The online identification ‘card’ will be launched next month: a new system will allow users to store personal data online, file income tax returns and apply for driver’s licenses through a single website
- Government forced to deny ploy is basically back door IDs
- Concerns about the history of costly official IT projects and data errors
- Coalition government scrapped ID card project as “erosion of civil liberties”
Not an ID: Last night the government was forced to deny it was bringing ID cards out the back door after revealing its intention to offer everyone virtual ID
Last night, the government was forced to deny that it was bringing ID cards out the back door after revealing its intention to offer everyone virtual ID.
People will be able to store personal data online, file income tax returns and apply for driver’s licenses through a single website as part of the voluntary program.
Over half a million people are expected to register to use the âVerifyâ project within a year.
As part of the program, users will choose one of five private providers – including Experian and the Post – to perform an online security check.
This will give them a username and password, as well as a code sent to their mobile phone, which will give them access to government services.
Driver’s licenses and some self-assessment tax returns will be among the first services to be offered under the program next month, with tax credits and benefits expected to follow in March.
But last night the project raised concerns over the history of extremely expensive government IT projects and data blunders.
Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, who has been involved in the development of the program, said “the government needs to be cautious” given past problems regarding the loss of records.
She told The Times: âHe has to make sure this is a program that the public can have full confidence in.
“They need to be very clear about how this will work, including details of the safeguards in place to ensure that private companies used to verify a user’s identity will not have wrongful access to information.”
Experian will be one of the government’s private sector partners in the new identity scheme: Under the program, users will choose one of five private providers to perform an online security check
Government helpers insisted that instead of introducing ID cards through a different method, the program would make any attempt to re-introduce a mandatory document less likely.
âThis removes the need for an ID card once and for all as it will be possible to prove your identity securely without one,â a source told The Times.
Labor introduced the controversial idea of ââID cards in 2002, but they didn’t become reality until November 2009 after years of disagreements.
The coalition government abandoned the whole project less than a year later, saying it wanted to reverse what it saw as “an erosion of civil liberties” under Labor.