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Home Office appoints ID czar

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The Home Office has appointed an ID Commissioner to oversee and monitor the roll-out of national ID cards.

Sir Joseph Pilling has previous form as permanent secretary to the Northern Ireland Office between 1997 and 2005, reviewing senior jobs at the Church of England and the Civil Aviation Authority. He has been at the Home Office since 1966 apart from a two-year sabbatical. He is also on the board of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Pilling said: “I am delighted to accept this post, and plan to be an independent voice in my work towards safeguarding the public’s privacy and identity rights, as Parliament intended.

“In the early weeks and months as I work out how best to do the job I intend to listen to the people across the National Identity Service and to people outside the system with views about my new role.”

He will start his job on 1 October 2009 - in time for the lucky people of Manchester to get their hands on ID cards.

Cards which have already been given out to foreign nationals are not Pilling's responsibility - they are overseen by the Information Commissioner and the UK Border Agency. ®

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