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ID cards are here - but the police cannot read them.

Posted by James Hammerton @ 12:46 pm on 7 February, 2009.
Categories privacy and surveillance, British politics, the database state.
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[Note: The original version of this article stated that no cards readers exist, however the situation reported is that the police don’t have any. Apologies for the earlier error]

Last year, the government started issuing ID cards to the foreign workers, hailing it as the first step in implementing the National Identity Scheme(NIS).

However, the cards cannot currently be read by the police as there are no card readers for them to check people’s identity against the National Identity Register (NIR) yet.

It thus looks as if the key infrastructure for the scheme to work as intended is not yet in place. Whilst that is so, all that’s changed is that people who needed a visa to reside in the UK now have to get a card. The NIR is a critical component in the government’s plans as are the readers and infrastructure required to check people’s identities against the NIR. Until this infrastructure is in place, the NIS will thus be operating in name only.

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