Last week I mentioned the BCS conference on identity cards which is due to take place in Leeds on 21 Sep 2005. Coincidentally, the Register announced today a 7-day charm offensive by Home Office Minister, Andy Burnham, “aimed at winning the general public around to the idea of a national identity register and identity card.” If, as the Labour Party often says, most people actually favour identity cards the idea of a charm offensive to win public support ought to be otiose. I also have to say that the only person in my circle of acquaintances who supports the government’s proposal, hopes to get work for his business from the project.
The article by Lucy Sheriff “UK Govt wants you to lurve ID cards” contains some potential hostages to fortune. For instance, Mr Burnham is supposed to have told the BBC:
“We have been slower to respond to more subtle claims that ID cards weaken the privacy of the individual against the state. In fact, the exact opposite is true,” he told the BBC. “It may sound like a bold claim but our ID card system will protect personal data and privacy.”