Azara Blog: UK government still wants ID cards

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Date published: 2008/03/06

The BBC says:

The government has set out changes to its planned identity scheme - including allowing people to use passports or driving licences instead of ID cards.

Most people will not now have to give their fingerprints when getting a passport until 2011/12 - three years later than had previously been planned.

And plans to force passport applicants to get an ID card have been dropped.

The exception will be airport and other workers in security-sensitive jobs who will need an ID card from 2009.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said students would also be encouraged to get identity cards from 2010, as part of plans to let "consumer demand" drive take-up.

A hodge-podge of proposals. Apparently what Smith means by students being "encouraged" is that she is hoping banks will make it difficult for them to open up accounts without the ID cards. But a good fraction of students probably have passports, so this seems like a poor strategy. But the idea seems to be that the government might be able to get mass take-up of the ID cards while still being able to pretend that they are "voluntary". Otherwise the proposals are seemingly just being made to try and save the government some face.

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