Sir Tony Blair, together with ex-Tory leader William Hague, has called on the Government to introduce a digital ID that people can have on their phones that would hold details such as their passport, driving licence, tax records, qualifications and right to work status. Frighteningly, a poll by YouGov (who else?) showed that more than half of respondents supported such an invasive and high-risk surveillance project. The Mail has more.
Sir Tony – who attempted to introduce ID cards while in Downing Street – insisted that new biometric technology would overcome concerns about online dangers.
He and Lord Hague have insisted that a “fundamental reshaping of the state around technology” is needed amid a “radically” shaping world.
Critics hit back at the push for digital IDs, with ex-Tory chairman Sir Jake Berry branding it “a creepy state plan to track you from the cradle to the grave”.
Campaign group Big Brother Watch condemned Sir Tony for “reviving failed proposals for an intrusive mass digital identity system and a database state”.
But a snap poll by YouGov revealed more than half of Britons (54%) would support the introduction of a system of national ID cards in Britain.
According to the survey of more than 4,000 adults today, almost a quarter (23%) said they would strongly support national ID cards, with 31% saying they would tend to support such a plan.
This compared to 13% who said they would tend to oppose the introduction of national ID cards and 14% who said they would strongly oppose such a plan. Almost one in five (18%) replied “don’t know”. …
Outlining their proposals [in a joint article for the Times] for a shake-up of Whitehall – including digital IDs for every citizen – they also called for “a national health infrastructure that uses data to improve care and keep costs down, and sovereign AI systems backed by supercomputing capabilities”. …
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Sir Tony highlighted how countries “as small as Estonia and as large as India’ are moving towards digital IDs. If you look at the biometric technology that allows you to do digital ID today, it can overcome many of these problems,” he added.
The Government appeared to rule out taking up Sir Tony and Lord Hague’s advice – for now. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “There are no plans to introduce digital ID. Our position on physical ID remains unchanged.”
“No plans” – we’ve heard that before.
Worth reading in full.