John Lettice - one of the smarter journalists covering the ID mess - has been dissecting the latest ID card system developments over at the Register.
"The UK Identity & Passport Service (IPS) has staged an identity landgrab on birth, marriage and death records. From April 2008 the General Register Office, which is responsible for recording these matters and is currently a directorate of the Office of National Statistics, is to become part of IPS, meaning that IPS will be logging you from the moment you're born until the moment you die.
The logic of the move is chilling. The UK ID card scheme itself only requires registration for an ID card from age 16, while the passport part of the deal only, obviously, needs to have data on people who have passports. But... IPS has entirely and obviously unfeasible plans to make money by promoting itself to the status of the UK's de facto identity services broker, with passport validation and identity verification services being early manifestations of how it proposes to make money out of this. But if IPS is to be able to grow its offerings from simply checking if a passport is genuine into a general ID verification service, then it makes sense to have everybody in the database, whether they like it or not."