week. The new Liberal Democrat leader raised the dangers of pressing ahead with giant databases across the public sector, warning that the Government faced a "serious backlash". He also reiterated his party's objections to a national identity card scheme. Mr Brown supports the idea, but is likely to seek extra safeguards to allay the public's doubts.
2007-12-13 - The Midlothian Advertiser - MSPs consider ID cards plan
Summary: A Liberal Democrat-led debate in Scottish Parliament calls on the Scottish Government not to allow the UK ID database to access personal information held by authorities in Scotland and that there should be no blanket retention of DNA samples.
2007-12-07 - The Guardian - In the age of leaky data, there is no such thing as a secure online computer
Author: Simon Jenkins
Summary: This week Britain's information commissioner, Richard Thomas, confessed that "a stream" of sheepish data custodians had formed outside his door "on a confessional basis" after last month's Revenue & Customs child-benefit data leak. They had all lost material that the public had entrusted to their care. They had taken it home, posted it somewhere, left it on a bus, dumped it in a bin or sent it to some government department. ... The groups most eagerly awaiting the government’s ID computer are criminals and terrorists. The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, will supply them with detailed, supposedly confidential identification, including digitised biometrics, of every British citizen and visitor passing through immigration.
2007-12-07 - BBC - Better data protection 'required'
Summary: A report by Demos warns that people are losing control of their private data and are not sufficiently aware of how many bodies hold their information. The report comes less than a month after HM Revenue and Customs lost discs containing 25 million people's details. ... Demos recommends a stronger role for the Information Commissioner's Office, with new powers to audit any organisation holding personal information. It also says plans for ID cards must have "belated public engagement" or the scheme should be "abandoned".
2007-12-07 - Kable - Thomas demands ID card clarity
Summary: The information commissioner has reiterated the need for clear communication and transparency over the main purpose of the National ID Card Scheme. In relation to the ID card programme, Thomas remarked: "It is inevitable that the problems at HMRC will lead to some fresh thinking. We need to be clear about what is the primary purpose of the ID Card Scheme. Is it the fight against crime and terrorism? Is it providing people better and easier access to public services? Is it to prevent identity theft?"
2007-12-05 - The Guardian - Information chief calls for review of ID card plans
Author: Patrick Wintour
Summary: The Information Commissioner told the justice select committee that the scale of the ID cards plan needs to be reviewed and that the government isn't clear about it's objectives for the scheme "Any massive collection of information like the identity card carries risk ... We still have some uncertainties about what the primary purpose of the identity card is ... Is it to improve policing, to fight terrorism, to improve public services, to avoid identity theft? I think there is a lot of thinking still to be done on its primary purpose."
2007-12-05 - Computing - ICO warns of more breaches
Author: Tom Young
Summary: More cases of public information lost by central government departments have come to light since the HMRC fiasco, Information Commissioner Richard Thomas told the Commons Justice committee yesterday. ... The commissioner also warned that the governments national biometric identity cards programme needs to be reviewed carefully - particularly the plan to keep records every time a card is used. "Keeping this massive database with records of every time the card is swiped through a terminal is distinctly unattractive and would increase the risks," he said.
2007-12-05 - The Register - Information Commissioner calls for more money and more powers
Author: John Oates
Summary: Giving evidence to the House of Commons Justice Committee hearing on the protection of private data, Information Commissioner Richard Thomas called for changes in the law and a rethink on government data-sharing between departments. ... Asked about the ID card project, Thomas said it was difficult to comment in detail because the primary purpose of the cards was still not clear.
2007-12-04 - BBC - More firms 'admit disc failings'
Summary: Several firms have admitted security failings in the wake of the loss of two discs containing 25 million people's details, MPs have been told. ... The Information Commissioner Richard Thomas told the justice committee "I would question whether anybody should be allowed to download an entire database of this scale without going through the most rigorous pre-authorisation checks." "It was a really shocking example of loss of security." He also said he continued to have "anxieties" about the impending introduction of ID cards, particularly if information would be uploaded onto central databases, whenever cards are used.
2007-12-03 - The Telegraph - Poll shows more people now oppose ID cards
Author: Philip Johnston
Summary: More people now oppose Labour's proposed ID cards than support them, a poll for The Daily Telegraph has found. Just 43 per cent of those questioned said they favoured the introduction of a national identity scheme compared with 48 per cent who were against. It is the first time YouGov has found more against than in favour. ... Since then, there has been a gradual erosion in support for ID cards and the recent loss of the country's entire child benefit records on two CDs seems to have tipped the balance. ... Phil Booth, of the campaign group No2ID, said: "Clearly a majority no longer trust that the Government can secure their personal information.
2007-11-28 - The Register - Tories: Europeans could get access to UK ID database
Author: Lewis Page
Summary: News emerged yesterday of a mysterious international ID card plan, described by the Tories as "a European-wide identity card project called Project Stork". The Conservatives suggested in Parliament that Stork was a huge Europe-wide extension to the planned UK National ID card with its associated databases and biometrics. "How," asked the shadow Home Sec David Davis, did the government intend to "prevent a repetition of the disaster of the past few weeks when sensitive personal data are held not by one Government but by 27?" ... The Home Office, asked about this, said that proposals had indeed been submitted but they didn't expect any EC decision before next April. Even then, they were at pains to emphasise that "this is purely a research effort". When it was pointed out that the Belgians were calling Stork a "large-scale pilot", the Home Office spokesman said "well, we're calling it a research project."
2007-11-27 - Daily Mail - Lost disc fiasco could scupper ID card scheme
Author: James Slack
Summary: Leading academics have rounded on the Government's "fairytale view" of the technology needed to make the scheme work on its introduction in 2009. In a letter to MPs, Professor Ross Anderson and Dr Richard Clayton warned lives would be ruined if information from the ID database went missing. The Cambridge computer experts said that if iris or fingerprint scans fell into the wrong hands the victim would suffer a lifetime of fraud. Unlike with bank accounts, the individual would have no way of changing their details. Ministers claim the biometric data will protect against fraud, crime and terrorism.
2007-11-27 - Kable - MP claims ID card terror loophole
Summary: A Conservative MP has claimed the government's ID cards strategy will not protect the UK from terrorists. Speaking in the Commons on 26 November 2007, Tory MP Patrick Mercer said that those who were resident in the country for three months or less would not be required to carry an identity card.
2007-11-27 - Computing - ID cards criticised as "fairy tale"
Author: Tom Young
Summary: The national biometric identity card programme should be suspended until security fears have been eliminated, according to a group of academics. The open letter to Andrew Dismore, Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, refutes chancellor Alistair Darling's statement that the scheme will increase protection against identity fraud. "These assertions are based on a fairy-tale view of the capabilities of the technology, and in addition, only deal with one aspect of the problems that this type of data breach causes," it says.
2007-11-26 - Blogzilla - Biometrics are not a panacea for data loss
Author: Ian Brown
Summary: Copy of the letter sent to Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights. The government, in response to the recent HMRC Child Benefit data breach, has asserted that personal information on the proposed National Identity Register (NIR) will be 'biometrically secured'. These assertions are based on a fairy-tale view of the capabilities of the technology, and in addition, only deal with one aspect of the problems that this type of data breach causes. ...
2007-11-24 - The Guardian - Two discs, 25m names and a lot of questions
Author: Esther Addley
Summary: The personal records of 25 million people, including their dates of birth, addresses, bank accounts and national insurance numbers, were lost in the post on October 18, leaving half the British population at risk of large scale fraud. ... Does this mean the end of ID cards? Both the chancellor and prime minister insisted there would be no change of policy on ID cards, but in practice ministers have privately said the scheme will be reviewed in the spring, following a report from the information commissioner, Richard Thomas, into the way the government holds citizens' personal information. Thomas said this week he would like breaches of this kind to become a criminal offence, adding that he would demand powers to conduct random spot checks of government departments to ensure their data handling procedures were as secure as possible.
