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National Identity Scheme

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

15. What recent representations from members of the public he has received on the introduction of the national identity scheme. (283798)

I thank the Secretary of State for that helpful answer. Is he aware that disquiet about ID cards extends well beyond Home Office matters to data held about health and many other aspects that involve many other Departments? The Government are clearly having great difficulty in keeping such electronic data secure. Will the Secretary of State ask his colleagues throughout Whitehall whether they, too, will contemplate a climbdown and decide to leave such data in private hands?

There has not been any climbdown. However, we need to be absolutely clear. When the House enacted the Identity Cards Bill, it put in place safeguards, checks and balances to ensure that the use of the information was restricted to the public interest, according to the terms of the Bill. The information on the identity card will not include people’s health records, criminal records or other information that various people raise from time to time. It will include basic information such as gender, age, address and the necessary status of the individual. It will not include any other information.