NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 157 – 9th September 2010


Next week the Identity Documents Bill, the legislation that is said to scrap ID cards, begins its last parliamentary lap with its final stages in the House of Commons on 15th September. So by the end of the month we should see most of the Identity Cards Act repealed.

NO2ID will be organising a celebration. “Well begun is half done,” according to the proverb. But it is important to remember that although the legislation does get rid of the National Identity Register, it is only a good beginning, since the government has yet to take on board all of NO2ID’s criticisms.

There are few amendments tabled, and they would not improve the Bill from our point of view. There is still too much data-sharing allowed. The new definition of an “identity document” still bundles into law a badly thought-out conception of official identity, that Britons have managed without for hundreds of years.

The repeal of the Identity Cards Act leaves the infrastructure of the ‘National Biometric Identity Service’ untouched, since it is retained to service ‘ID cards for foreigners’, the over-specified biometric visa system. Overseas residents were always to have been the Home Office’s guinea-pigs, and they will continue to be experimented on. The technical problems were always harder for Whitehall than parliamentary obstacles, continuing development of the foreigners’ systems would make it much easier to implement a universal scheme at some point in the future.

But when the Identity Cards Act is gone, our work is well begun. Making it impossible for it to return is still work to do.

What just happened?

National DNA database and mental health patients

A recent letter to ‘The Psychiatrist’ journal raises concerns about the number of psychiatric patients on the National DNA database (NDNAD). The letter written by two mental health professionals states: “studies of individuals in prison and on remand have concluded that mental disorder is extremely common in these populations with respective rates of 90% and 63%. It would be surprising if the population of the NDNAD were not to broadly reflect this state of affairs.” The letter goes on to call for a debate amongst clinicians on the issues surrounding mental health patients and the National DNA Database.

New Passport design next month

In response to a parliamentary question this week Home Secretary Theresa May revealed that a new passport design will be introduced from 5th October, with “improved physical security features”. She also revealed that the Identity and Passport Service will look into “greater investment in facial recognition technology”. See

Statewatch Briefing – ID cards in the EU

Statewatch has released a briefing entitled ‘ID Cards in the EU: Current state of play’. The briefing looks at responses by Schengen member states to a March EU Council Presidency questionnaire to establish the“state of play concerning electronic identity cards”. The Statewatch survey shows: 17 countries make it mandatory for their citizens to have an ID card, four do not; 13 countries issue traditional ID cards, eight issue cards containing contact and/or RFID chips, two countries do not currently issue ID cards (Norway, UK); Of the eight countries that issue electronic ID cards with the capacity to store biometric data, six have chosen to do so (Belgium, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Sweden). Statewatch points out that “some countries have misleadingly categorised ‘photos’ as biometrics in their answers to the questionnaire, even though they are based on the standard passport picture taken in photo-booths (not a ‘facial scan’ which is a biometric comprised of 1,840 features of a person’s face) and that “The European and national parliaments have no say over the content of Council ‘Conclusions’.” See

What’s next?

++ *Notice of Annual General Meeting* ++
*+ 23rd October – NO2ID Annual General Meeting +*
The NO2ID Annual General Meeting 2010 will take place at 12 noon on Saturday 23rd October 2010, at 55 Tufton Street, LONDON SW1P 3QL (these are the premises that now house NO2ID’s administrative offices.) All paid up members of the Association and full affiliates are entitled to attend and vote.  This notice is being sent to all members and previous members for whom we have a current address.  For the purpose of the meeting the membership roll will be taken at midday on Friday 8th October 2010, so if your membership/affiliation has lapsed or will lapse by the date of the AGM please renew before that date (early renewals will be counted as extensions of your present membership).  Written nominations for the Advisory Board, the governing body of the Association, should be proposed and seconded by members in good standing and sent to The Secretary, NO2ID , Box 412, 19/21 Crawford Street LONDON W1H 1PJ to arrive before close of business on Friday 8th October 2010. In order that the business of the meeting may be better conducted we would appreciate it if any motions for consideration of the meeting were presented in writing in advance of the meeting, but there is no obligation so to do.

