9 June 2008

For immediate release

Press Release


The Home Affairs Committee’s report[1] is the second independent review of the Identity Cards Scheme and government databases in recent months to propose a policy of data minimisation[2].  It warns the government to “resist a tendency to collect more personal information and establish larger databases”.


The report notes the evidence provided by the LSE Identity Project[3] concerning the amount of data collected in the process of enrolling for an identity card and shares our concerns about the problems associated with the audit trail that records every time an identity is verified against the National Identity Register.


Dr Edgar A. Whitley of the LSE Identity Project says: “The consistent message from independent experts is that the government should minimize the amount of personal data associated with the National Identity Register.  We fear, however, that the government will continue to ignore this advice and seek to deliver a Scheme that is driven by the needs of politicians rather than society”.


For LSE research and reports on the Identity Cards Scheme, including a detailed analysis of the implications of the most recent s37 cost report please see http://identityproject.lse.ac.uk



[1]A Surveillance Society?” HC58–1 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmhaff.htm

[2] The other is the review by Sir James Crosby into the Challenges and Opportunities in Identity Assurance.  It states “As a matter of principle, the amount of data stored should be minimized” http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/6/7/identity_assurance060308.pdf  Page 7

[3] Para 239– .  Our evidence is available at http://identityproject.lse.ac.uk/LSE_HAC_Submission.pdf