Asked if there was any desire to see ID cards introduced before 2012, the PMOS said the timetable remained as originally set out. They would be introduced in 2008, with the speed of technology dictating how quickly it can all be developed. It has been estimated it would take 5 years for 80% of the population to have an ID card, and at that point, the issue of compulsion could be brought to the House. After that, it would be a matter for the House to decide on the next step.
Asked why ID cards would help security before they were compulsory, the PMOS replied that multiple and false identities were responsible for 1/3 terrorist activity, organised crime and money laundering. Therefore, anything that not only makes things easier for people to safeguard their identity, but also for police and the security services to trace the use of false identities is in the interests of the security of the country. Moreover, it would protect people against fraud.
Asked why ID cards needed to be compulsory, the PMOS said that they distinguished between those using false ID and with true ID. They allowed people to safeguard their true identity, making it more difficult for terrorists and criminals to abuse that identity. Anything that stopped people stealing other people’s identity was of benefit.
Asked if eventually, criminals would find a way of stealing people’s identities from the ID cards, the PMOS said the whole point of biometrics was to make that process more difficult.
Asked repeatedly why ID cards would be useful, the PMOS said again that if the police and security could stop the stealing of identity and trace the true identity, then it would make life much easier and safer. The police and security services were the authorities on ID cards, and the PMOS recommended journalists to go to them with any further questions.
Asked if there was an example where multiple identities were used in a terrorist attack, the PMOS said it was difficult as the security services liked to protect their sources of information, not least as it allowed them to protect further attacks.
Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news
Original PMOS briefings are © Crown Copyright. Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland. Click-use licence number C02W0004089. Material is reproduced from the original 10 Downing Street source, but may not be the most up-to-date version of the briefings, which might be revised at the original source. Users should check with the original source in case of revisions. Comments are © Copyright contributors. Everything else is © Copyright Downing Street Says.
Contact Sam Smith.