Earlier today I attended a brief from the Home Office Minister Meg Hillier who was consulting on the forthcoming UK National ID Card and Register. I’m in no way a fan of surveillance and feel slightly queasy about ID Card, and I was invited as representative of The Druid Network, as a Faith Communities Consultee.
Many Pagan and Druid folk had expressed reservations about placing religious affiliation or belief onto the Register for fear of discrimination (which sadly still occurs), and I was able to confirm that these items will not appear either on the Card or in the Register database. Of course, religion is a subject of the Census now, and the ID card could be used by the appropriate authorities to secure this should they feel the need (unlikely I would think). However, the promise was made that no agency will have access to databases unless they have a valid need, so data-mining for any reason much less religion is hopefully impractical.
I remain sceptical and uneasy about the ID card in the same way that I feel uneasy and hostile toward CCTV cameras on every street corner. Folk say “if you have nothing to fear…” and I haven’t. Still uneasy though. Liberty probably express my personal reservations best. Worse, since persons accessing secure installations will require ID Cards before everyone else (though of course, it’s not compulsory) I will probably have mine by the end of next year, just after the air-side airport staff.