Are you concerned about ID cards

Are you concerned about ID cards

The Government’s plans for an identity card scheme have been strongly criticised by Britain’s Information watchdog.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has said that the scheme could result in the UK “sleepwalking into a surveillance society”.

The Home Office said the scheme would help fight identity fraud. But Mr Thomas is concerned about the government’s failure to spell out the exact purpose of the scheme.

He points to General Franco’s Spain and Communist Eastern Europe to explain what can happen when a government gets too powerful and has too much information on its citizens.

Do you think a national ID card system will work? Do you agree with the Information Commissioner? Would you be happy to carry an ID card? Do you live in a country that already has ID cards? Do they work?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

I pay for my driving licence and my passport because I choose to drive and to travel overseas. I have no objection to carrying an ID card with my personal details on, especially if it removes the need to carry both of the above, and I have no objection to showing it to access services. However, I will refuse point blank to pay for something which is made compulsory by the government.

Becky, Oxford, UK

During WWII, ID cards were issued (then scrapped a few years later). Imagine if the UK had been unsuccessful in repelling invasion what a handy little system to have in place for the invader to have every British citizen logged, filed and accounted for. The naivety of the pro ID lobby is beyond belief.

Gloria Hunter, Hants.

ID cards, biometric passports, Best Fake IDs CCTV, congestion charging cameras, internet logs and pay per mile insurance. We are fast approach in surveillance society where government, corporations, private detectives and even you boss will be able to find out everything about you. Your spending habits, your driving style, your social life, your sexual habits and your vices. To all those who say “I’m a law abiding citizen, I have nothing to fear”, be warned. If someone steals your ID and commits a crime it will be easy for them to make all the evidence point at you, and with the emphasis on technical evidence rather than on physical evidence you may be left with no defence.

Tom Mason,

Singapore for all the time I have been living there had a great identity system. It reduces government costs (good for you), enhances efficiencies (great for you!) and you had one number for all passport, driving license, Tax ID to name but a few. One card for all. 10 years for forgery and 2 years for possession. No exceptions !I recently worked in Germany and was obliged to get an ID card. Suffice to say that the form filling was a nightmare, the mandatory health check including X ray and photograph was unpleasant, it cost me about 12 and I didn’t once use it in a whole year. fake ids I remember thinking how sensible we were in Britain not to have ID cards how things have changed for the worse in this once independent and liberal nation.

Matt, London, UK

As an immigrant in the UK, I constantly have to provide proof of my identity. It would make my life so much easier to have one single ID card that would be universally acceptable. On the other hand, as a black man I am weary of the police asking me to produce it every time I walk down the street. If there are safeguards to protect minorities from being targeted for frequent and needless checks then I’m all for it.

David, Nigerian in the UK

Sorry, but this is Big Brother by stealth. We have already lost the right to free speech to the PC minority.

Richard Dougherty, Barry

To all those who say ‘if your not doing anything illegal what’s the problem’ connect a web cam in your bedroom to the internet. It has never been a cause of concerned and has, on occasion, proved very valuable to be able to prove my identity. I carry a driving licence, why not an ID card?I am not a number, I am a free man! I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. Fake ID My life is my own.

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