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Gov will spend £400k to destroy ID card data

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Taxpayers will finally see some value for money out of the former goverment's ID card scheme.

The cost of destroying the personal data collected under the ill-starred programme will be a mere £400,000, Home Office minister Damian Green revealed yesterday.

The figure came in a commons reply to Paul Goggins MP, who'd asked what security standards would be applied in the destruction of the National Identity Register, what the arrangements were for the data destruction, and what the cost would be.

Green replied that the standards applied had been set out in a document placed in the House of Lords Library last November.

The destruction will be carried out by a a CESG accredited and approved supplier, securely and in accordance with established secure destruction policy, procedures and guidelines, Green said. These include compliance with the HMS IA Standard No. 5-Secure Sanitisation of Protectively Marked Sensitive Information. Physical equipment holding the data will be degaussed and physically shredded.

While scrapping the system will save £86m over the next four years, said Green, costs from asset write-offs and the like will be £5m in 2010-2011.

The actual dismantling of the systems and the destruction of the personal data will be a mere £400,000, though. Which seems like a bargain compared to the £330m Labour spent on the scheme, of which £41m went on "developing the policy, legislation and business case for the introduction of identity cards".

A cheaper option of course might have been to simply shove the data in the Lords Library. As Green himself demonstrated to Goggins, no one thinks of looking for anything in there. ®

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