Feeds

UK ID card consultation ends today

Campaigners urge extension to 'bungled' consultation

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Home Office's consultation on its ID (aka Entitlement) Card proposals closes today, amidst complaints from privacy campaigners that the government has broken its own rules in canvassing opinions on its controversial plans.

Human rights group Privacy International has lodged a complaint on the consultation process with the Parliamentary Ombudsman, due to several alleged breaches of the Government's own code of practice.

Privacy International alleges four breaches of the Code of Practice relating to requirements for even-handedness, specificity, impact assessment and declaration of the relevant complaints procedure.

The organisation has called on the government to extend the consultation period until the Ombudsman's investigation can be completed.

"The Home Office has been guilty of maladministration throughout the entire consultation process. It should accept that an extension of the consultation period is squarely in the public interest," said Privacy International's Director, Simon Davies.

Davies' comments were supported by an open letter to the Prime Minister signed by a number of business, welfare and political groups, also alleging breach of the Code of Practice. Those groups include the Foundation for Information Policy Research, the Association of Community Health Councils, the International Commerce Exchange and Liberty.

On January 23 Downing Street declared an end to the consultation period. Curious that, because the Home Office entitlement card unit says, and Home Office spin-doctors confirm, the consultation ends today.

The No 10 statement states "with over 2,000 responses the government said no decision has been taken on whether to proceed with a scheme to introduce [Entitlement] cards". Unlike previous government statements it does not contain the assertion that two in three responses are in favour of entitlement (ID cards).

But wait a minute there's been 4,954 responses through pressure group Stand.org's Website alone, which the government promised to treat as valid consultation submissions.

Privacy International's Simon Davies told us that the government figures simply don't add up.

"The government has lost the numbers game and is facing a hostile public inquiry because of its maladministraion of the consultation process," Davis told us. He'd like to see consultation extended for a further six months and focused around more detailed government plans.

Davis hopes for a "gracious capitulation" by the government to Privacy International's criticisms, but believes the Home Office is "arrogant and set in a certain direction" towards pushing through ID cards.

"Extending consultation is the sensible thing to do but the government is more likely to dig themselves into a hole then try to talk their way out of it later," he said.

What's the controversy about

Privacy International has put together an FAQ on the government's proposals that highlight its numerous concerns. It argues introducing ID cards will be costly and complicated while the cards will do little to further the government's stated objectives of using them to combat benefit fraud and terrorism.
More background material is here. ®

Related Stories

UK.gov poised for climb-down on ID cards?
Public overwhelmingly supports ID cards, claims UK.gov
We don't need no stinking ID cards
British ID cards to revolutionise crime

External Links

Last chance to comment on ID card plans

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.