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Clause 1 — The National Identity Register

Part of Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 18th October 2005.

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Photo of Matthew Taylor Matthew Taylor Liberal Democrat, Truro and St Austell 5:00 pm, 18th October 2005

My hon. Friend makes exactly the right point about how widely drawn are the powers of the state, as set out in clause 1. However, we know from the Cabinet Office leak that the Government also foresee that the information will be used by the private sector. Does my hon. Friend agree that a person's identity number and card may be required by a growing number of private-sector organisations, as validation of that individual's identity? As a result, those organisations will build up data around that number, and the Government may well be able to buy into that data. Is not this a system for allowing the collection of an almost infinite amount of information about individuals—by the Government, and by those who might try to access various forms of data networks about people? The latter may pay for that information, but they might also procure it illegitimately, by breaking into those data networks.