Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 28th June 2005.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 3:31 pm, 28th June 2005

I will give assurances on charging in a moment.

Various questions have been asked about whether private companies would be able to buy information from the national database. Let me make the position clear. There will be no open access to information on the register. Private companies will not be able to gain access to or buy national identity register entries. With the consent of the identity card holder—I emphasise that—banks or other approved businesses will be able to verify identity by checking an ID card against the national identity register. That would mainly involve confirming that the card is valid and has not been reported lost or stolen, and that the information shown on it is correct.

The card holder's biometric details may also—with the card holder's consent—be confirmed against those held on the register. Clause 14, however, specifically prevents fingerprints or other biometric information from being conveyed from the register to a private sector organisation, even with the consent of the individual concerned. It also does not allow administrative information not related to confirmation of identity to be given to a private sector organisation—again, even with the card holder's consent.