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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 July, 2004, 04:36 GMT 05:36 UK
ID card plans 'criticised by MPs'
Immigration Minister Des Brown holds biometric identification card, PA
The government is working towards a national introduction of cards
Plans for introducing ID cards in the UK are badly thought out and lack clarity, MPs are expected to say.

A select committee report is due out on Thursday, but the Guardian newspaper claims to have seen a leaked copy.

While the MPs do not oppose ID cards, they will warn of the system encroaching on other areas in future - such as national fingerprinting.

Access to information exceeds what is justified to fight crime or terrorism, they will say, according to the paper.

It claims the Home Affairs select committee will say ministers are already planning to use the scheme as "a cover" to introduce a national fingerprinting system within five years.

The report will warn private companies could demand access to information on individuals as a condition of providing a service.

'Lack of openness'

That would be "well in excess" of what is needed to fight crime and terrorism, they are expected to say.

MPs will also warn Home Secretary David Blunkett's draft Bill is full of loopholes that will give the security and intelligence services "nearly unfettered access to information on the database" without cardholders knowing.

They also cast doubt on the technology involved in biometric testing, which puts a digital facial or fingerprint record into the ID card.

And the committee criticises the "lack of openness" over the finances, according to the Guardian.

It said the MPs will call for parliament to have powers to oversee the project, to prevent encroachment into new areas.

Two committee members, Labour's David Winnick and Bob Russell of the Liberal Democrats, will issue their own report entirely rejecting ID cards, the paper adds.

On Wednesday a panel of experts said plans to introduce the cards may be premature because the technology may not be up to the task.




SEE ALSO:
UK 'not ready' for ID card scheme
28 Jul 04  |  Science/Nature
Race watchdog warns on ID cards
15 Jun 04  |  Politics
Watchdog's 'alarm' over ID cards
08 Jun 04  |  Politics
Firm chosen to develop ID cards
24 May 04  |  Politics
Testing the biometric facts
26 Apr 04  |  Technology
ID cards have 'hidden dangers'
24 Apr 04  |  Politics
Met's chief backs identity cards
02 Apr 04  |  Politics


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