2007-11-24 - The Guardian - Now for ID cards - and the biometric blues
Author: Ben Goldacre
Summary: When Alistair Darling was asked if the government will ditch ID cards in the light of this week's data cock-up, he replied: "The key thing about identity cards is, of course, that information is protected by personal biometric information. The problem at present is that, because we do not have that protection, information is much more vulnerable than it should be." ... Tsutomu Matsumoto is a Japanese mathematician, a cryptographer who works on security, and he decided to see if he could fool the machines which identify you by your fingerprint. ... it fools fingerprint detectors about 80% of the time.
2007-11-23 - The Financial Times - Crisis of identity
Summary: Gordon Brown has told us a national identity card scheme would make people feel safer. The reverse is true... the gross mishandling of child-benefit data should be the final nail in the coffin of this deeply flawed scheme. Even before this week, the case against ID cards was strong. Civil liberties campaigners argue, with force, that Britain is at risk of becoming a “surveillance society”...ID cards will be yet another infringement of personal freedom
2007-11-23 - The Times - Poll tracks anger over data loss
Author: Peter Riddell and Francis Elliott
Summary: Public anger over the loss by Revenue & Customs of 25 million sets of personal details and deepening gloom over the economy has led to a dramatic collapse of confidence in Gordon Brown’s competence. The number of voters who think that the Prime Minister and Alistair Darling, his Chancellor, can be trusted to handle economic problems has more than halved in a little over two months, according to a poll for The Times.
2007-11-22 - Kable - Cameron calls for ID card re-think
Summary: The Conservative leader has warned of the dangers to data security posed by the national identity card scheme. David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, called on prime minister Gordon Brown to re-think his plans for a national identity register, following the "appalling blunder" which led to the huge loss of child benefit data from HM Revenue and Customs. He said that the public "will find it truly bizarre - they will find it weird - that the prime minister does not stop and think about the dangers of a National Identity Register".
2007-11-21 - The Guardian - Home Office insists biometric data is secure
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: The Home Office last night sought to shore up public trust in its £5.6bn identity card project, as the failure over child benefit records fed into anxieties over so-called "Big Brother" databases. Critics of the "surveillance society" claimed the ID cards project could not now go ahead without a review of its privacy safeguards to see if they worked. They also raised concern about leaks from other databases, including NHS personal records and the new children's register.
2007-11-19 - Computerworld UK - Government policies threaten data privacy, warns information commissioner
Author: Tash Shifrin
Summary: Information commissioner Richard Thomas has listed a string of government policies that he feels threaten data protection rights. The data protection watchdog provided the list to the House of Lords constitution committee as part of its inquiry into the impact of surveillance and data collection. He highlighted policies including the national identity database that will underpin the controversial ID cards scheme – “an area of particular concern” – the e-borders passenger checking policy, the full electronic health records being rolled out as part of the NHS’s £12.4bn computer overhaul.
2007-11-19 - IT Week - Biometric ID cards planned
Author: Kim Thomas
Summary: Biometric ID cards could be adopted throughout the European Union (EU) by 2010 if a proposed regulation goes ahead. The regulation, scheduled for adoption before the end of this year, will introduce a standard version of the resident permit that all 27 member states issue to nationals from outside the EU. The aim is to make it easier to verify that someone is entitled to residence.
2007-11-12 - ZDNet - ID cards to cost over £5.6bn
Author: Gemma Simpson
Summary: The UK's ID cards scheme will cost more than £5.6bn to set up and run over the next 10 years, according to the latest Home Office figures.
2007-11-10 - BBC - Peer 'ready to defy ID card law'
Summary: The Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Williams has said she would rather go to prison than carry an identity card. Baroness Williams said the cards would seriously undermine individual liberty so people were entitled to refuse their co-operation, using non-violent means.
2007-11-09 - The Independent - Cost of biometric passport 'over £100'
Author: Sadie Gray
Summary: The cost of a biometric passport and identity card has risen above the £100 barrier after the Government announced that the scheme would cost more than £5.6bn over the next 10 years. Campaigners against ID cards said the bill could rise further after the Home Office's Identity and Passport Service (IPS) admitted there were "uncertainties" over the cost of the scheme and there was a "significant probability" that its estimates would change. ... Applicants for identity cards in 2009 may end up having their fingerprints taken in post offices or travel agencies, as negotiations have begun to find private outlets to supplement the national network of 70 new ID card offices, IPS chief executive James Hall said.
2007-11-09 - The Guardian - Cost of ID card and passport rises to £100
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: The cost of providing an identity card combined with a new-generation biometric passport has now passed the £100 mark as the latest official estimate yesterday put the total price tag of the scheme at £5.6bn over the next 10 years. James Hall, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service, yesterday indicated that people applying for identity cards from 2009 might have to give their fingerprints in post offices and travel agents, on top of the network of 70 new ID card offices. He disclosed that negotiations were starting to find private outlets to supplement the national network of ID card and passport offices being built across the country.
2007-11-09 - The Register - Synergy gone mad - travel agents to enrol for £100 ID card?
Author: Lewis Page
Summary: The estimated cost of the UK national ID card scheme continues to climb, with the combined card-&-biometric-passport price now passing £100. And IPS chief executive James Hall suggests that Post Offices and travel agents may be recruited to enrol people to the scheme.
2007-11-08 - BBC - ID card scheme 'to cost £5.6bn'
Summary: The projected cost of the identity card scheme will be £5.612bn over the next 10 years, the Home Office says. ... Lib Dem spokesman Nick Clegg said it was a "vast waste of taxpayers' money" which should be spent on more police. The Conservatives also oppose ID cards and say they would scrap the scheme in favour of a dedicated border police force. ... Phil Booth, of the anti-identity card group No2ID, said the Home Office was "keeping billions off the true cost of the scheme". He said: "The conveniently sliding budget looks only to the rosiest future, and fails to acknowledge the biggest black hole of all, compulsory interrogation of the entire adult population."
2007-11-05 - The Guardian - ID cards could be delayed as PM calls for review into technology
Author: David Hencke
Summary: Gordon Brown has demanded a review of the technology behind the proposed new ID cards, the Guardian has learned. The prime minister is understood to have expressed concern that the huge new project - the biggest since the introduction of a computerised national patients system - does not prove to be another IT fiasco. Ministers have fought in the courts and in information tribunals any move to disclose existing assessments by Whitehall of the viability of ID cards in the Gateway Reviews by the Treasury's Office of Government Commerce. The reviews, thought to have been highly critical, were never published.
2007-11-05 - The Independent - ID cards plan behind schedule and soaring in cost, say critics
Author: Andrew Grice
Summary: The Government's plan to bring in identity cards is running behind schedule and the cost is soaring, according to critics. Ministers have revealed they have spent £69m on opening 59 passport interview centres that will form the core of the ID registration network. Opponents have warned that the £5.3bn ID cards scheme could be hit by the same problems that engulfed other Government IT projects, including the NHS computer system. ... Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, said: "The Government has made a total mess of introducing interviews for first-time passport applicants. The project has gone over-time, over-budget and still isn’t working properly." He asked: "How can we possibly believe it will be able to introduce the infinitely more complicated identity cards scheme, which will be based on the same infrastructure, when it can’t even deliver this basic system? It is time to pull the plug on the ID cards proposals before we waste any more taxpayers’ money on this expensive white elephant."
2007-11-04 - BBC News - ID cards 'not being scrapped'
Summary: Ministers have played down reports that compulsory ID cards for all Britons are to be scrapped, in favour of other measures in next week's Queen's Speech. Cabinet minister Peter Hain told the BBC it was "not true" that the scheme was being put on the backburner. The Sunday Mirror reported that Gordon Brown will shelve plans for compulsory ID cards for Britons "indefinitely". ... Asked whether the scheme had been put on the backburner, Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain told the BBC: "That's not true." He emphasised that Immigration Minister Liam Byrne was recently discussing requirements for foreign nationals to have biometric ID cards "which means we will be absolutely certain they are who they say they are." And Home Office minister Tony McNulty told Sky News: "As far as I am aware universal ID cards remain on the agend
2007-11-04 - The Sunday Mirror - Brown scraps ID card plans
Author: Vincent Moss
Summary: Gordon Brown is to abandon controversial plans to introduce compulsory ID cards for all. Instead, the Prime Minister will focus on tightening up existing anti-terror laws and on new measures to be unveiled in Tuesday's Queen's Speech. The cards are already compulsory for asylum-seekers and their introduction next year for foreign nationals will go ahead as planned. But the proposed roll-out to force all Britons to carry them will be shelved indefinitely, according to Whitehall sources.
