Abandon support for ID cards, Lib Dems tell Chris McCafferty

Thursday, 22 November 2007

The Government’s data disaster over child benefit records shows why plans for Identity Cards must be scrapped, say Calderdale Lib Dems.

Following the revelation that the personal details of 25 million parents and children have been lost by the Government’s Revenue and Customs department (HMRC), and may have fallen into the hands of identity fraudsters, Calderdale Lib Dem spokesperson Cllr Nader Fekri has written to Chris McCafferty MP urging her to withdraw her support for the ID cards scheme and a National Identity Register in which the Government want to store the personal information of everyone in the country.

Nader has told the Hebden Bridge Web, “The fiasco at HMRC has shown the dangers of the Government holding huge amounts of information about each one of us whilst being slipshod in the way that same information is kept”, said Cllr Fekri.

“This whole saga of incompetence has been shocking and families in Calderdale are now rightly asking whether their personal details are safe.

“The National Identity Register, which the Government are setting up as part of the Identity Card scheme, will hold vastly more information on each and every one of us than Customs and Revenue managed to lose.

“The possibilities for the loss of that information, either accidentally or through illegitimate means must make the Government stop and think again very seriously about their plan to store all the data they can on us on a central register.

“This is a clear illustration of the real dangers of a Big Brother centralised state. State control of personal identity details is a real threat to our civil liberties. The Government must respond to the anger and now abandon its ID card scheme. It is clear that the Government cannot be trusted to manage effectively mass databases of personal information.

“Chris McCafferty voted for Identity Cards when the scheme went through Parliament despite some Labour MPs taking a principled stand and joining the Lib Dems in voting against the Government’s Big Brother plans.

“But a debacle on this scale must surely give her cause to think again. I’ve written to her calling on her to press the Government to end the ID Card scheme for good and to ensure that we do not risk a personal data disaster on an even more catastrophic scale”.

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