Assembly says no to ID card proposals

The London Assembly has called on the Government to abandon controversial plans to introduce ID cards and instead spend London’s share of the costs of the proposed scheme on tackling crime.

Jenny Jones AM, who proposed the motion, said:

“If the ID card scheme goes ahead it will lead to the creation of a massive database full of personal data and biometric information. There have been several incidents lately where public sector organisations have lost or misplaced huge amounts of personal data, making the information contained in an ID card database an accident waiting to happen. The money would be far better spent reducing crime in the capital.”

Bob Blackman AM, who seconded the motion, said:

“The proposals for ID cards are intrusive and serve no purpose beyond making people more vulnerable to having their personal data lost, sold or abused. If this type of comprehensive personal information were to fall into the wrong hands — which is a real possibility — it would be the average person who has done nothing wrong who would suffer most.”

The motion in full reads as follows:

“This Assembly expresses its alarm over recent government failures to protect the personal data of citizens, including many Londoners, and over major failures with government computer systems. It considers that these failures demonstrate further the huge risks of introducing a National ID Register, involving a massive accumulation of personal information, together with biometric ID cards.

The Assembly calls on the government to recognise these risks and abandon its proposals, including the introduction of ID cards by coercion as part of the passport and driving licence application process. It reiterates its call to government to redirect London’s share of the cost of the scheme to effective crime prevention and policing measures.”