Commons report: British “surveillance society”

no2id.jpgQAS | The Commons’ home affairs committee has submitted a report warning of the danger of Britain becoming a surveillance society. The report calls on the government to promise the proposed ID card scheme will not be used to spy on people.

“We recommend that the Home Office produce a report on the intended functions of the national identity scheme in relation to the fight against crime, containing an explicit statement that the administrative information collected and stored in connection with the national identity register will not be used as a matter of routine to monitor the activities of individuals,” the report reads.

ID cards will become compulsory for non-Europeans living in Britain later this year.

Airport workers and Olympic staff will also be issued with them in 2009 and the government will then decide whether to roll the scheme out across all British citizens at a cost of £4.4 billion.

Previous concerns have been expressed about the risks of the cards, which will contain biometric data such as fingerprints, such as identity theft, with many worried that some cards could fall into the wrong hands.