The text of the Identity Documents Bill text has been published online:
Repeal of Identity Cards Act 2006
1 Repeal of Identity Cards Act 2006
(1) The Identity Cards Act 2006 is repealed.
(a) sections 25 and 26 of that Act (possession of false identity documents etc), and
(b) section 38 of that Act (verifying information provided with passport applications etc),
are re-enacted (with consequential amendments) by this Act.
Excellent, the sooner the better - realistically some time before the end of July, when Parliament takes a long summer recess.
3 Destruction of information recorded in National Identity Register
The Secretary of State must ensure that all the information recorded in the
National Identity Register is destroyed before the end of the period of two
months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed.
Excellent, however this needs to be strengthened to include all the copies of this data which have already been shared with police and intelligence agencies in the UK and abroad.
What is there to prevent copies of such National Identity Register data being retained by individual sub-contractors or consultants etc ?
What is there to prevent such NIR data from being lost or stolen via email, CD/DVD or USB memory device or mobile phone or portable computer etc. like has happened so often in the recent past ?
There should be criminal penalties for anyone who retains copies of some or all of the National Identity Register databases, both the "biographical" 52 categories of Registrable Facts and the separate created Biometric (fingerprint) database.
The financial data e.g. bank account or credit card details etc. which the few thousand people who were foolish enough to pay for their Identity Cards must also be destroyed or anonymised.
The fingerprint biometric data must not be shared, copied or sold to other countries or private sector companies.
N.B. there is no explicit mention of biometrics in this Bill - is this a deliberate loophole which the control freaks will try to exploit ?
There is only
8 Meaning of "personal information"
(1) For the purposes of sections 4 and 5 "personal information", in relation to an individual ("A"), means--
(e) external characteristics of A that are capable of being used for identifying A,
This section only applies to the ongoing re-legislation applicable to Passports and, controversially to Driving Licences.
Driving Licences should not be used as general Identity Documents, they should only be allowed to be used for Driving / Motoring reasons.
The Labour Government did not dare to get around to making Driving Licences into Designated Documents under the identity Cards Act 2006, but the Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition may be bamboozled into doing so with this Identity Documents Bill.
The Home Office cannot be trusted not to abuse Statutory Instruments, which cannot be amended, only accepted in full or rejected.
This Bill would grant the current or future Home Secretaries, the power to amend, simply by Order
The Secretary of State may by order amend the definition of "identity
10 Verifying information provided with passport applications etc
(1) The Secretary of State may require a person within subsection (4) to provide the
Secretary of State with specified relevant information by a specified date if the
Secretary of State considers that the person may have that information.
(4) The persons referred to in subsection (1) are--
(a) a Minister of the Crown,
(b) a government department,
(c) a Northern Ireland department,
(d) the Welsh Ministers,
(e) the Registrar General for England and Wales,
(f) the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland,
(g) the Registrar General of Births and Deaths in Northern Ireland,
(h) a qualifying credit reference agency, and
(i) any other person specified for the purposes of this section by an order made by the Secretary of State.
Note that no law enforcement or intelligence agencies or executive agencies like the UK Borders Agency are specifically mentioned in this list.
The judicial system, including Courts and Prisons are not mentioned in this list.
The Armed Forces i.e Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, the Army etc. are not specifically mentioned in this list either..
Note also that the list of items (a) to (h) cannot be amended or removed by Order, only those additional "Persons" added by Statutory Instrument / Order.
Each of the ""Persons" should be explicitly named in the text of this Bill and any amendments should require full debate and scrutiny through Primary Legislation.
Where are the criminal sanctions to punish petty bureaucrats at the
Identity and Passport Service, who seek to abuse this power to demand personal information from the list of "Persons" ?
The Data Protection Act does not apply, since it would be trumped by this Identity Documents Act 2010 if it is passed as it stands.