Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 14:54 UK

Will you sign up for a new ID card?

A sample ID card
The Home Office says ID cards to vital in combating fraud and terrorism

Manchester is to be the first city where people can sign up for a new ID card, ministers are to confirm. Will you sign up for one of the new cards?

This debate is now closed. Below is a selection of the many comments you've sent to the BBC News website about the issue.


We are having serious technical problems with the usual Have Your Say service which our engineers are working to fix. We apologise for any inconvenience. This debate is now closed.


Your e-mails broadly supportive of the plans:

e-mail sent in by reader

As soon as it is possible in this part of the country I will be signing up - nothing to hide and practical for travel in Europe! After all a great number, if not all, of other EU countries have these.
Steve, Braintree

e-mail sent in by reader

I would get an ID card tomorrow if it was available to me. I don't have a passport or driving licence and the only ID I have at the moment is my NHS card. Being ex-Royal Air Force I used to have to carry an ID Card every day and it was very handy at times. My only concern is the cost, being on benefits at present £30 is nearly half of my weekly income and out of my reach at present.
Dave Fulton, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan

e-mail sent in by reader

I would reluctantly if I lived in Manchester, but only cos I'm spending a year in Germany and don't want to have to carry my passport around with me everywhere.
Alex Wright, Birmingham, England

e-mail sent in by reader

I have travelled extensively throughout Europe and in most countries an ID card is compulsory and no-one minds carrying one. Those who are against ID cards generally have something to hide, don't want to carry something that can prove who they really are or simply oppose anything that gives security to the vast majority of law abiding citizens.
Brian, Sandhurst

e-mail sent in by reader

I lived in Brussels between 2000 and 2002 and had to have one when I was there. I see no problem why we shouldn't all have to have them in the UK.
Kevin Farren, Callander, Scotland

e-mail sent in by reader

And why not? I think that everyone living and working in the UK should carry the new ID Card, if you have nothing to hide then why wouldn't you carry one?
Sue, Cardiff

e-mail sent in by reader

Yes, I have no problems with the introduction of an ID card, but I am an honest man with little to hide from. I also believe those that have a problem with it, is because they want to hide from society.
Len Gilbank, Eastbourne

e-mail sent in by reader

I certainly will. I believe it is a necessity to have one. Not everyone has a driving license or a passport so how are they to identify themselves. I believe those who don't want an ID card or are paranoid about it have something to hide or are planning to have something to hide.
Tony Caban, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

I am all for ID cards so long as they don't have to be carried all the time. If they are used for providing proof of identity and proof of age where this is necessary (claiming benefits, withdrawing money from a bank, buying cigarettes and alcohol etc)I don't see what the problem is.
Jim, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

I've read quite a few comments on here, and i think alot of people are simply just scared. The fact is our government can already find out everything about you without an ID card. Imagine replacing Chip and Pin with ID + Bio verification. While that would not be around for the near future, and nor would it be unbreakable. To me this is something we need to do, and need to do right.
Jim, Winchester

e-mail sent in by reader

I will certainly sign up for an ID card. Like many others in these comments who have lived abroad and had an ID card, I had no problem with it and found it very useful.

In addition, its £30 and lets you travel in Europe - that's a lot cheaper than a replacement passport at £72! The information held is just the same as what is held for the passport today which is pretty basic.
Donal, Manchester

e-mail sent in by reader

I used to carry one in the Royal Navy, so have no objections to carrying one now. I do however object to having to pay for it. Issuing through shops etc is just another one of these privatisation schemes to allow certain groups to make a small fortune. All of the data should be kept in purely Government hands and made available to the public on request at no cost to them. Will these cards be secure? I doubt it.
Martin W Prior, Poole, Dorset

e-mail sent in by reader

I have no problems with it whatsoever. I actually think they are long overdue. If you have nothing to hide,then why not have I.D. cards.
D.Summerfield, Shrewsbury

e-mail sent in by reader

I have no objection to an ID card. Combating terrorism sounds extremely unlikely. But I'd like a proper ID card - one that be "bound" to other data services so I could use it to logon to work computers; ID myself for signing e-mail; access my bank; prove I have a driving licence; insurance; act as a CRB reference for working with children; supply my health records to a hospital etc. etc i.e. one ID card not just another one.
Ian Cunningham, Westbury, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

I think that these ID cards are an very good idea, I would be willing to get one however I think the price is too high for the current economic times
Robert Jones, Beverley

e-mail sent in by reader

Other Europeans have them so why shouldn't we? Yes as someone said, we have and paid for passports, but they're too big to carry around whereas ID cards are much smaller and easier to carry just like a credit card. If you have a driving licence then I agree you don't really need an ID card but I personally still will have one.

Jacqui Smith insists that people's personal data would be more secure

If you're one of the members of public that thinks compulsory ID cards are a bad idea, then you usually have a reason for that, like you're a criminal and you have something to hide.

