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The British public is evenly split on ID cards - 47 per cent think they're a good idea while 50 per cent think not.

The survey of over 1,000 people looked at attitudes to several proposed government IT projects including the database of all UK children, the central register of personal information and fingerprints to support ID cards, the database of information on British travellers, and changes to allow government departments to share information they collect on citizens with other government departments or agencies.

The proposals on data sharing between government bodies makes for the most unpopular issue - 52 per cent of respondents felt uncomfortable with it compared to 47 per cent who were happy with the proposals. Proposals to collect information on British citizens entering or leaving the UK were more popular - 67 per cent were comfortable versus 31 per cent who were uncomfortable.

Research from the Home Office in 2005 showed 73 per cent of people in favour of the ID card proposals compared to 17 per cent opposed and 10 per cent neutral. Given the series of government data screw-ups since then, it is unsurprising that people have less faith in the government's ability to look after their data safely.

Campaigners for No2ID said that with 25 per cent of people strongly opposed to ID cards the government could face the refusal of millions of people to carry such a card. No2ID has already collected over 10,000 pledges from people who will refuse to hand over details to the National Registry.

Researchers from ICM Omnibus spoke to over 1,000 people between 1 and 3 February for the survey.

Fuller survey results available as a pdf here. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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