2007-11-04 - The Guardian - So, Mr Cameron, what would you do with our liberties?
Author: Henry Porter and David Cameron MP
Summary: The philosopher AC Grayling wrote that the litmus test of liberty is the ID card. The shadow home secretary, David Davis, agrees and has made a welcome stand against the scheme, explaining that not only will it be vastly expensive but that it is unlikely to make us any safer from terrorism or identity theft. People are coming round to his view. Nick Clegg, a candidate in the Lib Dem leadership contest, says that he would rather face court proceedings than register for an ID card. Battling Boris Johnson has said something similar. Would you go as far as Mr Clegg and your London mayoral candidate?
2007-11-01 - ZDNet - Catching up with a famous fraudster
Author: Tom Espiner
Summary: Played by Leonardo DeCaprio in the Steven Spielberg-directed film Catch Me If You Can, one-time fraudster Frank Abagnale knows a thing or two about security systems. ... The UK government seems to claim that the National Identity Register won't be breached. Are you in favour of identity cards? I'm not big on ID cards — you're giving the government information that someone else can access. ID cards make it 100 times easier to steal that information, because it's concentrated in one place. That the ID Cards scheme was passed into law was not a good idea. Nothing is really secure; if the money is right, you can forge a passport to back fraudulent activities — you can forge ID cards. You can replicate holograms, dyes in paper, and give terrorists access to Britain. With the ID cards scheme, all it takes is one weak civil servant to be bought off, and one weak link can [compromise the system].
2007-10-29 - The Guardian - Brown's bona fides
Author: AC Grayling
Summary: The real test of whether the prime minister is a sincere defender of civil liberties remains ID cards.
2007-10-25 - ZDNet - Famous fraudster hits out at ID cards
Author: Tom Espiner
Summary: At the RSA Conference, subject of the Hollywood film Catch Me If You Can Frank Abagnale claimed the security of the ID cards scheme could be easily compromised.
2007-10-25 - - ID cards will be secure, insists Home Office
Author: Gemma Simpson
Summary: The Home Office has defended the UK ID cards scheme after security expert Frank Abagnale - a one-time confidence trickster made famous by the Steven Spielberg film, Catch Me If You Can - said the scheme should be scrapped if the government cannot ensure it is secure. Abagnale, now a security consultant, criticised the ID cards scheme and said: "You can develop all of the best security systems in the world, the most sophisticated software in the world [yet] all it takes is one weak link that is one person in the system to screw the entire system up."
2007-10-21 - The Times - You’re better safe than free - the mantra of the Whitehall Taliban
Author: Simon Jenkins
Summary: The only real defence of Blair’s “liberty, democracy and freedom” is to demand, constantly and tediously, that each extension of state power be justified as proportionate, cost-effective and consonant with these values. The onus should be on the executive to justify intrusion and repression, not on individuals to resist it. There is no way that ID cards pass this test.
2007-10-06 - Sunday Herald - The watchers’ watchdog
Summary: The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), is the UK's independent authority set up to promote access to personal information held by officialdom, and to protect the public against the exploitation of this data. In an interview with the Sunday Herald, Dr Ken Macdonald, the assistant information commissioner for Scotland, said: "We need to ensure that the collection of personal data isn't excessive, that there are appropriate safeguards and access to information, and that data isn't held any longer than is necessary. ... Macdonald said the commission was "concerned about the breadth of proposals for ID cards". He also added that European nations, which had experience of Nazism and communism, were finely attuned to the need to make sure the most sensitive personal information - such as sexual orientation, political affiliation, trade union membership and religion - were closely protected from scrutiny. "Should we be scared? Very glibly, some people say if you've nothing to hide, you have nothing to be scared of', but you will have something to fear if mistakes are made," said Macdonald.
2007-10-09 - BBC News - MPs question new passport costs
Summary: MPs have questioned why British citizens will have to pay out for both an identity card and an ePassport - when both contain similar information. Similarities in production "should be reflected in the combined fee", the Commons public accounts committee said.
2007-09-16 - BBC News - Labour 'tramples on human rights'
Author: Justin Parkinson
Summary: Sir Menzies Campbell has kicked off the Liberal Democrat annual conference with an attack on the government's human rights record. ... The Lib Dems are promoting their opposition to government policies including introducing identity cards and increasing the length of detention without trial for some terror suspects.
2007-08-21 - The Independent - Liberal Democrats launch attack on Brown's 'surveillance society'
Author: Colin Brown
Summary: Liberal Democrat leaders are to mount an attack on Britain's "surveillance society" that threatens to wreck Gordon Brown's hopes of a cross-party consensus on measures to tackle the threat of terrorism. In a strategic break with the Prime Minister, Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, and his home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg will launch their offensive at their party conference next month. ... Liberal Democrat leaders say Britain is one of the most spied-on nations in the world and will use the conference to launch a campaign to roll back legislation they claim has gone too far. It includes the Identity Cards Act 2006, the creation of a national identity register and proposals for wide ranging data-sharing powers across Whitehall departments.
2007-08-20 - Kable - Paper calls for local ID cards
Summary: A think tank has argued that local authority 'entitlement cards' could be more practical than the National Identity Card. New Local Government Network (NLGN) published a pamphlet on the subject, Local Identity: The role of local entitlement cards in public service delivery, on 17 August 2007. It says that local cards could prove to be cheaper, quicker and provide a better safeguard of identity than the national scheme. It would also be more relevant to most needs as local government provides about 80% of public services.
2007-08-10 - eGov monitor - ID announcement "more spin than substance"
Summary: Responding to the Home Office's announcement that it is "inviting expressions of interest from potential suppliers" for the National Identity Scheme, Phil Booth - NO2ID National Coordinator - said:"Today's announcement is more spin than substance. The Home Office still hasn't released any specifications, so its figures are pie in the sky." "If you bother to read the notice, it's clear that the only projects up for grabs are for passports and visas. We've heard this all before."
2007-08-10 - Bloomberg - U.K. Churches, Scouts May Fingerprint Leaders, IDs Chief Says
Author: Kitty Donaldson and Robert Hutton
Summary: James Hall, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service, said "While people are still nervous about fingerprints and still have a concern that fingerprints are associated with criminality, we're gradually moving away from that," Hall said. "It's amazing how many schools are starting to use fingerprints just as a simple mechanism for checking kids in and out."
2007-07-09 - The Guardian - ID card contracts put out to tender
Author: Tom Shipp
Summary: Lucrative contracts worth up to £500m each have been put out to tender today for the government's controversial identity card scheme.
2007-08-09 - Computing - ID cards marked for fast rollout
Author: Sarah Arnott
Summary: Identity cards should be rolled out to citizens as quickly as possible, an influential Treasury-backed report will recommend to ministers this month. Sir James Crosby's review of private sector uses of the proposed biometric ID scheme was due to be published with the Budget in March. According to insiders, the former HBOS chief executive's report will be circulated internally in the coming weeks and is to be published when Parliament reconvenes in early October. 'Probably the strongest theme will be a recommendation to establish a critical mass of cardholders very fast, to enable both public and private sectors to get the benefits of the scheme and start building ID checks into business models,' said a senior source.
