Hopefully I’ll get this printed off and posted away tomorrow:
In the light of the recent breach of security at HM Revenue and Customs, there is now a massive and serious piece of concrete evidence that the government cannot be trusted to keep the sensitive data belonging to individual citizens secure.
I have contacted you on a couple of occasions before now, expressing my concerns about the proposed ID card scheme and the associated national database. On these occasions I pointed out that the scheme as a whole represents a huge intrusion by the state into the lives of the citizens of this country, and I also mentioned the serious practical concerns about potential breakdowns and possible abuses of the system.
Clearly, although it seems that the argument from civil liberties continues to fall on deaf ears, it appears that the government has now demonstrated by its observable actions that the practical concerns may even be more serious than could have been feared. I would like to ask you therefore whether you believe that the government’s position in regard to the desirability of large centralised databases containing all manner of sensitive personal data pertaining to individual people is still tenable.
In view of the fact that the proposed national identity register scheme is intended to store many more categories of personal information about many more individuals than the 25 million who are directly affected by the current security breach, I would also like to ask you what level of confidence you realistically think that I or anyone else should have in the ability of the government to keep my details or my family members’ personal details secure and private under the current identity register proposals.
You can also read a hard-hitting press release from No2ID here: “. . . it’s bad enough that HMRC can’t be trusted with basic financial details. But within five years the Home Office could be leaking or losing people’s complete identity records . . .” (emphasis added).