The Home Affairs Committee
transcript of the uncorrected evidence taken on the 15th June 2004 is now online.
"Dr Chris Pounder, Editor, Data Protection and Privacy Practice, and Ms Claire McNab, Vice-President, Press for Change (PFC); Dr Vivienne Nathanson, Director of Professional Activities, and Dr John Chisholm, CBE, Chairman, General Practitioners Committee, British Medical Association, and Mr Trevor Phillips, OBE, Chair, Commission for Racial Equality"
Evidence was given about the sensitivity of Address, Gender, Previous Name and Race with respect to the National Identity Register and ID card plan.
None of these are actually necessary in order to prove Identity or UK residency or work entitlement, which leads to justifiable fears by minority populations that the ID Card scheme and Register will be used, in practice, in a discriminatory way.
The Data Sharing Without Consent aspects of the scheme, which break the Principles of Data Protection, which were not in the Home Office's previous two consultation documents, but which have emerged from the text of the Draft ID Card Bill were mentioned.
Concerns over the costs and the inappropriate workload such as checking people's addresses, which such a scheme would likely dump onto already hard pressed Doctors and other healthcare workers was also expressed.
The naive idea that the medical profession could actually rely on any medical data e.g. blood group which proponents of the scheme have suggested could be stored on the ID Card or on the Central Database was debunked - it only takes a few seconds for an emergency team to determine which emergency blood supply is appropriate, and the full laboratory analysis of people's detailed blood groupings is simply not available on most of the population before they have been admitted to hospital.
No doctor could trust any statement like "no allergies" on anything but the patients actual, up to date, medical record, which is a whole massive NHS IT project in itself, unrelated to ID Cards or a National Identity Register, and which should be kept separate from it, for the normal, well established reasons of medical data privacy, which benefit the individual and society as a whole.
The disproportionate burden of Address Change Notification for those who move address frequently, such as urban populations and for minorities such as travellers and gypsies, under penalty of £1000 fine was also mentioned.
The implications for law abiding trans-gendered people of the ID card scheme were explored, together with the apparent attempt by the Home Office scheme to undermine the common law right to use multiple names provided that there is no intent to defraud e.g. actors with stage names or Ms. Cherie Booth QC who is also known as Mrs. Cherie Blair , the wife of the Prime Minister.