Identity Cards Act 2006 - Criticism - Effectiveness

Effectiveness

The then Home Secretary David Blunkett stated in 2004 said the cards would stop people using multiple identities and boost the fight against terrorism and organised crime. However, human rights group Liberty dispelled this as a myth, claiming that the existence of another form of ID cards in Spain did not prevent the Madrid train bombings.

However, Blunkett subsequently made a significant U-turn. At his opening speech for Infosecurity Europe on 27 April 2009, he stepped back from the concept of a full National Identity Database for every citizen, saying it would be sufficient to improve the verification of passports. A video of his address is available here.

His successor, Charles Clarke, said that ID cards "cannot stop attacks", in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, and added that he doubted it would have prevented the atrocities. However, he felt that on the balance between protecting civil liberties and preventing crime, ID cards would help rather than hinder. It has also been pointed out that "one lesson to be drawn from historical experience is that universal registers of personal information are held to be solutions to moral panics, but in operation they are very rarely as effective as their proponents hope."

Read more about this topic:  Identity Cards Act 2006, Criticism

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