'Councils to be "local police" for ID card database'

Link between electoral database and ID system mooted
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Link between electoral database and ID system mooted

Council officials could become "local police" for the controversial new ID cards database under government proposals, according to claims from the Conservative Party.

Tories claim a new electoral database under discussion will be connected to the ID cards database and council officials will be required to 'investigate' any discrepancies.

The Tories said: "This could mean that councils end up acting as the local police for the ID card agency, and track down those who fail to inform the state of their new address or new family circumstances."

Under the government plans, local residents face fines of up to £2,500 for not registering or keeping their details up to date with the new national ID card agency, according to the Tories.

Shadow e-government minister Oliver Heald said there is growing concern amongst the public about Labour's use of invasive databases without transparency or clear backing from the public.

Heald said in a statement: "I believe local residents will be alarmed at the further prospect of town hall bureaucrats being told to investigate people's homes for ID cards, backed up with the threat of thousand pound fines."

A spokesman for the Department of Constitutional Affairs told silicon.com the National Identity Register could be used to help ensure that local electoral registers are more comprehensive and are compiled more efficiently.

He said: "Electoral Registration Officers could check whether their entries matched those on the National Identity Register and whether the National Identity Register contained some records which were absent from theirs."

But he said that in order to do this, the Identity Cards Bill, which is currently before parliament, requires the government to obtain specific approval from parliament.

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