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Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:08 pm on 20th December 2004.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 5:08 pm, 20th December 2004

The Bill makes it clear that medical records are not included. There may be arguments in favour such as those that my hon. Friend makes, but we will not include such a provision in the Bill because we believe that its purpose is precisely as indicated previously.

The Bill has no power to require the production of an identity card to the police. The scheme will allow the police to check the fingerprints of those whom they are already entitled to fingerprint, such as those under arrest, against the records that are held on the national identity register. We all carry our biometric information with us and there is therefore no need for people to have a card in their possession for the police to make that check.

The Bill sets limits on the information that can be held on the register. Unless the information fulfils the requirements of clause 1(5) and schedule 1, it cannot be held on the register and no criminal convictions, medical records or bank details would be on the database. We will not allow other organisations to have access to the database. We may choose, with Parliament's agreement, to provide specific information on request and subject to proper authorisation, but that is different from what our critics allege.

Annotations

Owen Blacker
Posted on 25 Dec 2004 9:42 pm (Report this annotation)

Well, no criminal convictions, medical records or bank details now. Of course, clause 3(5) allows the Secretary of State to modify Schedule I by order, whenever he likes.

One moral panic or public health scare later and I find it hard to believe that a government that is somewhat beholden to public opinion would resist the urge to answer the Something Must Be Done crowd.

chris pounder
Posted on 1 Jan 2005 9:18 pm (Report this annotation)

The comment "We all carry our biometric information with us and there is therefore no need for people to have a card in their possession for the police to make that check" is very important. There is no need for an ID Card if there is equipment which can check biometrics against the database in real time as it is the biometrics will confirm identity. This shows that the database asscoaited with the ID Card is the key factor of the legislation - the Card itself is ultimately of secondary importnace.