In response to a new report by Sir Tony Blair and Lord Hague calling for a new digital ID scheme as part of a programme of technological innovation, Big Brother Watch director Silkie Carlo said:
“Sir Tony and Lord Hague are absolutely right about the need for the UK to take leadership in technological innovation, but this means protecting people’s rights and privacy, not reviving failed proposals for an intrusive mass digital identity system and a database state. Mandatory ID systems increase state control over individuals’ lives and rarely live up to the extraordinary benefits technocrats tend to attribute to them, and these were the reasons cited in parliament when Blair’s failed ID card scheme was scrapped in 2010.
“A sprawling digital identity system of the type described by Sir Tony and Lord Hague is utterly retrograde and would be one of the biggest assaults on privacy ever seen in the UK. The public has consistently opposed mandatory ID systems and there is absolutely nothing to suggest the public would want or support such a digital ID system now.
“Building for the future in the technological revolution means both innovating and safeguarding the public’s interests and individuals’ privacy, empowering people to choose to use online or offline digital services and control their own data.”