Govt tells the positive side of ID cards – finally!

Is it any wonder that the whole debate around ID cards is entirely negative, when the justification is entirely negative? We need ID cards to stop terrorist attacks happening, or to stop fraud, or stop illegal immigration. Stop, stop, stop. All negative. So I’m actually quite encouraged to see this piece on quoting a written Commons statement by Des Browne, chief secretary to the Treasury:

The IPS should be responsible for developing the national identity register (NIR) as an adult population database. Over time public sector systems, business processes and culture should be adapted to use the NIR as the definitive source of contact details in the longer term.

Wouldn’t that be a great thing? If you ever need to fill in an official form, or if you move house, all you would have to worry about is your ‘unique ID reference number’. Wait a minute… it gets better.

Until the NIR is up and running the Treasury said it should be a priority for HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions to look at short-term arrangements for wider use of the National Insurance number and ways to better share personal information.

YES! Finally someone notices that we already have a (more or less) comprehensive system of unique ID numbers, which would provide a head start at the very least.

Disclosure: I lobbied pretty hard in favour of this whilst working for the Office for National Statistics a few years ago. I’d love to take credit for this, but.. 🙂