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UK: Anger at new ID cards

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    UK: Anger as new ID cards to be tested in city: ID cards would carry details of the holder s identity, including facial recognition, iris images and
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2 6:05 PM
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      UK: Anger as new ID cards to be tested in city:

      ID cards would carry details of the holder's identity, including
      facial
      recognition, iris images and fingerprints. A special database would
      be created,
      storing individual iris scans and prints


      VOLUNTEERS from Glasgow will be among the first to test plans for
      compulsory identity cards.
      But the news, revealed today, has already sparked anger among
      Scottish civil rights groups.
      Home Secretary David Blunkett unveiled the Glasgow tests as he gave
      details of draft legislation to pave the way for biometric ID cards.
      These would carry details of the holder's identity, including facial
      recognition, iris images and fingerprints. A special database would
      be created, storing individual iris scans and prints.

      Up to 10,000 people will take part in the trials, which were
      beginning today at the UK Passport Service HQ in London. Apart from
      Glasgow, trials will also be carried out in Leicester and Newcastle.
      There is no financial incentive for volunteers to take part in the
      Glasgow pilot, which is expected to be running soon. Campaigners hit
      out at the tests. John Scott of the Scottish Human Rights Centre
      said: "We are disappointed they are to be trialled in Glasgow. ID
      cards are a bad idea and don't do what Mr Blunkett says they do.

      "My bet is they will be used to target young people and minorities
      under the guise of spot checks on cards." However, the Home Secretary
      insisted a national ID card scheme was essential.
      Mr Blunkett said the Queen would be required to register for a card
      if the scheme became compulsory. He warned that if the Government did
      not act Britain would become known as a soft touch for terrorists.

      Ministers believe the cards will also help combat ID fraud, illegal
      immigration and illegal working, as well as making sure public
      services – such as the NHS and benefits – are accessed only by those
      entitled to use them. Home Office Minister Des Browne, MP for
      Kilmarnock and Loudoun, said: "I think people increasingly understand
      security needs to be backed up by biometric information."
      Downing Street repeated the timetable for the introduction of cards
      had not changed, with no decision on compulsion until 2013, when 80%
      of the population was expected to carry them.
      But the biometric checks are likely to become compulsory for anyone
      applying for, or renewing, passports from 2007. Biometrics will be
      introduced into driving licences later. Mr Blunkett said less
      information would be held on ID cards than on shopping loyalty cards,
      but he promised to bring in "watertight" guarantees to prevent
      a "drift" of data.

      The estimated £3.1bn cost of bringing in the cards would be met by
      charging more for passports.
      Under the plans, an ID card would need to be shown when registering
      with a doctor and before having long-term treatment, but not for
      regular visits to the GP or trips to A&E.

      Major police stations would hold "readers" to check cards, as would
      major employers.
      The Scottish Executive has not been involved with the plans for the
      pilot programme, but a spokesman today said ID cards would not be
      used in Scotland to access services like health.
      He added: "It is a reserved matter for Westminster, but we have no
      plans to make it a requirement for people to access devolved
      services."

      The SNP immediately said the Scottish Parliament should debate Mr
      Blunkett's plans.
      Linda Fabiani, SNP whip, said: "When it's something as fundamentally
      important to everybody in Scotland, everybody has the right for it to
      be discussed in Parliament." LibDems' home affairs spokesman Mark
      Oaten said: "Sadly, I look at the identity schemes in New York and
      Madrid, but in those cases they weren't able to stop the awful events
      which took place.

      "A serious terrorist, particularly a suicide terrorist, will get
      through and a piece of plastic will not help tackle that." VOLUNTEERS
      from Glasgow will be among the first to test plans for compulsory
      identity cards.

      But the news, revealed today, has already sparked anger among
      Scottish civil rights groups.
      Home Secretary David Blunkett unveiled the Glasgow tests as he gave
      details of draft legislation to pave the way for biometric ID cards.
      These would carry details of the holder's identity, including facial
      recognition, iris images and fingerprints. A special database would
      be created, storing individual iris scans and prints.

      Read entire article at
      http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/hi/news/5025913.html

      ===
      UK: ID card scheme £2,500 fine threat:

      People who refuse to register for the government's planned ID card
      scheme could
      face a "civil financial penalty" of up to £2,500, it has emerged.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3659355.stm

      ID card £2,500 penalty threat


      The home secretary has unveiled his plans for ID cards
      People who refuse to register for the government's planned ID card
      scheme could face a "civil financial penalty" of up to £2,500, it has
      emerged. David Blunkett said not making registering a criminal issue
      would avoid "clever people" becoming martyrs.

