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UK Finally Scraps Useless ID Scheme

by Bob Blakley  |  May 28, 2010  |  2 Comments

The UK Government today announced its definitive plan to scrap the National ID scheme.  This is good news; the scheme had no clearly articulated goals, and the previous UK administration was never able to state what identity-related problem it was trying to address.

The new government is binning the scheme for the right reasons. In explaining the decision, new deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “The wasteful, bureaucratic and intrusive ID-card scheme represents everything that has been wrong with government in recent years. By taking swift action to scrap it, we are making it clear that this government won’t sacrifice people’s liberty for the sake of ministers’ pet projects.”

And the news gets even better – it looks like this government will roll back more stupid and wasteful plans in the future.  Home secretary Theresa May is quoted as saying: “This bill is a first step of many that this government is taking to reduce the control of the state over decent, law-abiding people and hand power back to them. With swift parliamentary approval, we aim to consign identity cards and the intrusive ID-card scheme to history within 100 days.”


Tags: id-cards  privacy  security  

Bob Blakley
Research VP
4 years at Gartner
31 years IT industry

Bob Blakley is VP, Distinguished Analyst, and Agenda Manager for IT1 Identity and Privacy Strategies Service. Mr. Blakley is past general chair of the IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium and the ACSA New Security Paradigms workshop. He was awarded ACSAC's Distinguished Security Practitioner award…Read Full Bio

Thoughts on UK Finally Scraps Useless ID Scheme

  1. Simon Evans says:

    It would be even better news if the scheme were scrapped in its entirety. The UKBA will continue to issue ‘ID cards’ – which in reality are visas with biometric data on them – to non EU nationals. They have already issued over 2000,000. To issue one of these cards requires software for application processing and recording of data on the card, as well as recording when and where it is used. No other country has found it necessary to have visas which are not in passports.

    If the government wanted the UK population to have ID cards in future then the foreign nationals’ visa system could easily be adapted to produce them. If we are to get rid of ID cards then we should not force non-EU nationals to hold them. The entire system needs to be scrapped, not just the part for the UK population.

  2. So Bob, is the conclusion here that for a common-law country, it is hopeless to try to instate a national ID card? I would be interested in the stats on this claim.

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