27 August 2009
Millions of people working in education in health or as volunteers could come under pressure to be fingerprinted and obtain a national ID card, it was revealed today.
Research by online IT magazine The Register  has uncovered proposals to use ID cards and the national database behind them to support Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks – which are due to be extended to many more categories of people.
From October this year people working in all sort of roles will be compelled to be registered with a new vetting body the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which may eventually keep tabs on around 11 million workers and volunteers at any one time. ‘Enhanced’ CRB checks mean not just criminal records, but police intelligence files containing suspicions, opinions and unsubstantiated allegations, may be used for the purpose.
To make this massive administrative task a manageable one, officials are aiming to use the Home Office’s ID database, which is going ahead. ID records and police intelligence records would end up connected for millions. One of the most frightening predictions of campaigners against ID cards – that the ID scheme will be an easy reference to all official files and a key to the most private information about every one of us – could be coming true before a single ID card has been issued.
Phil Booth, National Coordinator of NO2ID  said:
This is entirely consistent with the various forms of coercion strategy they’ve been working on to create so-called volunteers for ID cards.
Biometrics are part of the search for clean, unique identifiers. But it’s patently ridiculous given another part of the plan has people registering fingerprints in high street shops.
Guy Herbert, General Secretary of NO2ID said:
Ministers are always quick to point out the ID database itself will not contain criminal records. The covert programme unearthed by The Register shows what a fatuous piece of misdirection that is. If the CRB gets its way, then for millions of people their ID card would be directly LINKED to a detailed police record and a scoring system designed to evaluate their suitability for various jobs.
Notes for editors:
1) ‘CRB looks to ID cards to solve accuracy woes’ The Register – 27 August 2008 – see
2) As widely reported. See, for example: ‘There’s no escape from the past in this kangaroo court’ Guardian, 17 June 2009 –
3) NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. See http://www.no2id.net/dbstate for a list of ‘database state’ initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing, and http://www.no2id.net/datasharing for how it all fits together.