I and many other people back this idea as it will also make it a lot easier for the police to do their job, as it would mean it would be harder for people to lie about their personality.
Samuel Baker, Epsom, Surrey

e-mail sent in by reader

I have nothing against the principal but can't see the point of all this when we already have other forms of perfectly good ID. I think the only people which will benefit from this will be the firms making the cards.
Alex, London

Fake identity cards

Your e-mails criticising the planned introduction of ID cards:

e-mail sent in by reader

I'm only against ID cards on two counts - security, which this government is currently useless at and cost. At a time when we're supposed to be 'tightening out collective belts' why is the government squandering billions on something that will have no effect on fraud or terrorism?
Duncan, Stirling

e-mail sent in by reader

I have been brought up where it is possible (not compulsory) to have an ID card. To me it represented a useless piece of ID since I own a passport. Also, the ID cards we had did not carry any biometric information, and it should stay that way. ID can be lost/stolen hence I prefer to keep my passport at home unless I plan on doing something that requires ID. Does that make me a criminal? I don't think so.
PG, London

e-mail sent in by reader

This government, and our current bunch of inept civil servants, have demonstrated time and time again that they cannot be trusted to store our data securely. ID cards will not reduce terrorism. The current level of fraud is far more preferable to the damage massive ID theft could do following a security breach in a National ID database.
John Robson, Solihull

e-mail sent in by reader

While I can see the pros and cons of the ID cards, one thing that occurred to me - what happens to those who simply cannot afford the card (i.e. those on benefit/pensions)?? This could lead to an underclass of "no-bodies" who will not be able to obtain any services (getting money from the bank, seeing the doctor, getting benefits etc.), which will ONLY be available on showing your ID (it will come.....)
David J, Leeds, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

It's the database that lies behind ID cards that I object to. Why does any government need a centralised database with 49 pieces of my personal information on it? Why should I trust them with it? Who will they make it available to? And how useful will it be while it's not compulsory? Jacqui Smith has yet to persuade me of a single benefit of giving up my privacy to the state.
Michelle Graham, Birmingham, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

I was born in France and ID cards are allegedly voluntary there. However, if you are not able to produce one on the spot you can be taken and held in custody for 48 hours. And of course I don't mind having to feel paranoid walking to the corner shop making sure I have my ID card on me. At least would be safe in the knowledge criminals would never ever dare to create fake ones.
Anthony, London, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

I can't remember the last time I was asked to prove who I was so why should I pay for something I don't need. I have lots of alternative methods to prove who I am.
Brendan, Knebworth

e-mail sent in by reader

I will not be applying for an ID card. I remain unconvinced with HMG's case, particularly as they have a proven track record of hopelessly budgeting costs which turn out to be many times original and revised estimates.
Andrew Mcdermott, Lymm, Cheshire

e-mail sent in by reader

On one hand I have nothing to hide but on the other hand I already have a passport, driving licence and about 100 other forms of ID so why would I need another card? I would also be concerned about the security of information as we know this government is prone to exposing confidential information in front of the TV cameras or leaving it lying on trains.
Mandy, Bath

e-mail sent in by reader

I already have 3 forms of government ID - my passport, birth certificate and driving licence. I do not want to own another one. The government can already find out pretty much everything about me that it wants to, so why do I need an ID card? Most of my travel is outside the EU, so the travel benefits don't affect me as I'll need a passport anyway. Exactly where is the benefit to me?
K.E., Leeds

e-mail sent in by reader

Really don't see why anyone would willingly pay for these when they don't have to. What benefits does it bring? Anyone could just get a provisional driving license which does exactly the same thing only it has a use, whether you actually end up driving or not.
Heather, Nottingham

e-mail sent in by reader

I'm sorry but I just don't understand the logic behind this ID card scheme, what extra security does it give us that a passport or driving license doesn't? Unless it is meant to replaced all other ID's such as Passports/driving licenses (which would be a benefit I guess) I just can't see the point.
S Wallace, Essex, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

Firstly, I have nothing to hide and I am not a terrorist so why do I need an ID card? Secondly, I give my details and personal information to whom I choose not because I am ordered to do so by an authoritarian Government. When it becomes compulsory I will break the law because I won't be having one.
James, Essex

e-mail sent in by reader

Absolutely not. Gathering information about every person into a single database (and it's the database which is the real issue, not the card itself) means putting a tool of totalitarianism into the hands of the state; never a sensible move. We are told it will never be used in such a way, but, even assuming for a second that I trust the current government as far as I could throw the Statue of Liberty, they're not going to be in power forever, and should an even more corrupt bunch take office we'll have no protection from them because we'll already have handed them all the tools they need.
Adrian Ogden, Reading

e-mail sent in by reader

I will not have a ID card for as long as it is legal to do so. I think the whole scheme is just a complete waste of money and an inpingement upon my privacy and human rights. This government has shown itself to be out of touch with the public and this is another example of them trying to impose unworkable top down solutions to things that are not broken.
David Vincent, London

e-mail sent in by reader

It is not the ID card that is the risk; it is the database behind it. Government databases have been shown to leak like sieves. It would be as sensible for me to post all my personal details on HYS as to trust the government to keep them safe all in one convenient place. The idea is a really stupid waste of money invented by a set of dangerous control freaks.
David, Wantage UK

e-mail sent in by reader

I will never want an ID card which holds data, or where a database can hold such data. It is not necessary. If you have an Oyster card for London Transport, they know your name, address and travel patterns. It is not necessarily the government alone that we have to worry about holding our data, but when they lose it or have it stolen.

