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Last Updated: Friday, 7 May, 2004, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Lord Mayor signs up for ID scheme
ID card
Biometric technology will be used for the ID cards
The Lord Mayor of Newcastle is to become the first person in the city to sign up for the government's new identity cards.

Councillor Margaret Carter will have her facial characteristics, iris and fingerprints recorded on the card.

Newcastle is one of four cities to pilot the new cards.

Members of the public are also being invited to sign up and have their details recorded at Newcastle Registrar's Office.

The UK Passport Service trial will investigate the practicalities of the biometric enrolment process, with 10,000 volunteers across the country taking part.

The government published draft legislation to bring in a compulsory national identity card scheme last month.

'Ambitious project'

Home Office Minister Des Browne said: "The government is to introduce a compulsory national UK identity card scheme to help tackle organised crime and protect the identities of British citizens.

"Using cutting-edge technology the cards will link individuals' unique biometric data, such as iris scans, to a secure national database.

"This is an ambitious, long-term project, and it is essential that we get the technology right.

"The trial site being launched in Newcastle today is a vital part of this, laying the foundations for a robust and effective national identity card scheme."

The London Passport Office, Leicester Post Office and Glasgow DVLA office are also taking part in the pilot.

Any UK resident aged over 18 can volunteer to take part in the trial and will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their experience of the enrolment process.





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