Friday, March 31, 2006

Compromise on ID Cards

A compromise has finally been reached on the UK ID cards bill. Anyone who applies for a passport will not need to apply for an ID card until 2011, but their details will be put on a national ID database. The House of Lords have finally supported this compromise by 287 votes to 60. What is still uncertain is how much these ID cards will cost and who has access to the national ID database?
Under clause 22 of the bill, a National Identity Scheme Commissioner will be appointed whose principal role will be to supervise the operation of this bill (once enacted). Clause 17-21 inclusive are relevant in determining the circumstances under which information about an individual can be provided. This includes a government department (under clause 17(5)) and where it was necessary in the public interest (clause 17(7)). One awaits to read the final version of the bill when it becomes law, but certainly, there are more questions that need to be answered.

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