We do not need all of this data being held in one place. We should not permit this.
David, Nottingham

e-mail sent in by reader

I have nothing to fear from an ID card but even so I have no intention of applying for one as I see little benefit.

More to the point, the Government needs to wake up to the fact that irrespective of their case for ID cards (which is not proven in any case) the country simply can't afford them at the moment.
Seffrid, Hampshire

e-mail sent in by reader

No. ID cards are part of a much larger picture, RFID chips injected under the skin will be next! You think I am joking? Do your research and learn the truth. Do not place your trust in the government or the media, they do not work in the peoples' best interests.
Spencer Dascombe, Milton Keynes

e-mail sent in by reader

It seems to me like Jacqui Smith read 1984 by George Orwell and thought "Thats a ruddy good idea".

The idea of the government being able to keep tabs on me, when I haven't done anything wrong is repulsive. On top of the potential for abuse, comes the very real possibility that they could be exploited by criminals to gather information about me and use that information to rob me or worse.

Alongside this I think it is a huge invasion of Human rights to force people to carry an item that details their lives and is both insensitive and ridiculously controlling.

I do not want to live in a society where I have to fear the government, yet this scheme is the first step along the road to an authoritarian, dictatorship.

No, I will not be using an ID card and never will until it becomes a compulsary item, at which point I may well leave the country.
Tom, Cheltenham

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People in Manchester give their views on ID cards

e-mail sent in by reader

There is no way that I will be paying for an ID card out of principle when there is no guarantee that the government won't just go and lose the data as they manage to do with everything else. I also entirely object to paying £60 to receive absolutely nothing in return. If Labour want it, the Labour Party will pay. Oh, I forgot, they can't as all the unions are deserting them under the "leadership" of Brown!
Chris, Exeter

e-mail sent in by reader

We already have ID cards - they're called passports. As far as I can see from the plans, the ID cards will just duplicate our existing passports thus giving more opportunities for fraud whilst providing no additional benefits.
Jo Wiltshire, London, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

With some trepidation I started to read people's thoughts about the Manchester pilot scheme. It didn't take me long to realise my fears were totally misplaced. The vast majority of comments are against this wretched ID card. Thank goodness for common sense; a pity the government is deaf and blind to our feelings. I told my MP, Alan Milburn, about my objections to ID cards ages ago. I then received a large and very glossy booklet from a Government department that did absolutely nothing at all to make me change my mind. In this column of responses, only one person has mentioned George Orwell's book "1984". Read it, everyone, read it! If you haven't already done so, that is.
Ken Hill, Darlington, UK

e-mail sent in by reader

They are a complete waste of money, will do nothing to fight crime or terrorism.

They will however create a new industry - that of providing fake cards. They will be popular with some forms of criminal. Terrorists, however, will carry on with genuine IDs, like the terrorists in 9/11 in the USA or 7/7 in London!

As an IT professional, I will avoid them. If I am eventually compelled to have one, I hope I will be able to keep it locked up at home to stop it being stolen or damaged...
Scott, UK

The whole scheme is a gross infrimgement of our civil liberties. The data provided will not do anything to prevent fraud, terrorism or crime. A small card will not stop a determined criminal or terrorist.

There is also a clear cost implication, I wonder how many people would be willing to pay £200 each for something that is of no real value to anyone.
Ian, Sheffield, UK

In a word No. Government agencies have proved time and time again that they are incapable of keeping sensitive data safe. It will only be a matter of time before you hear of people's ID cards being cloned and the consequences will be a lot worse than your bank account being cleared out.
Nicole, Chatham

I simply cannot believe that the public is expected to entrust its personal data to high street retailers - what next? Letting Tescos take our biometric readings at the checkouts..?? Absolutely ludicrous..! Where are we supposed to make use of ID cards if we already have passports..? I cannot see any benefit or point in the scheme at all.
Graeme Burslem, Ipswich, Suffolk

To say that you have nothing to fear from ID cards if you have done nothing wrong is horrendous. I was born in the UK. I am a UK citizen. I have never committed a crime. I do not posess a passport because I choose not to travel abroad. If I did not drive I would not have a driving licence. Is the government saying I would not therefore have a right to exist peacefully and legally in my own country if I won't have an ID card therefore making me a criminal by default?>
Elizabeth, Pembrokeshire

More of your comments about the introduction of ID cards into Britain:



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