Meg Hillier, Labour Minister for Identity, has claimed that children as young as 14 [1] may be given ID cards under government plans. This is a U-turn on assurances given to MPs and the public when the legislation was passed, but there are powers buried in the Identity Cards Act that allow the Home Secretary to do it by regulation.

Anti-database state campaigners NO2ID [2] derided Ms Hiller's assertion that the ID scheme -- still only limping towards its first scaled-down pilots [3], more than two years after the Act was passed -- could not now be scrapped. The minister seems to be unaware that officials have been designing the scheme to be disposable [4] since before she came into office. The Conservatives and other opposition parties have promised to repeal the legislation completely.

Phil Booth, NO2ID National Coordinator said:

"How desperate have they become to start picking on children? What started life as Mr Blunkett's essential tool against terror is now being pitched by a junior minister as a glorified proof-of-age card.

"Having failed to convince the unions, the airline industry or the public at large, the government is now seeking any soft targets it can."


Notes for editors:

1) Speaking at a "No ID-No Sale" fringe meeting at Labour Party conference:

2) NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. See for a list of 'database state' initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing.

3) The TUC has voted to oppose compulsory ID cards for airside workers, and the much-vaunted introduction of 'ID cards for foreigners' has been downscaled to just 50,000 cards issued before April 2009:

4) From a leaked e-mail exchange between senior officials, June 2006: "we are designing the strategy so that they are all sensible and
viable contracts in their own right even if the ID card gets canned completely."


*UPDATE* Phil Booth will be speaking this evening at another fringe event, co-sponsored by the British Computer Society, entitled 'Privacy and Security in the Database State'. The meeting, free to enter *without* ID, will start at 7:00pm in the University of Manchester Reynolds Building, C2 (Sackville Street Campus).

For further information, or for immediate or future interview, please contact:
Phil Booth (National Co-ordinator, national.coordinator at on 07974 230 839
Guy Herbert (General Secretary, general.secretary at on 07956 544 308
Michael Parker (Press Officer, press.officer at on 07773 376 166

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Posted: 2008-09-23 02:00:01

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