We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Identity Documents Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:43 am on 29th June 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Shadow Minister (Home Office) 10:43 am, 29th June 2010

I would like to ask Dr Metcalfe, who talked about data and how they are held and used, a question. We give an immense amount of data on a daily basis to all sorts of organisations. Many of them, from the Ministry of Defence to the ITN building, have a photograph of me, and presumably some record that I have been there. Data protection is working properly, one hopes, in that respect.

An identity card would hold specific information in one place about who I am, and would provide proof of that, if necessary in certain circumstances, through the form of a fingerprint. I would not need to provide a lot of other information to a lot of organisations. My driving licence only needs to show that I am able to drive, and other documents only that I am able to meet a specific purpose. If you look at it like that, identity cards could have been a way for citizens to choose to give their core data to one place and to then not have to give them to many other organisations. You could very quickly prove with your card in your hand, and not necessarily through access to a database, that your identity was secure; the rest of the data would not need to be supplied. Have you thought about whether there are better ways of reducing the amount of data that we have to give others? If we are not to have the ID card scheme, what would you like to see the Government do?