2007-07-26 - Computing - ID card consultancy hits £50m
Author: Sarah Arnott
Summary: Frustration builds as technology procurement still has not begun. The government has spent £53m on consultants for the national biometric identity card scheme, and continues to use 83 external contractors at a cost of nearly £50,000 per day. The figures are more than double the value of the original £19m pre-procurement consultancy contract signed in 2004, according to data released to Computing by the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act. The ID scheme has been substantially re-shaped in the past 18 months – changing from a standalone card system using entirely new IT systems to a broader identity management programme that will reuse existing government databases and is closely allied with international requirements for biometric passports. ...
2007-07-13 - Computer Weekly - Government outlines ID-card security measures
Author: Antony Savvas
Summary: The government outlined measures it will take to ensure the privacy of ID-card holders at a Westminster eForum seminar on Thursday. Stephen Harrison, director of policy, identity and the passport service, said biographical and biometric data would be stored on two separate IT systems to ensure maximum security.
2007-07-12 - ZDNet - ID card scrutiny under threat
Author: David Meyer
Summary: Parliamentary scrutiny of ID cards and other technological and scientific issues could be seriously undermined by the new administration's reorganisation of governmental departments, according to members of a crucial committee. Brian Iddon, MP for Bolton South East and a member of the House of Commons Science and Technology select committee, said on Thursday that proper oversight of scientific and technological issues could be threatened by the abolition of both the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).
2007-07-10 - Kable - Privacy core to ID success, ICO warns
Summary: Government needs to make privacy and data protection principles a core component of its IT specifications, according to the assistant information commissioner. Speaking at a Kable conference on identity management infrastructures, held on 9 July 2007, Jonathan Bamford said that designing in these principles would make ID management more effective and enhance society's confidence in the systems. "Public confidence is like personal privacy," explained Bamford. "Once you've lost it, it's virtually impossible to retrieve it."
2007-07-05 - The Guardian - Stand by for the Orwellian metaphors about ID cards
Author: Michael Cross
Summary: Over the next few months, opponents of identity cards will be deploying a full set of Orwellian metaphors to try to persuade the new prime minister and home secretary to have second thoughts about this apparently Big Brother scheme. They are not quite whistling in the wind. On the card itself, the government has some room to manoeuvre without losing political face or going back on international agreements. For a clue to Gordon Brown's thinking, look at Sir David Varney's review of government services, published by the Treasury last December. Although near-obsessive on the subject of rationalising the means through which the state identifies its citizens, the review makes no mention of the ID card. As it is supposed to inform policy decisions until 2011, this looks like good news for the No2ID-ers opposing it. But don't get too excited. Even if the government turns down the heat under the card (except where issued as a biometric passport), two further national identity schemes are coming to the boil.
2007-07-04 - BBC - Brown and Cameron clash over ID
Summary: Gordon Brown and David Cameron have clashed over plans to introduce identity cards in their first prime minister's questions encounter. Mr Cameron, whose Conservatives oppose the cards, said they would "cause more problems than they solve" and had not stopped terror attacks abroad. But Mr Brown, who raised the issue, said they were needed as they were "complementary" to other policies. ... Mr Cameron quoted Mr Brown's new chancellor, Alistair Darling, as having said in the past: "Identity cards are unnecessary and will create more difficulties than they will solve. I don't want my whole life to be reduced to a magnetic strip on a plastic card."
2007-06-30 - eGov monitor - NO2ID: ID scheme "could cripple Brown premiership"
Summary: Campaign group NO2ID argue today that premier-in-waiting Gordon Brown should save the Exchequer billions of pounds in a time of tightened public spending by scrapping the abortive identity cards scheme. But a national newspaper article today suggests that Mr Brown will back the identity cards scheme set in motion by his predecessor, despite speculation that he, as Chancellor, might have been convinced the project would be prohibitively expensive.
2007-06-24 - The Guardian Comment Is Free - Only when he restores liberty can we praise him
Author: Henry Porter
Summary: I may be wrong about Brown. When the ID card scheme is abandoned, the Inquiries Act redrafted to return scrutiny and power to Parliament, when elements of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act are repealed to allow demonstrations within a kilometre of Parliament and a distinction is made between arrestable and non-arrestable offences, when the Tribunals, Court and Enforcement Bill is stopped in its tracks and an Englishman's home again becomes his castle, when the government stops punishing people without a normal court deciding that an offence has been committed, when the national surveillance of motorways and town centres comes before Parliament as a bill and is not just allowed to be implemented by a few power-crazed police officers, then I will admit I am wrong and I will rejoice at a genuine restoration of liberty and I will praise Gordon Brown to the skies.
2007-06-24 - The Guardian Comment Is Free - Tony Blair's premiership has big lessons for Gordon Brown
Author: Andrew Rawnsley
Summary: ... One surprise in store - a nasty one for some on the left of his party - is the extent to which he won't break with his predecessor. Having been a great sceptic about ID cards, he has become converted to them. Gordon Brown has told friends that David Cameron can be painted as a 'libertarian' who is weak about security. There has been a vast amount of conjecture that the new Prime Minister will try to take the sting out of Iraq by quickly announcing an inquiry. I have it on the very best authority that he certainly will not have an inquiry while British forces are still in a combat role.
2007-06-19 - BBC - ID cards 'to be UK institution'
Summary: The identity card scheme will become a "great British institution" on a par with the railways in the 19th Century, Home Office minister Liam Byrne says. He said it was "time to get on with it" and predicted that the National Identity Scheme "will soon become part of the fabric of British life". But plans to "multiply the uses" of the ID scheme would mean there should be stronger accountability to Parliament.
2007-06-19 - Kable - Minister bangs ID drum
Summary: Home Office minister Liam Byrne has predicted the National Identity Scheme will become 'part of the fabric of British life'. He told the Chatham House Identity Management and Global Mobility Conference that the scheme will place a publicly accountable power to protect identity in the hands of citizens. This would provide a defence against new threats emerging from changes in technology, travel and society.
2007-06-19 - - National ID Scheme an "essential defence"
Author: Tim Ferguson
Summary: The National Identity Scheme will be essential in combating the challenges presented by the revolution in technology and mobility, according to a government minister. Speaking at a conference at Chatham House, Home Office minister Liam Byrne said the National ID scheme will be a "21st century public good" and become part of everyday life.
2007-06-05 - The Telegraph - Amateurs in charge of government business
Summary: The Government's chronic inability to manage costly IT schemes effectively is well documented - indeed, it has become one of New Labour's trademarks. This morning's report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee helps to explain why Whitehall gets it so wrong, so often. ... The committee highlights two specific areas of weakness in the management of complex IT programmes. ... It hardly augurs well for the introduction of identity cards..
2007-05-30 - The Register - Gov. resists ID card scrutiny
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: The Office of Government Commerce has appealed against an order by the Information Tribunal that it must publish official documents that assess the justification for the government's identity card scheme. ... Mark Oaten MP and Mark Dziecielewski, a security consultant allied to the No2ID campaign group, had both filed Freedom of Information Requests to get access to Gateway Reviews for the identity scheme. Both had been refused but the Information Tribunal found last month that there was a greater public interest in disclosing the gateway information than in keeping it secret.
2007-05-19 - The Telegraph - ID cards 'will be gold standard for forgers'
Author: Philip Johnston
Summary: Criminals will target ID cards as the gold standard of identity theft, a police chief said yesterday. The assumption that they are foolproof will make them more enticing for forgers, said Colin Langham-Fitt, acting chief constable of Suffolk. He also questioned the erosion of individual liberties and privacy. ... |Damian Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, said: "This is yet another IT shambles from the Government with serious implications for security." Mr Green added: "This Government cannot even run a simple online visa application system without betraying all the sensitive information." "What hope has it got of protecting the integrity of the National Identity Card Register?"
2007-05-16 - The Register - MPs must act on runaway ID project
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: The London School of Economics has called for Parliament to intervene in the government's identity card scheme to find out if it is "getting out of control". In its response to the government's six-monthly report on costs of the ID scheme, which said last week that estimates had risen by nearly £1bn since October 2006, the LSE noted how the reports were supposed to help MPs keep abreast of the scheme, but a lack of information to support the figures made independent assessment of the numbers difficult.
