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The Identity Card Bill debate: what model might work?

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A revised form of the Identity Cards Bill will go back to the House of Commons this session. 

A group of LSE academics publishes today (Monday 6 June) some proposals for a possible alternative model to the government's ID plan.

The academics have raised concerns over previous models, primarily around cost and civil liberties.

They suggest an alternative approach that would be less expensive and more citizen-friendly than the model currently being suggested by the government. This model has been drawn up over the past six months by a team of around 100 LSE and external experts.

The proposals are being released now to allow for public comment and more debate on the topic.

They follow the publication of an LSE interim report, The Identity Project: an assessment of the UK Identity Cards Bill and its implications, in March.

The final report, including comments on the proposals published today, is set to be published by the end of June.

Click here to download the LSE Identity Project Alternative Blueprint for a National Identification System| - 6 June.




Press cuttings

Rebellion against ID Cards Bill poses crucial first test for Blair (24 June 05)
A backbench rebellion against identity cards is gathering strength, presenting Tony Blair with his first post-election battle with the Labour left. Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, is preparing a fresh effort to sell the benefits of ID cards as an invaluable tool for combating identity fraud, terrorism and illegal immigration. He is braced, however, for a critical report on its merits next week from academics at the London School of Economics. Several large unions have come out against the plan and there are signs that public support for ID cards is falling.

Daily Mirror
Crisis - Flagship ID cards plan faces defeat by Labour rebellion (24 June 05)
A least 20 Labour MPs have signed an amendment to sink the ID card bill, a 14 more votes against would overturn Labour's majority. On Monday, a study by the London School of Economics revealed that the scheme could cost up to £18 billion to run. 

IT Week, Netherlands
Identity cards face first parliamentary debate (22 June 05)
The ID cards scheme has attracted controversy since the bill was introduced. A report published by the London School of Economics earlier this month criticised the scheme's complexity and suggested costs could rise as high as £300 per card. Also mentioned in Computing.

Cost of ID cards 'may spiral to £300' (16 June 05)
A report by the London School of Economics has found that ID cards could cost up to £300 each. According to government's figures, over the next decade the cost of running the scheme in conjunction with a biometric passport would be £5.8billion or £93 for each card. 

IT Week
Experts say ID cards timetable needs rethink (15 June 05)
Comments from Gus Hosein, LSE.

ID cards losing support as rising costs deter public (14 June 05)
The plan to introduce compulsory ID cards is losing support after a report by LSE revealed that its real costs differ quite significantly from the figures given by the government. A new poll by ICM found that only 55 per cent of the population currently supports the scheme.

Academics pitch alternative ID card scheme (7 June 05)
Proposals for a cheaper and more citizen friendly alternative to the UK Government's controversial national identity cards scheme have been put forward by a group of academics from LSE.

Public Technology
ID Cards: LSE proposes possible alternative solution (7 June 05)
Academics at LSE suggest an alternative approach to ID cards that would be less expensive and more citizen-friendly than the model currently being suggested by the government. This model has been drawn up over the past six months by a team of around 100 LSE and external experts.  

Daily Mail
Whitehall IT cock-ups cost £1bn a year
Experts at LSE, predict that the final bill for ID cards could hit £18bn, with cards costing £300.

BBC News Online
'Bury bad news' claim on ID cards (23 June)
Opposition MPs have accused Leader of the Commons Geoff Hoon of trying to "bury bad news at sea" in timing a debate on ID cards when many are away. Reference to the Home Secretary dismissing the LSE study into ID cards.

eGov monitor
Cheaper, more secure ID system set out (6 June 05)
LSE outlines radical alternative to Government plans. Academics have proposed an alternative to the Government's plans for a national identity card scheme which they claim will be more secure, reliable, cost-effective and citizen-friendly.

ID Cards on Trial: Politicians, academics and IT experts back our campaign
(6 June 05) 

Sunday Telegraph
Alternative ID card costs 10 times less than the government version (5 June 05)
An identity card scheme that costs just £30 per person - compared with £300 per person under the Government's proposals - will be unveiled this week. The plan, drawn up by LSE after six months of research, would also limit the Government's access to information on the card to a few basic details. Professor Patrick Dunleavy, a member of the LSE's ID card advisory group, and Professor Ian Angell, head of the LSE's Department of Information Systems, quoted.

Mail on Sunday
Cost of ID cards 'will add £100 to the council tax' (5 June 05)
Council tax bills are likely rise by more than £100 a year to cover the cost of the ID card scheme the government is planning to enforce. Last week a section of a report from LSE said the cards would cost up to £18 million to introduce, nearly three times the official estimate of £300 per person.

6 June 2005