If you live in the UK and ever travel abroad, then Renew For Freedom – get a new passport now, before the process requires having your face and iris scanned and your fingerprints taken, being given an identity card and being put on the National Big Brother Database, also known as the Identity Register.
Personally, I’m happy for the government to have this information. My fingerprints aren’t sensitive secrets, neither is my iris. They already have my face for the present passport. I don’t see a problem.
Is your PIN number a sensitive secret? If it is, then so is a scan of your fingerprint, because sooner or later, the latter will get used instead of the former.
But the issue is not the Government having this information, necessarily, but the risk of someone else getting their hands on it. The history of Government IT projects and data security, together with their plans for who gets to access it and for what reason, does not make me confident that some crook is not going to get into the database.
For more good arguments about why this is a bad idea, see No2ID.
My new UK passport arrived yesterday, complete with RFID chip+aerial containing digitised photo (face only, no fingerprints or iris scan)
I should have thought the arguments against the combined biometric passport / identity register are obvious, but for me, it boils down to the fact that I feel there is no genuine reason for the Government to have this data.
Identity cards have never prevented illegal immigration or terrorism in any country where they are already used. The recent string of Home Office admissions that they are failing on almost every level should surely be a warning shot to those who think they will be able to succesfully implement such a complex system with the required level of security, let alone of it being any benefit.
The UK is going in the wrong direction with many personal freedoms. Police in England & Wales (and with restrictions in Scotland) are allowed to take DNA samples from any suspect of any type of crime, and store that sample indefinately, whether or not the suspect is convicted or set free. To me that is simply unjustifiable. Combined with restrictions on protests, ‘control orders’ and a raft of other legislation, a National Identity register is something I certainly do not want.