2007-05-15 - ZDNet - Police chief criticises ID cards scheme
Author: Richard Thurston
Summary: One of the country's top police officers has criticised the Government's identity cards scheme, saying it will become a prime target for hackers. Colin Langham-Fitt, acting chief constable of Suffolk Constabulary, slammed the proposed National Identity Register as creating a massive security threat. Speaking to ZDNet UK at the Government IT Summit on Monday, Langham-Fitt said that criminals would pay unlimited amounts to subvert the national identity database. "In creating a national database you are creating a gold standard for ID [authentication]," said Langham-Fitt. "It will be worth whatever it costs to hack it, to mirror it and subvert it."
2007-05-15 - Liberal Democrats - Speaker's verdict on ID card report delay is welcome
Author: David Heath MP
Summary: The Speaker of the House of Commons has today criticised the Government over its failure to publish a report on the cost of ID cards, following a complaint by Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House, David Heath MP. The report, which revealed that the cost of the project has risen by £640m since October, should have been published on 9th April. However, the Government waited until May 10th - the date Tony Blair announced his departure - before the report was actually published. Today, Speaker Michael Martin deprecated the delay and recommended that the issue was taken up with the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Liaison Committee. Commenting, David Heath said: "I am extremely grateful for the forthright response from the Speaker. I hope that after his contribution, ministers will appreciate that when they have a statutory duty to report to Parliament, it is not an optional request, it is a requirement."
2007-05-11 - The Guardian - Straw signals rethink on ID cards
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: Jack Straw, widely expected to replace John Reid as the home secretary, today clearly signalled that the future of the national identity card scheme would be in the melting pot when Gordon Brown becomes prime minister next month. Mr Straw - who is Mr Brown's leadership campaign manager and has a long record of cabinet opposition to a compulsory ID card system - indicated that the future of the £5.75bn project would be under review in the new government.
2007-05-11 - Daily Mail - It's Gordon's r-words: Review, reform, refine
Summary: Government policy on everything from Iraq to the NHS and ID cards is set to shift significantly under plans revealed by Gordon Brown. Launching his leadership campaign, the Chancellor set a direction for the two years until the next general election that was clearly different to that taken by Tony Blair.
2007-05-11 - Financial Times - Ministers accused as ID costs surge
Author: Jimmy Burns
Summary: Ministers were accused of burying bad news and breaking the law yesterday after the Home Office belatedly published figures showing the estimated cost of the identity cards programme rising by up to £800m. The report put the estimated costs of setting up and running the ID card scheme at £5.3bn-£5.7bn. The opposition seized on the figures, pointing out they were considerably higher than previous estimates of £4.91bn.
2007-05-11 - eGov monitor - ID Cards cost report shows "contempt for Parliament, contempt for the facts"
Summary: The Dobson report, the regular update to Parliament on the progress of the ID card scheme, was released yesterday - at the same time that Tony Blair was announcing his resignation as Prime Minister. Privacy and civil liberty campaigners NO2ID blasted Home Office figures which show an increase of £640 million in the last 6 months while attempting to discount a further £510 million from future calculations. Phil Booth, NO2ID's National Coordinator said: "With each new analysis, the cost of the ID card scheme spirals. In effect, this report says that the total cost to British citizens has gone up by over a billion pounds in six months. If they keep this up, the scheme will end up costing far more than even the LSE estimate." "Brazenly claiming credit for work already done, and smoke and mirrors accounting shows not only contempt for Parliament but contempt for the facts."
2007-05-10 - Guardian, comment is free - Security is on the cards
Author: John Reid MP
Summary: Our individual identity is fast becoming our most precious possession and we need to protect it. This technological progress, and the criminal activity that comes with it, has already affected our traditional relationships based on trust. In a modern society we need to prove our identity, whether in applying for a job, crossing borders or opening a bank account. Our own, unique, identity is inexorably becoming our most precious possession. But when so much of this is now done remotely, how can we be sure who we are interacting with? ... With such uncertainty it is vital we have a system to safeguard the most valuable thing we own - our identity. This is not about control, Big Brother or the loss of liberty. ... Every civilised country is recognising these benefits. Out of 27 EU member states 24 already have identity cards. If we do not take this step we risk exploitation, fraud and terrorism. As home secretary it is my duty to protect the public and secure our future. A large part of this responsibility depends on an effective scheme to safeguard identities. Only the state can provide such a universal system, define the standards and be accountable for it.
2007-05-10 - Daily Mail - Ministers try to hide £500m rise in ID cards
Author: James Slack
Summary: The Home Office has been accused of a "pathetic" attempt to bury bad news as it announced the projected cost of identity cards has jumped to £105. Under the cover of Tony Blair's resignation speech, a report was published revealing the estimated price of the scheme has increased by £640million in six months. Critics said the 13 per cent rise would add an extra £12 to the previous estimate of £93 for each card.
2007-05-10 - BBC - ID card costs rise above £5bn
Summary: The official cost of the controversial ID card scheme has risen to £5.31bn. The figures were released as Tony Blair announced his departure, leading to claims from the opposition that the government was "burying bad news". The Tories and Lib Dems also claimed that the Home Office broke the law by releasing the updated figures a month later than they should have. The Home Office put the £400m increased costs down to extra staff carrying out vetting and extra anti-fraud measures.
2007-05-10 - Sun - ID card costs rocket
Summary: Opposition parties today accused the Government of burying bad news and breaking the law, after new figures revealed the rocketing cost of the ID cards project. The projected cost of the controversial identity scheme has risen by at least £400million in the last six months. Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said the true rise was actually £640million - to a staggering £5.55billion over 10 years. The Home Office was accused of breaking the law by publishing its compulsory twice-yearly update more than one month late, coinciding with the day Prime Minister Tony Blair announced his resignation.
2007-05-10 - The Guardian - Cost of ID cards rockets by £840m
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: The official estimated cost of the controversial national identity card scheme has soared in the last six months by an extra £840m to a total of £5.75bn, according to new Home Office figures published today. The latest six-monthly estimate makes clear that this is unlikely to be the final figure as the £5.75bn excludes the costs to other government departments using ID cards to verify identities, such as GPs registering new patients.
2007-05-10 - This is London - ID card costs soar £400m as Home Office accused of burying bad news
Summary: The cost of an ID card rocketed to £105 yesterday amid damaging evidence the Government was trying to bury bad news. Under the cover of Tony Blair's resignation speech, a Home Office report revealed the estimated cost of the controversial scheme has increased by a staggering £640m in only six months. Critics said the 13 per cent rise would add an extra £12 to the previous estimate of £93 each card.
2007-05-10 - Daily Star - Identity card costs soar by £400m
Summary: The projected 10-year cost of the controversial ID card scheme has risen by £400 million in the last six months, it has been revealed. Home Office figures showed the costs over 10 years were estimated to be £5.31 billion from 2006 to 2016, compared with £4.91 billion in the last calculation.
2007-05-10 - The Independent - Bad news on ID cards buried
Author: David Barrett and David Hughes
Summary: Opposition parties accused the Government of burying bad news and breaking the law today, after new figures revealed the rocketing cost of the ID cards project. The projected cost of the controversial identity scheme has risen by at least £400 million in the last six months. Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said the true rise was actually £640 million - to a staggering £5.55 billion over 10 years. The Home Office was accused of breaking the law by publishing its compulsory twice-yearly update more than one month late, coinciding with the day Prime Minister Tony Blair announced his resignation.
