Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

HMRC Discs Fiasco Should Seal The Fate Of ID Card Proposals

For all that is being said about the current fiasco over the missing discs containing personal details of 25 million Britons, one thing comes out loud and clear - this should (though with the current government who knows?) seal the fate of the unpopular and expensive national ID card proposals. The following is from the NO2ID website :

It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry. The cabinet insists we should trust them to manage everyone's life through a National Identity Register. Meanwhile HMRC has mislaid discs containing the names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers and bank details of 25 million British people — more than seven million families.

The package was sent in the state's internal post — and was neither recorded nor registered. The value to organised crime of the information on the two "lost" discs is incalculable — but certainly runs into hundreds of millions of pounds. The government, of course, blames junior officials for a failure to follow protocols.

But it simply should not be possible for junior staff — or the chancellor himself — to collect or copy such details in one place. That it is, is a direct result of the government's obsession with centralised databases and its contempt for citizens' privacy.
Something positive may come of it, though. With your help, NO2ID can use this a clear illustration of the real danger in state control of personal identity to defeat the ID scheme quickly.

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