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Warning over ID cards

Bill Goodwin
The government's proposals for a national electronic identity card are overly complex and risk failing to win acceptance from the UK public, it was claimed this week.

Ubizen, a key IT supplier in Belgium's electronic ID programme, said the UK would be better off adopting a simpler form of card that raised fewer privacy concerns.

The company's comments came as civil liberties groups lodged a complaint with Downing Street over the conduct of the Home Office during a seven-month consultation on its ID card proposals. In an open letter to the prime minister, the pressure groups, led by Privacy International, said the Home Office had breached the government's own guidelines on public consultations.

Ubizen said it was concerned that the UK's plans to create a central population database and to include biometric identification on the cards, would prove a political obstacle.

"I still have yet to see a successful roll out of biometrics in a situation where people are not coerced into using it. I think there will be a lot of opposition to it," said Guy Vancollie, Ubizen's chief marketing officer.

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