Immediate 5th June 2013
A retired Edinburgh University Lecturer has become so frustrated with the political invisibility of the privacy problems of the Scottish Entitlement Card scheme that he has taken out a full-page ad in the Glasgow Herald to tell people about it .
Calling it “The Scottish Identity Card Scandal”, Dr John Welford points out that though Scots politicians opposed the UK Home Office ID scheme  in government they have for several years been enrolling millions of Scots in something very similar: a card to be used for a variety of official purposes, backed by a database of personal details. Anyone taking up a bus pass or Young Scot Card issued by the Scottish Government since 2006 has simply been added to the database . Few will have realized.
There is some current alarm over unrelated Scottish schemes for data-sharing on citizens . But the entitlement card scheme is much more open to abuse, should any future government decide to abuse it. People are waking up to threats to their privacy in a connected world.
Dr Welford says:
In fact, it’s a fully functioning Scottish identity card. And its covert and dishonest introduction has been a gross national scandal. I think it’s time at last for the Scottish people to know the truth.
Guy Herbert, General Secretary of NO2ID  says:
This is a classic database state scheme. It is not that the Scottish government has set out to destroy people’s privacy. It has just not bothered about any side-effects on privacy. It is time for a rethink.
Notes for editors:
1) The Herald 6th June 2013 “An open letter to readers”
2) A “wasteful government folly” having “serious implications for the civil liberties of ordinary citizens”
Scottish Parliament resolution
3) “When an individual applies for a NEC they are given a ‘card-only’ Citizen’s Account […] The validation and verification process for setting up a Citizen’s Account also establishes a unique citizen reference number (UCRN). This is used to confirm the date of birth to prevent/detect duplicate or fraudulent applications and to automatically update some of the personal details on the record.”
Scottish Government answer to FOIA request
4) Eg, Scottish Express 2nd June 2013 “ID card plan to snoop on Scots”
5) NO2ID is the UK national campaign against the database state, the tendency to try to use computers to manage society by maintaining state files on people. www.no2id.net
For further information, or for immediate or future interview, please contact:
Dr John Welford [Edinburgh] (email@example.com) on
Guy Herbert [London] (General Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org) on 07956 544 308
James Baker [Leeds/Manchester] (Campaigns Manager, email@example.com) on 07817605 162