The Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons is scrutinising the vague Home Office Plans for Compulsory Biometric ID cards
"The Committee will inquire into all aspects of identity cards, including the practical aspects of the Government?s proposals and of any future schemes, and will examine the Government?s draft Bill. Among the questions they will consider are:
They are set to take some Oral Evidence on Thursday 11th December 2003 2.30pm in Room 8 of the Committee Room Corridor of Parliament from:
"Nicola Roche, Director, Children, Families, Entitlement Cards and Coroners, Katherine Courtney, Director, Identity Cards Programme, and Stephen Harrison, Head, Identity Card Policy Unit"
Will these British Civil Servants go down in history as Architects of Repression, along with Jacobus Lambertus Lentz, the Dutch Civil Servant whose ID Card system helped the Nazis round up Jews and slave workers so efficiently ? Or will they actually insist on designing the system with proper privacy safeguards, independent accountability and criminal sanctions against abuse, in spite of their political masters' wishes ?
This session will be open to the public on a first come first served basis, and a recording will be broadcast on the BBC Parliament television channel at 18:00 on Saturday 13th December.
The Committee is also collecting written evidence submissions of less than 2000 words, before January 5th 2004 ideally in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format, by email and/or by postal mail to:
Dr Robin James
Clerk of the Committee
Home Affairs Committee,
London SW1P 3JA
Telephone 020 7219 3276
Fax 020 7219 2744
It will be interesting to see just how much of a grilling the Members of Parliament actually give the Home Office Civil Servants in charge of implementing the Government's ID card plans, and wether the Government will press ahead with them regardless of the Committee Report.