2007-05-10 - Conservative Party - Home Office seeks to bury soaring ID cards cost
Author: David Davis MP
Summary: David Davis has accused the Government of trying to bury bad news, after the Home Office announced a massive new escalation in the cost of its controversial ID cards scheme just as Tony Blair named the date of his departure from Downing Street. While the Prime Minister was unveiling his resignation timetable in a speech in his Sedgefield constituency, the Home Office said the official cost of the ID project had rocketed to over £5.30 billion - which the Conservatives calculated to be a rise of more than £600 million in less than a year. Commenting, the Shadow Home Secretary said: "It is no surprise that the Home Office has broken the law in delaying the publication of this report until a day like today. The public will see through this transparent and pathetic attempt to bury bad news." Mr Davis stated: "It is also no surprise the Government has had to revise their cost estimate up by so much in less than a year and undermines their criticism of the independent London School of Economics cost estimate of up to £20bn. The public should brace themselves for more increases every time this estimate is updated." He added: "These cards will do nothing to protect our security and in fact may make it worse. Let us not forget that the Government's estimate does not take into account costs to be met by other Departments and has yet still to receive Treasury approval."
2007-05-10 - Daily Express - Identity card costs soar by £400M
Summary: The projected 10-year cost of the controversial ID card scheme has risen by £400 million in the last six months, it has been revealed. Home Office figures showed the costs over 10 years were estimated to be £5.31 billion from 2006 to 2016, compared with £4.91 billion in the last calculation.
2007-05-10 - The Guardian - Cost of ID cards rockets by £840m
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: The official estimated cost of the controversial national identity card scheme has soared in the last six months by an extra £840m to a total of £5.75bn, according to new Home Office figures published today. The latest six-monthly estimate makes clear that this is unlikely to be the final figure as the £5.75bn excludes the costs to other government departments using ID cards to verify identities, such as GPs registering new patients.
2007-04-08 - The Times - ‘Millions to rebel’ over ID cards
Author: Robert Winnett and David Leppard
Summary: The government is predicting that some 15m people will revolt against Tony Blair’s controversial ID card scheme by refusing to produce the new cards or provide personal data on demand. The forecast is made in documents released by the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act. The papers show ministers expect national protests similar to the poll tax rebellions of the Thatcher era, with millions prepared to risk criminal prosecution.
2007-04-07 - The Daily Mail - Secret paper reveals Labour's lies over ID cards
Author: Jason Lewis
Summary: The Government faces damaging claims of misleading voters over ID cards after documents revealed it always planned to make the controversial scheme compulsory.
2007-04-04 - BBC - A third 'will refuse ID checks'
Summary: One in three people are expected not to cooperate with identity card checks, Home Office papers from 2004 suggest. Papers revealed under information laws show officials have worked on the basis 60% of people would carry a card, during the scheme's voluntary phase.
2007-03-23 - Kable - New scrutiny for ID cards
Summary: Government plans for identity cards are to be re-examined by MPs The new round of scrutiny will take place as part of an inquiry into the surveillance society, to be announced by the House of Commons Select Committee ... The committee has not yet published its terms of reference for the inquiry, but it will question the government's use of databases, biometrics, physical means of surveillance such as CCTV cameras, and the government's DNA database.
2007-03-23 - Daily Mail - £1,000 fines by ID card secret police
Author: James Slack
Summary: A police force will be set up to issue £1,000 fines to anyone who fails to update their personal details on the Government's new database, it has emerged.
2007-03-23 - The Register - Commons to eye surveillance society
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: Government plans for identity cards will be re-examined by MPs as part of a wide-ranging inquiry into the surveillance society due to be announced by the House of Commons Select Committee next Tuesday.
2007-03-20 - The Register - UK gov says broken passport system justifies ID cards
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: No it doesn't, say opposition. Rough fraud figures published by the Identity and Passport Service today have become the government's latest justification for its identity card plans.
2007-03-17 - Evening Standard - Revealed: DNA database rises by 600,000 in just one year
Summary: Almost 600,000 people have been added to Tony Blair's national DNA database in the past 12 months, according to new figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday. They show that the Government now holds samples of almost four million individuals - and one in four has no criminal record or even a police caution.
2007-02-27 - The Guardian - No more secrets
Author: Steve Boggan
Summary: Tony Blair insists his government is not building a Big Brother-style super-database. But all the talk of 'perfectly sensible' reforms and 'transformational government' masks a chilling assault on our privacy
2007-02-24 - New Scientist - Will ID cards make everyone a suspect?
Summary: Miscarriages of justice could arise from the UK government's plan to use biometric ID card data to crack unsolved crimes, security experts warned this week.
2007-02-20 - The Register - Collar the lot of us! Blair adds whole UK to police suspect list
Author: John Lettice
Summary: The National Identity Register will allow police to add the entire adult population of the UK to their suspect list, giving them the opportunity to check fingerprints left at scenes of crime against those collected from ID card and passport applicants, says Tony Blair. Nor are fingerprints in other EU countries necessarily safe - the introduction of biometric technology, he adds, will "improve the flow of information between countries on the identity of offenders.
2007-02-20 - BBC - ID fingerprints plan under fire
Summary: Opposition parties have expressed anger that all fingerprints collected for ID cards will be cross-checked against prints from 900,000 unsolved crimes. With quotes from both Nick Clegg MP and Damian Green MP.
2007-02-19 - NO2ID - Blair ID claims 'fact-free'
Summary: Tony Blair has written to everyone [1] who has signed an anti-ID cards petition on the notorious Number 10 website, reiterating claims that have been refuted many times over [2], and trying to sell the system on the basis of 'feature creep' which ministers promised Parliament would never be allowed to happen. Phil Booth, NO2ID's [4] National Coordinator said: " '70% would be spent anyway' is a fabricated figure. Mr Blair is repeating an arbitrary piece of creative accounting as if it were meaningful. The truth is that passports are only being re-engineered in this hugely expensive and bullying fashion in order to provide cover for the ID scheme." "The PM's claims on this subject are not exactly lies, so much as fact-free. Endlessly repeating a fabrication doesn't make it real, Mr Blair."
2007-02-06 - The Register - Conservatives flesh out ID opposition
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: The Conservative Party launched its campaign against the government's ID card scheme today, juxtaposing a libertarian stance on identity against a tough stance on crime, punishment and immigration.
2007-01-23 - Computer Weekly - U-turn cuts risks of ID card scheme
Author: Bill Goodwin
Summary: The Home Office was quick to deny a u-turn when it published its new Strategic Action Plan just before Christmas. But it is clear that the national identity cards project will now be radically different, and simpler, than originally envisaged. In the words of one industry commentator, "It is a u-turn of giant proportions." Out go plans for a purpose-built population database and proposals to record the iris patterns of 60 million people. And the timetable for the mass roll out of ID cards has been quietly moved from 2008 to 2010.
2007-01-09 - Computer Weekly - Watchdog attacked in battle over ID cards
Author: Bill Goodwin
Summary: The government has attacked its own information watchdog for failing to understand the workings of Whitehall, as it gears up to fight an order to publish confidential reports into the ID cards programme.
2007-01-04 - Computing - Iris use dropped in ID card plans
Author: Sarah Arnott
Summary: Plans to use iris biometrics for the government’s national identity card scheme have been shelved because of cost and technical uncertainties.


2006-12-20 - The Guardian - Foreigners living in Britain face compulsory biometric ID cards
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: Compulsory powers to fingerprint and photograph 700,000 foreigners a year who live in Britain as part of the national identity card scheme were announced yesterday by the home secretary, John Reid, as the scope of what critics see as a future Big Brother state became clearer.
2006-12-19 - BBC - Giant ID computer plan scrapped
Summary: The government has abandoned plans for a giant new computer system to run the national identity cards scheme. Instead of a single multi-billion pound system, information will be held on three existing, separate databases.
2006-12-19 - Financial Times - Reid axes plans for new ID computer
Author: Jean Eaglesham and Nicholas Timmins
Summary: The contentious multi-billion pound identity card scheme may fail to meet ambitious government promises despite a radical restructuring announced on Tuesday, business is warning. John Reid, the home secretary, axed plans to build a huge new computer system to hold the biometric data, such as fingerprint records, that will underpin the new cards. The government will instead use existing systems for national insurance, asylum and passport databases
2006-12-04 - The Telegraph - ID cards don't work – even Tony says so
Author: Philip Johnston
Summary: New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country, published in 1996, was a collection of newspaper articles and speeches that encapsulated Mr Blair's Third Way political philosophy, the prospectus on which he would be elected to office the following year. On the cover, he said: "When we make a promise, we must be sure we can keep it. That is page one, line one of a new contract between the Government and the citizen." So what did he think of ID cards? The answer was on page 68: "Instead of wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on compulsory ID cards, let that money provide thousands more police officers on the beat in our local community." So much for Mr Blair's new contract.
