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No2ID

I've been wondering for some time why opposition to the new ID card laws in England is so much stronger than that in the Netherlands, where for some time, there was talk of draconian punishment for not carrying ID when requested.

Via Nosemonkey, now I know. No2ID explains the political rationale (and it is all about politics, not policy — the value of the law, as with much of the unlamented mr. Blunkett's law and order policy is in outflanking the Tories on the right, not in delivering results), and explains what sort of data are to be held by the government and, one way or another, to be accessible through the ID cards.

However, Clause 1 and Schedule 1 of the Bill sets out more than fifty categories of information required for the register (subject to change by regulation):

  1. Name
  2. Other previous names or aliases;
  3. Date and place of birth and, if the person has died, the date of death;
  4. Address
  5. Previous addresses in the United Kingdom and elsewhere;
  6. Times of residency at different places in the United Kingdom or elsewhere;
  7. Current residential status;
  8. Residential statuses previously held;
  9. Information about numbers allocated to the applicant for identification purposes and about the documents to which they relate;
  10. Information about occasions on which recorded information in the Register has been provided to any person;
  11. Information recorded in the Register on request.
  12. Photograph
  13. Fingerprints
  14. “Other” biometrics (iris recognition);
  15. Signature
  16. Nationality;
  17. Entitlement to remain in the United Kingdom; and
  18. Where entitlement derives from a grant of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, the terms and conditions of that leave.
  19. National Identity Registration Number;
  20. The number of any ID card that has been issued;
  21. National Insurance number;
  22. The number of any relevant immigration document;
  23. The number of any United Kingdom passport (within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971 (c. 77)) that has been issued;
  24. The number of any passport issued by or on behalf of the authorities of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom or by or on behalf of an international organisation;
  25. The number of any document that can be used (in some or all circumstances) instead of a passport;
  26. The number of any identity card issued by the authorities of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom;
  27. Any reference number allocated by the Secretary of State in connection with an application made for permission to enter or to remain in the United Kingdom;
  28. The number of any work permit (within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971);
  29. Any driver number connected to a driving licence;
  30. The number of any designated document which is held by the applicant that is a document the number of which does not fall within any of the preceding sub-paragraphs;
  31. The date of expiry or period of validity of a document the number of which is recorded by virtue of this paragraph.
  32. The date of every application for registration;
  33. The date of every application for a modification of the contents of his entry;
  34. The date of every application confirming the contents of his entry (with or without changes);
  35. The reason for any omission from the information recorded in his entry;
  36. Particulars (in addition to its number) of every ID card issued;
  37. Whether each such card is in force and, if not, why not;
  38. Particulars of every person who has countersigned an application for an ID card or a designated document;
  39. Particulars of every notification given by the applicant for the purposes of regulations under section 13(1) (lost, stolen and damaged ID cards etc.);
  40. Particulars of every requirement by the Secretary of State for the individual to surrender an ID card issued to the applicant.
  41. The information provided in connection with every application to be entered in the Register, for a modification of the contents of entry in the Register or for the issue of an ID card;
  42. Information provided in connection with every application confirming entry in the Register (with or without change;
  43. Particulars of the steps taken, in connection with an application mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) or otherwise, for identifying the applicant or for verifying the information provided in connection with the application;
  44. Particulars of any other steps taken or information obtained (otherwise than in connection with an application mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b)) for ensuring that there is a complete, up-to-date and accurate entry about that individual in the Register;
  45. Particulars of every notification given by that individual for the purposes of section 12.
  46. A personal identification number to be used for facilitating the making of applications for information recorded in his entry, and for facilitating the provision of the information;
  47. A password or other code to be used for that purpose or particulars of a method of generating such a password or code;
  48. Questions and answers to be used for identifying a person seeking to make such an application or to apply for or to make a modification of that entry.
  49. Particulars of every occasion on which information contained in the individual’s entry has been provided to a person;
  50. Particulars of every person to whom such information has been provided on such an occasion;
  51. Other particulars, in relation to each such occasion, of the provision of the information.

The Bill contains no provision for Parliament to decide what information will be stored in or on the card. This will be left to the discretion of the Home Office.

For all I know, Dutch law already arranges for many or all of these data to be registered. In fact, I find it somewhat worrying that I don't know. But if a law was passed arranging for all these data to be registered in one fell swoop, I'd raise a bit of a stink about it too.

Comments (1)

Branko Collin:

The BBC has a page somewhere that contrasts the arguments of proponents and opponents.

The list of arguments against a ID card is lacking the simple: if it doesn't need regulating, the government should not regulate it.

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