The Government have carefully considered the privacy implications of the national identity scheme. The national identity register will hold only that information which is listed in Schedule 1 of the Identity Cards Act 2006. A significant amount of the information listed in Schedule 1 is already held on the passport database. For example, most of the information contained within paragraphs one, five and seven are held on the passport database which is administered by the Identity and Passport Service. Additionally, the information and personal reference numbers contained in paragraphs three and four are either allocated by a Government Department, or in the case of documents issued overseas, are generally recorded by a Government Department, usually the Immigration Service. The national identity register will hold much less information than databases that are administered by various private companies, for example credit card issuers and supermarket loyalty schemes. The Identity Cards Act ensures that personal reference numbers which would tend to reveal sensitive personal data cannot be held on the register. The PNC number for example, could not be added to the register as this could suggest that the individual had been of interest to the police, or that the individual had a criminal record.
In addition to the safeguards in the Data Protection Act with which the scheme will comply, the Act also provides additional safeguards. Information will be disclosed only with consent under Section 12 of the Act, or via strictly controlled statutory procedures set out in Sections 17–21 of the Act. The individual will be able to view the 'audit log' information, set out in paragraph 9 of Schedule 1, through which they can view each occasion on which information has been disclosed from their record. A function of the national identity scheme commissioner set out at Section 22, will be to keep under review the extent to which the arrangements of the scheme make appropriate provision for securing the confidentiality of the information stored in the register.