2006-12-04 - The Telegraph - Millions may resist database, says poll
Author: Philip Johnston
Summary: The first signs of a significant popular revolt against the Government's identity card scheme have been uncovered by a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph. It suggests that hundreds of thousands of people, maybe even millions, would refuse to register on the proposed database that will underpin the scheme, even if this meant a fine or going to jail.
2006-11-24 - The Register - Risk managers baulk at ID cards risk management post
Author: John Lettice
Summary: Experienced risk management professionals seem reluctant, for some strange reason, to sign up with the Identity & Passport Service for a job risk-managing the ID cards programme. Too risky? Well, if that's what they reckon, they're the people you'd expect to know.
2006-11-23 - The Register - Cameron paints ID policy by numbers
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: David Cameron, the Leader of the Conservative Party, gave the reasons why he opposes ID Cards yesterday.
2006-11-23 - Computing - Whitehall readies ID card action plan
Author: Sarah Arnott
Summary: The newly-formed Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will publish an action plan for the national biometric ID card scheme next month, and procurement will start next summer.
2006-11-15 - Kim Cameron’s Identity Weblog - World’s leading identity politician
Summary: When it comes to dealing with identity, Australia has already "been there, done that." In 1987 there was a massive public revolt against a proposed national ID card that imprinted several of the Laws of Identity on the psyche of the nation.
2006-11-10 - The Register - Biometric ID cards an insecure menace, says EU ID outfit
Author: John Lettice
Summary: The EU-funded FIDIS (Future of Identity in the Information Society) project has warned that implementation of the current generation of biometric travel ID will dramatically decrease security and privacy, and increase the risk of identity theft. In the Budapest Declaration, which derives from FIDIS' September meeting in Budapest, FIDIS calls for short-term damage control measures to be taken (because biometric ID is already being rolled out), and for "a new convincing and integrated security concept" to be developed within the next three years.
2006-11-09 - The Times - ID cards will not help to counter terrorism
Summary: Letters to the Editor by Andrew Watson, Hugh Livesey, Phil Booth and Godfrey Nicholson
2006-11-07 - eGov monitor - ID cards will counter crime and terrorism - PM
Summary: The identity card scheme is essential if we are to tackle the problems of the modern world, Tony Blair has said. Illegal immigration, crime and terrorism all feature identity abuse as a crucial component. Although ID cards, and the national identity database that will make them effective, are not a complete solution, this does not make them worthless as opponents would suggest, he said.
2006-11-07 - The Guardian - Blair dismisses civil rights argument against ID cards
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: Tony Blair insisted yesterday that the national identity card scheme should go ahead as a question of "modernity", not civil liberties. ... Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said the choice between civil liberties and "modernity" presented by Mr Blair was a false one. "At this stage in his career, he might reflect more and patronise less. Does the public that he claims to speak for really want a future devoid of all the rights and freedoms which previous generations of Britons fought to defend?"
2006-11-07 - The Herald - ID cards needed to combat fraud, says Blair
Author: Catherine MacLeod
Summary: Tony Blair yesterday hailed identity cards as a necessity in the battle to combat fraud, NHS health tourism and illegal working as he mounted a robust defence of the government's plans for a national identity register. Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil liberties pressure group Liberty, said: "The Prime Minister today presented a false choice between civil liberties and 'modernity'. At this stage in his career, he might reflect more and patronise less. Does the public that he claims to speak for really want a future devoid of all the rights and freedoms which previous generations of Britons fought to defend?"
2006-11-06 - BBC - Blair goes on ID card offensive
Summary: Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he will push on with ID cards - insisting that as with CCTV and DNA the issue is one of "modernity" not civil liberties.
2006-11-06 - The Register - Blair bangs ID card drum
Author: Chris Williams
Summary: Tony Blair has once again seen fit to toss his prime ministerial two penneth into the ID cards debate.
2006-11-06 - The Telegraph - We need ID cards to secure our borders and ease modern life
Author: Tony Blair
Summary: On any list of public concerns, illegal immigration, crime, terrorism and identity fraud would figure towards the top. In each, identity abuse is a crucial component. It is all part of a changing world: global mass migration; easier travel; new services and new technologies constantly being accessed. The case for ID cards is a case not about liberty but about the modern world. Biometrics give us the chance to have secure identity and the bulk of the ID cards' cost will have to be spent on the new biometric passports in any event.
2006-11-06 - The Times - Blair defends ID cards
Author: Devika Bhat
Summary: Tony Blair today defended his contentious proposals for a national identity register and ID cards, insisting that the plans would benefit the UK in the fight against organised crime, terrorism and illegal immigration.
2006-10-26 - Computing - ID test plans fuel controversy
Summary: IT experts have expressed concern over the government’s admission that it will not test all the technology behind the identity card scheme before it goes live.
2006-10-23 - eGov Monitor - LSE researchers respond to the government's first costed report about the UK Identity Cards scheme
Summary: Researchers from LSE have today (Friday 20 October) released their analysis of the government’s first Section 37 report on the likely costs of the UK Identity Cards Scheme. The government’s report, released earlier this month, provides Parliamentarians with likely set-up costs of the Scheme for the first time, but is criticised for its lack of openness in many key areas.
2006-10-23 - The Ideal Goverment Project - Bizarre mystery-benefits approach by Home Office
Author: William Heath
Summary: Trusty KableNet reports the Home Office's bizarre notion of how to dream up uses for an ID card for which there is no visible user benefit. The science & technology committee's call for more detail on how the card might be used "is met by an assertion that, until the card is in widespread use, it will not be possible to say for which processes it will be used."
2006-10-23 - Kable - IPS stands ground on ID cards
Summary: The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) is resisting some elements of the recommendations from MPs on the National Identity Card Programme. It has responded to a number of criticisms and recommendations made in the report from Parliament's Science and Technology Committee, published in August, with rebuffs in some instances and agreement in others. On the key points of transparency on advice and the use of the card it has claimed it is not possible to follow the MPs' recommendations closely.
2006-10-23 - Kable - Government advisor urges biometrics caution
Summary: A senior Home Office advisor has warned that more work is needed before biometrics can be widely used in nationwide systems
2006-10-20 - The Register - Treasury fights to keep Gateway closed
Summary: The government has hired legal experts in an effort to block publication of Gateway reviews of the National Identity Card programme
2006-10-19 - The Register - Ryan's ID express still waiting for a platform
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: The British government is still trying to work out how it will implement the ID scheme, six months after it was approved by Parliament. "Bear with us," parliamentary under secretary of state and MP Joan Ryan said today to an industry audience, which has been snapping at any scrap of information that would suggest where they'll find the pork.
2006-10-10 - The Ideal Government Project - ID cards: the next steps?
Author: Ruth Kennedy
Summary: The Home Office yesterday published the costings report demanded by parliament during the passing of the Act. Presented to the House yesterday, they give extraordinarily little detail. The cost estimates consist of 3 lines in a table, plus a short list of bullets detailing what they include (eg operational costs, set-up costs, maintenance, excluding foreign nationals and costs falling to 'other organisations using ID cards to verify identities' (not insignificant?). These costs (totalled at £5.4bn) apparently include the cost of passports. There has been no decision made yet on fee structure.
2006-10-09 - Computing - Identity card scheme to cost £5.4bn
Author: Sarah Arnott
Summary: The national biometric identity card scheme will cost £5.4bn, according to the latest estimates issued by the Home Office.
2006-09-25 - The Register - ID cards could cost less, minister says
Author: Lucy Sherriff
Summary: Still horribly intrusive, though. "There are opportunities which give me optimism to think that actually there is a way of exploiting systems already in place in a way which brings down the costs quite substantially," Liam Byrne, Minister of State, Immigration Citizenship and Nationality at the Home Office said.
