Feeds

ID cards not compulsory after all, says Home Office

Blunkett plan finding favour?

High performance access to file storage

Plans to make ID cards compulsory for UK citizens at some point in the middle distance have been officially abandoned, apparently. According to the Home Office's revised counter-terrorism strategy document, published today, "It is not our intention that identity cards should be mandatory for UK nationals."

This in some senses reverses the previous plan, which was for ID cards to be made compulsory via a vote in parliament after they had achieved significant penetration among the UK population. In most senses, however, it changes nothing. ID cards will be issued to airport workers "initially for an 18 month evaluation period" this year, offered to "young people to assist them in proving their identity" next year, and will "start to enroll people at high volumes" from 2011/12.

The hordes of people desperate for ID cards and the luckless population of Manchester seem to have fallen off this roadmap, possibly for reasons of space but more likely because both ideas were ridiculous.

Presuming (possibly a big presume) that the Home Office doesn't change its mind about compulsion again, the roadmap is now more closely aligned to David Blunkett's cunning plan to save the ID scheme. Once ID cards become available to the general UK population, people will be given "a choice between an identity card, a passport or both". Whatever they choose, their details will be added to the National Identity Register, and as it's the database that's the point, not the card, the Home Office is happy to let them decline the latter.

The two problems with this, from the point of view of the Home Office, are first that people who don't want or need a passport won't go onto the NIR (which is why Blunkett wants to make passports compulsory instead), and second that EU citizens living in the UK will escape the scheme entirely. So in the unlikely event of New Labour and Smith (majority 1,948) remaining in place after the next election, we can perhaps expect a compulsory passport announcement in a few years time.

Should the 2011 part of the 2011/12 general rollout actually happen, incidentally, it's likely to be the last time you will be able to collect a passport, and presumably ID card, without handing in your fingerprints. These will be required for passport renewals from 2012, according to today's document. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.