Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:09 pm on 28th June 2005.

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Photo of Lynne Jones Lynne Jones Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak 6:09 pm, 28th June 2005

I beg to move, To leave out from "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

That this House
declines to give a Second Reading to the Identity Cards Bill because the scheme proposed in the Bill will make no significant contribution to the reduction or eradication of terrorism, illegal immigration, or illegal employment;
contains no proper safeguards to limit or prescribe the information to be stored upon identity cards or the national register, or the agencies and organisations, national or international, to whom this information will be made available or will be given;
fails to identify the biometric details to be stored or to acknowledge the effectiveness of the same or the margins of, the consequences of, and the remedies for, error;
fails properly to limit or define the fees which may be levied by the Secretary of State;
and the Bill provides for the costs of the scheme to be paid on the authority of the Secretary of State without providing to Parliament any proper estimates of the vast costs likely to be incurred.

The more people understand the Bill's implications, the more they realise that what is a superficially attractive idea is not only dumb, but very dangerous. Anxiety about the Bill is growing among the labour movement, the trade union movement and, as we have seen, Labour Members.

The point of principle is not the introduction of an identity document that includes biometrics, which is inevitable, but the creation of a national registration scheme and national database. Notwithstanding the remarks of Mr. Hogg, I am not het up about the question of whether ID cards should be compulsory, because, as the Government have said, the card will be of limited use on its own.

In the Government's view, the ability to check the card against the record on the register will make the system secure. Far from providing benefits, however, the establishment of a huge database with everyone's personal details conveniently concentrated in one place could be very dangerous. It would create an ID-theft bonanza for any terrorists or criminals who penetrate the security—let us make no bones about it, they will find ways to penetrate the security. Computer experts have told us that no such database can be 100 per cent. secure, and that point has been proved in America, where the Department of Motor Vehicles database has been attacked.