UK - Publication of draft Identity Cards bill

( The publication of the draft Identity Cards bill presents a paving bill for Ministers to establish the legal framework for the planned UK identity card scheme coupled with a national database. Most of the detail is left to unspecified future regulations. Unsurprisingly it was met with withering criticism from civil rights groups. Following the trial currently being carried out on the next-generation passport, and a consultation into the draft Identity Card bill announced yesterday, it looks likely that the bill will be laid before Parliament in the autumn. If all goes according to the Home Office plan, the first biometric passports will be issued during 2005, with voluntary ID cards available after 2007. The uptake of ID cards, passports and driving licenses will gradually increase until 2013 when, with around 80% of the population expected to have one of these documents, a Parliamentary vote on making ID cards compulsory is expected. Consultation paper including the draft bill (120-page PDF). see UK - ID Card Database emerges from the shadows. 9 May 2004

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