2006-09-25 - BBC - Identity card cost 'may be cut'
Author: Ollie Stone-Lee
Summary: The costs of the identity cards scheme could be cut "quite substantially" by making more use of existing government databases, a minister has said.
2006-09-16 - The Washington Post - The ID Chip You Don't Want in Your Passport
Author: Bruce Schneier
Summary: If you have a passport, now is the time to renew it -- even if it's not set to expire any time soon. If you don't have a passport and think you might need one, now is the time to get it. In many countries, including the United States, passports will soon be equipped with RFID chips. And you don't want one of these chips in your passport.
2006-09-14 - Computing - ID card scheme changes tack
Author: Sarah Arnott
Summary: The government is taking the first steps to creating the national identity card project from existing systems, confirming a shift away from earlier plans to build the scheme from scratch. Under the new approach ID cards will be developed where possible from existing Whitehall technology, procedures and information, replacing the original plan for a traditional, monolithic, multi-billion-pound programme.
2006-09-14 - Computing - New maturity for joined-up ID
Summary: With the shift from identity cards to identity management – and the even more significant move from a major procurement to reuse of systems already in place, and extension of existing contracts as they come up for renewal – joined-up government may yet be rescued from the dustbin of impractical naivety.
2006-09-13 - BBC - Wider use of private data planned
Summary: Sensitive personal information would be passed between Whitehall departments under new government plans. The move would help to tackle ID fraud and would also identify those "in need", the Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA) has claimed. But the Conservatives said the idea was an "excuse for bureaucrats to snoop", while pressure group NO2ID described it as an "abolition of privacy".
2006-09-01 - Linux User - The politicians and the database
Author: Suw Charman
Summary: If there's one thing that governments love almost as much as your money, it's your data. Who's doing what, where, and to whom is an ongoing preoccupation of all administrations, regardless of their political leanings, and policy makers everywhere are continually finding new and exciting ways to use and abuse your data. Here in the UK, database-based IT projects have blossomed, gathering between them an alarming amount of information, including ...
2006-08-29 - The Register - Home Office coughs to five database breaches
Summary: Security at the British Home Office's Identity and Passport Service (IPS) database has been compromised four times, with individuals' data used inappropriately by Home Office employees and contractors. A fifth breach has hit a Prison Service database.
2006-08-28 - The Register - Oz ID card database racked by identity fraud claims
Summary: 19 sacked, 92 resigned. Australia's identity card system was routinely searched for personal reasons by government agency employees, some of whom have been sacked. Police are now investigating allegations of identity fraud resulting from the security breaches. There were 790 security breaches at government agency Centrepoint involving 600 staff.
2006-08-27 - Evening Standard - ID card fears as staff hack into Home Office database
Summary: Office staff are hacking into the department's computers, putting at risk the privacy of 40million people in Britain. The revelation undermines Government claims that sensitive information being collected for its controversial ID Cards scheme could not fall into criminal hands.
2006-08-25 - - Australian ID card database misused by Government staff
Summary: Australia's identity card system was routinely searched for personal reasons by Government agency employees, some of whom have been sacked. Police are now investigating allegations of identity fraud resulting from the security breaches.
2006-08-24 - - NO2ID:Blair’s all out attack on privacy
Summary: Civil liberties and privacy campaigners today expressed outrage at the leaked announcement that ministers plan to overturn one of the key principles of Data Protection, granting government agencies the right to share personal data across the public sector.
2006-08-24 - The Guardian - It's not always good to share
Author: Michael Cross
Summary: Ministers are preparing to overturn a fundamental principle of data protection in government, the Guardian has learned. They will announce next month that public bodies can assume they are free to share citizens' personal data with other arms of the state, so long as it is in the public interest. The policy was agreed upon by a cabinet committee set up by the prime minister, and reverses the current default position - which requires public bodies to find a legal justification each time they want to share data about individuals.
2006-08-23 - BBC - MP criticises ID card opposition
Summary: Two Welsh councils have been criticised by a senior Labour MP over their opposition to the UK Government's ID card scheme. Cardiff and Ceredigion councils said they have pledged to frustrate the use of ID cards by all legal means. The councils say the disadvantages of the scheme outweigh the benefits and also object on civil liberty grounds.
2006-08-10 - IT Week - ID card plan needs IT advice, say MPs
Author: Sarah Arnott
Summary: MPs are calling for an independent IT assurance committee to advise on the government’s national ID card programme. Planning of the proposals is patchy and projected costs are potentially unreliable, says the Science and Technology Select Committee.
2006-08-07 - The Times - Cloning demo adds to fears over ID card scheme
Author: Philippe Naughton
Summary: News that a German computer expert has managed to "clone" the data chip on his new passport has called into question government assurances about the security of the planned national ID card - which will use similar technology.
2006-08-04 - OUT-LAW.COM - want to postpone ID
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry into the thinking behind ID Cards, published today, found the government had decided what it wanted to do before it had determined if it would even work.
Note: Also reported in MPs critical of ID cards plan, Computing MPs critical of ID cards plan, The Register Committee wants to postpone ID,
2006-07-23 - Times - Leak reveals ID card 'risks'
Author: David Leppard and Anna Mikhailova
Summary: A leaked document says that the security system protecting the card and the national database could be infiltrated by criminal gangs involved in identity theft and highlights shrinking public support for the scheme. It also says British firms have no current manufacturing capacity to produce the card. The report flatly contradicts recent public reassurances to MPs by Joan Ryan, the minister responsible for ID cards, that the scheme is not facing any problems.
2006-07-12 - PC Pro - ID card scheme stumbles towards rollout date
Author: Matt Whipp
Summary: Delays to the UK's ID card scheme have prompted calls for it to be scrapped in its entirety, as costs and problems mount up.
2006-06-15 - The Register - ID cards good for tracking immigrants, says Blunkett
Author: John Lettice
Summary: ID cards good for tracking immigrants, says Blunkett and everybody else, of course...
2006-05-24 - BBC News - Lib Dems launch ID card protest
Summary: The Liberal Democrats are calling for people to renew their passports before the start of the summer holidays to evade having to register for an ID card before 2016.
Note: Also covered by The Register Lib Dems set up ID freedom campaign, BBC News Home Office questions ID protest, ic Wales Lib-Dems act to avoid ID cards, Lib Dems renew their passports to avoid getting onto ID database, Mirror PLEA TO DODGE ID CARDS, Guardian Lib Dems stage mass passport renewal, Lib Dems opt-out of ID cards
2006-05-23 - CNET - Do we need a national ID card
Author: Robert Vamosi
Summary: And the initial response has been mostly bad, forcing me to ask: Do we even need a national ID card when there are more important security measures we can take
2006-05-22 - itWorldCanada - IBM researcher slams UK ID card plan
Author: Manek Dubash
Summary: IBM researcher Michael Osborne, whose job is research into secure ID cards, slated the U.K. government's ID cards plan on the grounds of cost, over-centralization, and being the wrong tool for the job.
2006-04-25 - ZDNet - ID cards 'taking focus away from e-crime'
Author: Dan Ilett
Summary: The government is ploughing too many resources into the ID cards scheme while failing to fight e-crime, a member of the House of Lords has claimed. Lord Erroll today said plans to roll out ID cards in the UK have been promoted by the government as a way of fighting crime, but he questioned their validity.
2006-02-12 - The Times - Q&A: ID cards explained
Summary: Here are the key facts about the Government's controversial plans to impose a national ID card scheme
2006-01-30 - The Register - 'RFID tag' - the rude words ID card ministers won't say
Author: John Lettice
Summary: When it comes to RFID, is MP Andy Burnham lying or drowning? ... For over six months now Burnham, pursued doggedly by MP and ID card opponent Lynne Jones, has been peddling the bizarre conceit that RFID and 'contactless' or 'proximity' chips are entirely different beasts.