ID Card on track says government

This just in on the ongoing ID Card issue. (BTW Bruce Schneier says we shouldn't get all hot and bothered over ID cards as they are just a temporary technology before unseen biometrics take over http://adonoghue.
Written by Andrew Donoghue, Contributor

This just in on the ongoing ID Card issue. (BTW Bruce Schneier says we shouldn't get all hot and bothered over ID cards as they are just a temporary technology before unseen biometrics take over http://adonoghue.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/uk-id-card-fuss-is-only-temporary/)

Here is the government release in full for you to chew over:

(Home Office) Identity card delivery on time and on budget announces Home Secretary

Significant progress in the delivery of the National Identity Scheme which will protect your identity in the most secure and convenient way, was announced today by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

In a speech hosted by the Social Market Foundation she set out progress on the delivery of identity cards and action taken to respond to issues raised by the public. The wider scheme will start with the introduction of identity cards for foreign nationals from 25 November this year. The Home Secretary announced today that she will be commissioning further work to explore how a small number of British nationals could reap the benefits of identity cards early by making applications in advance of the official launch date.

Today's announcement also sets out how the Government has listened to the public, and responded to the views raised in the consultation following publication of the Government's National Identity Scheme Delivery Plan in the spring. To help people understand what the Scheme will do for them we have also published the first guide for the public: Introducing the National Identity Scheme.

Alongside our response we are unveiling for the first time the remit of the National Identity Scheme Commissioner who will look after the public's interests. The Scheme Commissioner will scrutinise the way the Scheme is implemented and how identity cards are used by both public and private sectors. The Commissioner will also review how we are keeping personal data secure and report any data protection breaches to the Information Commissioner at the same time as the Home Secretary.

The Scheme Commissioner will be supported by an Identity Scheme Public Panel, which will be established next year, to give greater assurance that the scheme delivers for the public. Its first task will be to develop an Identity Scheme Charter setting out the rights and responsibilities of individuals, business and the Government in relation to the Scheme.

Also today the Home Secretary named the airport operators who will be part of the first phase of the identity cards rollout for UK nationals. For the aviation industry a single, secure way of proving identity will deliver real benefits to employers, employees and the public by bringing faster, cheaper and more joined-up pre-employment and security checking processes. To assist the aviation industry in implementing this, identity cards will be issued at no charge to either the individual or airport operator and an additional fund will be made available to support improvements to the infrastructure and process for pre-employment checking and issuing of airside passes.

Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, said:

"Protecting the public is a top priority for the Government and identity cards, including those for critical workers, will bring increased protection against identity fraud, and help protect our communities against crime, illegal immigration and terrorism.

The announcements today are further steps toward delivering our commitment to a National Identity Scheme with real benefits for everyone. As identity cards begin rolling out, starting later this month with foreign nationals, we will quickly see that a single, convenient and secure way of proving who someone is will bring real benefits to this country."

Geoff Muirhead, Chief Executive of Manchester Airport Group, said:

"Since the Government announced in March that airside workers would be amongst the first to be issued with identity cards, we have engaged in the consultation to maximise the benefits both to the aviation industry and its employees and we have achieved significant progress.

"Since no additional costs will be placed on the industry and a simplified process of applying for airside clearance is established, identity cards now offer real benefits to businesses operating at Manchester Airport. For individuals, identity cards offer the opportunity for greater portability in terms of applying for new jobs within the industry where airside clearance is required without the need to repeat lengthy security checks.

"On this basis, we look forward to being part of the evaluation period."

Richard Gooding, Chief Executive of London City Airport said:

"Providing a safe and secure environment to staff working on site at London City Airport is fundamental to our business. In addition to the rigorous pre-employment screening measures already successfully carried out at this airport, the new Critical Workers Identity Cards will provide greater assurances to both colleagues and the travelling public.

"We look forward to working closely with the Home Office to roll out the new cards for all staff with airside access at London City Airport."

The Home Secretary also revealed that the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) is to begin talking with businesses and other public organisations about how customers can join the scheme and give their biometrics using locations that are convenient to customers, like the high street. As part of this work IPS is publishing a prospectus outlining its vision for the creation of this biometric enrolment market - estimated to be worth approximately £200m a year.

The National Identity Scheme will deliver a single secure form of identity which will:

* make life easier by providing all of us with an easy and convenient means of proving our identity;

* prevent and protect us from identity theft and fraud;

* reassure us all that workers in positions of trust are who they say they are;

* protect the country from illegal immigration and help reduce illegal employment; and

* make it harder for criminals to use false or multiple identities and thus help protect us all from crime and terrorism.

The first identity cards will be issued to non-EEA foreign nationals from 25 November, with 40,000 expected to be in circulation by April 2009.

In autumn 2009 the first cards for critical workers, starting at airports, will be issued.

From 2010 young people will be offered the chance to sign up for cards to help them as they start out their adult lives. And from 2012 the National Identity Scheme will begin to roll-out for the general population with identity cards available in significant numbers.


1. Manchester and London City airports have agreed to work with IPS and the Government as part of the first wave of airports under the critical workers identity card scheme and will help to develop detailed plans for introducing identity cards from autumn 2009.

2. Using identity cards as a single consistent means of proving identity across airports will bring real benefits to employers, employees and the public. They will help:

* facilitate faster, cheaper and more joined-up pre-employment and security checking processes;

* improve the portability of reference checks between employers and airports creating greater flexibility for employers and staff;

* speed up pre-employment clearances for card holders moving from one airside job to another;

* kick start joint work to explore opportunities for streamlining airside pass regimes;

* give holders a highly secure and convenient identity document that can be used to prove their identity, and as a travel document within the EEA for UK citizens; and

* help ensure all people using airports are confident about their safety whilst there.

3. The Government's response to the Delivery Plan consultation can be found at http://www.ips.gov.uk/identity

4. Introducing the National Identity Scheme, a vision of how the National Identity Scheme will work from 2012, can be found at http://www.ips.gov.uk/identity

5. The latest cost report is published today in Parliament showing over the next ten years the cost of setting up and running the UK scheme is £4,785m while the foreign national scheme will cost £326m. The report is available at http://www.ips.gov.uk/identity

6. As part of work to engage with business over the scheme IPS today publishes a prospectus outlining its vision for the market provision of biometric enrolment. The prospectus can be found at http://www.ips.gov.uk/identity

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