Identity scheme echoes ID cards, say campaigners

The government's new identity assurance scheme has shades of the scrapped ID card plan, campaigners at No2ID have warned

The government has revealed plans for a national proof-of-identity scheme that privacy campaigners say has echoes of the ID card project that was scrapped less than six months ago.

ID card

Campaigners say that a new identity assurance scheme outlined by the government has shades of the ill-fated ID card plan (above). Credit: Home Office

The identity assurance scheme, announced by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude last week, will create services that will verify a person's identity when they access public services online. The scheme will, according to Maude, allow people to access various government services online without having to remember multiple log-in details.

Guy Herbert, general secretary for No2ID, said the project has shades of the ID card scheme in some of its aims and in the officials involved but added there are no firm details on how the proposed scheme will affect personal privacy. Herbert said his biggest concern is officials using the scheme to piece together a profile of an individual using information held by multiple government departments. "What we don't want to see, and what could easily happen, is that this could be used as an excuse to share and Hoover up more information using the assurance element of the scheme," he said.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Shades of ID cards haunt new authentication scheme on

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