Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Leaked documents show UK government plans to "coerce" take up of "voluntary" ID Cards

Details have trickled out during the last week or so of the UK Government's plans to compel people to use what has been promised to be a "voluntary" ID card. These have been based on leaked government documents. The NO2ID campaign has now published a full version of the most important document, with its own annotations. This is available here (locally hosted copy). One of the most important passages is this:
Various forms of coercion, such as designation of the application process for identity documents issued by UK ministers (eg passports) are an option to stimulate applications in a manageable way.

There are advantages to designation of documents associated with particular target groups, eg young people who may be applying for their first driving licence.
The Register has an insightful analysis:
"Various forms of coercion" could be used to accelerate the rollout of ID cards, the idea being that ID cards will remain 'voluntary' for as long as possible, while not having an ID card will become more and more uncomfortable. This, precisely what the government has intended to do all along, is stated baldly in an Identity & Passport Service leak cited by the Sunday People.

The IPS gives designation of a document under the ID Cards Act as an example of "coercion", and suggests driving licence applications as an area where this approach could be used. Effectively, this would mean that new applicants for licences would be forced to get an ID card...

'Coercion' could therefore be applied here via the delivery of a speedier service online with the aid of a digital passport or ID card, or (heavy coercion) by abandoning the post office end of the service for 'reasons of security.' Similarly, speed of processing can and has been used to illustrate how ID cards can 'help' people working with children and vulnerable groups get their CRB check processed faster. Next stop, compulsory ID cards for teachers? But as it won't be "universal compulsion", they're still not compulsory, right?

1 comment:

  1. Typical creep of the police state. The UK is becoming an authoritarian almost facist society. I'm glad we have organisations like digital rights .ie highlighting the flagrant abuses of privacy in Ireland by the government andn business. Let's face it, the government would like us all tagged and traceable 24x7 and they will do anything they can to bring about that. Democracy is an illusion.