The present Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, Mr Charles Clarke, his predecessor Mr David Blunkett and the opposition leader Mr Michael Howard, have indicated that they consider that biometric identity cards have some important role to play in making Britain a safer and happier place to live. We think they are wrong, and that their ideas are foolish and extremely dangerous.
What to do to reduce or prevent terrorism, ideologically inspired violence, illegal immigration, and organised crime? That is the question. Some people think that biometric identity cards will provide some sort of cure for all of these ills. Is that a rational and sensible conclusion, or is it just the foolishness of unwise minds?
National identitification schemes have potential dangers as well as potential benefits. We have often read reports of the former Home Secretary touting the supposed benefits of his biometric identity card schemes but we have never read anything that indicates he, or his colleagues in government, understood the potential dangers and likely problems. We think the scheme is dangerous folly and the articles on this website explain why.
... the ordinary people, have just two defences against totalitarian and barbaric regimes. The first defence is to ensure that no government or other organization ever acquires enough power to make oppression possible. The second defence, if the first has failed, is to be able to hide when necessary. A system of biometric identification defeats both defences.