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Entitlement/Identity Cards

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce a national identity card; what information it will hold; what services it could access; whether it will be compulsory; and if he will make a statement on how a card could affect civil liberties. [119572]

The six month consultation period on entitlement cards and identity fraud ended on 31 January 2003. We have received over 4,000 individual responses to the consultation exercise.The consultation paper included suggestions for what might be held on any supporting database, which would be needed to administer a scheme. Only core personal information such as name, address and date of birth would be held, which is held many times over by a number of Government systems. The consultation document suggested that sensitive personal information as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 would not be held on the database or card without consent.The consultation paper invited comments on what services might be linked to a card scheme. We have said all along that it would not be compulsory to carry any card. The consultation paper explained how a card scheme could comply with all eight principles of the Data Protection Act. In providing greater protection against identity theft and fraud, a card scheme could enhance civil liberties.