House of Lords presses for electronic national identity card



Parliamentary reporter

A House of Lords committee has urged the Government to consider creating an electronic national identity card to combat...



Parliamentary reporter

A House of Lords committee has urged the Government to consider creating an electronic national identity card to combat fraud.

The all-party European Union select committee said that if e-government is to become a reality some secure form of identification will be required as current forms are inadequate.

Its report, published on Tuesday, said, "There is a serious risk that problems such as benefit fraud and tax evasion could be magnified with the advent of e-government, which would largely remove face-to-face contact. There are also new opportunities for computer hackers to distort these activities."

The report also backed other measures to improve Internet access and establish better trust in IT, including:

  • A U-turn by the chancellor Gordon Brown to treat e-commerce stock options as capital rather than income and free new businesses from punitive taxes imposed in the last Budget

  • The appointment of an e-ombudsman and an EU competitiveness council of ministers to scrutinise IT issues

  • Encouragementof schemes whereby firms allow employees to use corporate computers to access the Internet.

  • Read more on IT for government and public sector

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