Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Register on the Lords latest defeat of ID cards

John Lettice somewhat gleefully reports on the latests setback to the ID cards scheme in the House of Lords.

"The Government suffered further defeats on ID Cards last night, as the House of Lords voted to make the scheme genuinely voluntary, and to require a further Act of Parliament before ID cards can be made compulsory. The Government has already stated that it intends to reverse the Lords' amendments in the Commons, but as it now has to deal with several substantial changes, and the Dear Leader has several other controversial pieces of legislation on his plate prior to his retirement, it may have a difficult time of it.

Last night Lord Bassam of Brighton and Baroness Scotland cut lonely figures arguing - and losing - the Government's case, but along the way they produced some interesting information on the content of the ID card which the Government seems, unaccountably, to have been unable to share with us previously. Baroness Scotland said that there were no plans to place any information that the holder was unaware of on the card's chip, and that it would "simply contain the information on the face of the card, technical information regarding the functioning of the card itself, a facial image and two fingerprints." The Register greets this last blurt with particular satisfaction, as we calculated that the card would be likely to house only two fingerprints last October."

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