The Prime Minister Gordon Brown said plans to introduce compulsory UK ID cards will "move ahead" despite recent scandals over the loss of personal data.
He said Parliament would decide on making the card compulsory after the government had examined how the initial voluntary system had worked, during his first Prime Minister's Questions session of 2008.
"It is the Government's policy to move ahead with this, but subject to a vote of Parliament, and depending on how the voluntary scheme works," said the Prime Minister.
Conservative leader David Cameron said that it was completely unsafe to trust the Government with any more of the public's identity information following the losses of 25 million child benefit records, and the further loss of the details of three million learner drivers.
ID cards are intended to protect people's identity by using biometric data, such as fingerprints, so that use of the information cannot be triggered other than by the facial or fingerprint data held on the card.
Phil Booth, national coordinator of the campaign group NO2ID cards, said in a blog posting that adding biometrics to a computer record will not protect the information. It is one more thing to be lost. When your fingerprints are lost or copied, you cannot be issued with new fingerprints, like a new password or Pin.