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UK.gov in partial ID card climbdown

Bill before compulsion concession

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The UK government is reportedly poised to accept key concessions in an effort to ease the passage of its controversial ID card plans through parliament. Amendments to the legislation, due to be tabled by a home office minister, would mean a new bill would have to be enacted in order to make it compulsory for Britons to carry biometric identity cards, following a defeat in the House of Lords over the issue.

And in a concession to concerns over the possible cost of identity cards, the Home Office is expected to agree to make a report to parliament on costs every six months, once the scheme is set up. From 2008, anyone applying for a new British passport can also expect to pay for a identity card containing biometric data, including fingerprint and an iris scan. This biometric data would be placed in a national register.

The Lords voted to say people should have a choice over whether this data goes into the database. But that's a concession too far for the Home Office, which is standing firm over its plans to make entries compulsory, the BBC reports.

Legislation paving the way for an identity card returns to the Commons on Monday. ®

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