      And he promised strict limits on the type of information stored on ID
      cards.

      Under Monday's draft bill, carrying false papers will be a criminal
      offence but MPs have until 2013 to decide if registration should be
      compulsory.

      'Soft touch'

      Details of card holders kept on the National Identity Register will
      include name, address and previous addresses as well as nationality
      and immigration status.

      Mr Blunkett also confirmed that people will have the right to see
      their entry on the register.

      He said ID cards were needed to prevent the UK becoming a "soft
      touch" for terrorists.

      But DNA and other health information would not be included on the
      cards and there would be an independent regulator to control the type
      of information they contain.

      Royal family

      Legislation is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the autumn,
      with the first biometric passports, which store fingerprint or iris
      scan information, issued in 2005 and the first cards carrying
      fingerprint details in 2007.

      HOW SCHEME WILL WORK
      Passport price hike of £35 to meet £3.1bn cost of ID card scheme
      Postal passport applications would no longer be possible
      2008: 80% of economically active population will carry some form of
      biometric identity document
      2013: MPs to vote on whether registration should be compulsory
      New ID would require people to sit in a "biometric enrolment pod"
      which photographs them and scans the face and iris
      Information is recorded on a microchip and in a central database
      Source: Home Office


      What's involved for volunteers?

      Ministers will make the final decision on compulsory registration by
      2013, as detailed in the government's original timetable published in
      November.

      By that time, Mr Blunkett expects 80% of the population to hold
      biometric identification either in the form of a passport, a driving
      licence or a voluntary ID card.

      Asked whether members of the Royal Family would be required to apply
      for a card if compulsion is introduced, Mr Blunkett said: "We are all
      subjects and citizens."

      Illegal working

      A trial of identity card technology was launched on Monday involving
      10,000 volunteers.

      Ministers believe that as well as fighting terrorism, the cards will
      help to crack down on ID fraud, human trafficking and illegal
      working, as well as stopping people exploiting health and welfare
      services.

      Mr Blunkett claimed the biometric system would make UK ID cards
      impossible to forge - unlike cards used elsewhere in Europe.

      Safeguards

      Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten said: "I would
      much rather see the £3bn that's going to be incurred in looking at
      better intelligence".

      Testing the biometric facts
      Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said the Tories were sceptical
      about the home office's ability to succesfully introduce ID cards -
      but added the idea must be looked at "carefully".

      "The practical problems in the way of ID cards are immense.

      "If a scheme can overcome these problems without sacrificing civil
      liberties, ID cards should be introduced soon - not in ten years
      time. The terrorist threat is real, and is here today," Mr Davis
      said.

      The draft Bill sets out proposals for a national identity register to
      hold details of all 60 million people in the UK. This will enable a
      person's identity to be authenticated when they produce their card.

      The legislation also sets out safeguards to prevent government
      officials from misusing the data.


      As part of a large-scale test of the equipment, volunteers are having
      biometric details recorded, involving facial scans, iris scans and
      fingerprints.


      Biometrics options explained
      Trials are beginning at the UK Passport Service's London HQ on
      Monday, with further trials to be held in Leicester, Newcastle and
      Glasgow

      The biometric checks will become compulsory for anyone applying for,
      or renewing, passports from 2007.

      Biometrics will also be introduced into driving licences later.

      Are the public happy with the new ID scheme?


      In pictures

      If cards are made compulsory, they will have to be produced to access
      a range of public services including the NHS and benefits.

      The estimated £3.1bn cost of introducing the scheme will be met by
      increasing the cost of passports.

      Civil rights campaign group Liberty said the government was
      effectively introducing an identity tax.

      Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said there were privacy
      implications, while no government had yet shown itself competent to
      manage such databases.

      The Home Affairs select committee said it would be placing the draft
      bill under close scrutiny.

      As part of the inquiry, the committee will take evidence from the
      Home Secretary David Blunkett MP on 4 May and will also be calling
      for written submissions on the draft bill as part of the process of
      pre-legislative scrutiny.

      People who want to take part in the trial should send an email to
      trial@....

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