*+ 11th September – Open Tech 2010 sponsored by +*
Saturday 11th September – ULU, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY. 40 talks across 3 tracks over 7 hours, on the application of technology to society.  OpenTech 2010 includes plenty of time to talk in the bar after sessions which challenge, inspire or talk about something that makes you want to help how you can. There is usually a NO2ID presence or presentation. Pre-registration strongly advised. Tickets £5, students free. See

*+ 15th September – Identity Documents Bill 3rd Reading +*
The Identity Documents Bill has now completed its Committee Stage and will next have its Report Stage and 3rd Reading in the House of Commons before moving on to the House of Lords. Follow the bill’s progress at

”ID” in the news

*+ NPfIT future is modular and locally-led – eHealth Insider 9/9/10 +*
The National Programme for IT in the NHS’ centralised and national approach is “no longer required” and trusts will instead be able to operate “a more locally-led plural system of procurement”, health minister Simon Burns has announced.

*+ ID card scrapping costs unclear – Public Service 7/9/10 +*
The government has said scrapping ‘wretched’ identity cards will save the public money, but the cost of compensation to companies involved in developing the ID card scheme is still unclear.

*+ The EU e-Identity parade – Finextra 7/9/10*
Can electronic IDs bring about an internal market for cross-border financial services asks Deutsche Bank Research. E-government and online shopping are on the increase, but the use of cross-border financial services still lags some way behind.

*+ Minister orders smartcard revolution to allow Oyster-style travel –
Daily Mail 6/9/10 +*
Passengers could soon be able to use smartcards for bus and train travel across the country. Transport Minister Norman Baker said he had ordered officials to draw up plans to introduce the cards — based on London’s top-up Oyster card scheme — ‘within a few years’, in order to encourage the use of public transport.

*+ Cabinet Office pursues alternative electronic ID options – Public Technology 6/9/10 +*
The Cabinet Office has gone to market to seek advice from suppliers on new ways forward on identification post the now canned ID card.

*+ Germany downplays biometric ID card hack – Kable 6/9/10 +*
Hackers have successfully used off-the-shelf equipment to extract personal data from the German federal government’s new fingerprint biometric identity cards

*+ NPfIT study urges ‘middle-out’ approach – eHealth Insider 3/9/10 +*
The largest study of the national roll-out of the NHS Care Records Service to date has concluded that its top down, standardised approach has led to much slower progress than originally envisaged.

*+ Directgov seeks ID authentication bids for public sector – Computer
Weekly 3/9/10 +*
The government has invited tenders for “identity verification and authentication services”, in an attempt to assess the public sector’s need for something that will confirm a user’s identity.

*+ The system for sharing information about ‘dangerous’ individuals is
flawed – Law Gazette 19/8/10 +*
The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) recently indicated that around 176 of the CRB checks it issued last year were inaccurate. That figure is only part of a bigger picture involving thousands of people who are effectively barred from pursuing their chosen career because of untested information which is collated and disclosed by the state.

(Please send me any items of interest you encounter –
Editor( )


To see if there’s a group in your area check our list at Or, if you’re interested in starting a group yourself, please contact James on to discuss what’s involved and what we have in place to support coordinators and their groups.

*+ NO2ID goes on tour with Erasing David +*
Groups across the country are helping to facilitate a nationwide tour of Erasing David — a documentary about privacy, surveillance and the database state. Phil Booth, our National co-ordinator is hitting the road with David Bond the film maker and producer Ashley Jones to help raise awareness of the victims of the Database State that lie behind the
headlines of privacy abuses. Tour Locations:
Birmingham  – 9th September, 6.45pm, The Co-operative Member
Relations Centre, Birmingham & Midlands Institute
Brighton — 16th September, 7.30pm, Caroline of Brunswick, Ditchling Road
University of East Anglia,  11th November, Time TBC

*+ ‘Erasing David’ screenings  +*
The producers of Erasing David  are offering NO2ID groups and supporters the chance to hold screenings of your own *before* the retail launch of the DVD. If you would like to host a screening for your group, film society, club, University, School, Colleague or anywhere else If you, or a supportive organisation for which you work or volunteer, would like to show the film to an audience in a club, community centre, school or elsewhere then you can get a (paid) license to do so from the Good Screenings website: Please email our local groups co-ordinator James Elsdon-Baker on for more information and to discuss putting on a screening.

_*+ Brighton + *_

*+16th September – Brighton Screening of Erasing David+*
On Thursday 16th September, 7.30pm at The Caroline Of Brunswick pub (Upstairs), 39 Ditchling Road, Brighton – Brighton NO2ID is hosting a screening of Erasing David – a documentary that follows the life of film-maker David Bond, who upon receiving a letter from HMRC informing him that his daughter’s details were amongst the 25 million lost by the child benefit agency, embarks on a journey to discover just how much information is held about him by government and private companies. We are pleased to announce that the film-maker David Bond and the producer Ashley Jones will be joined by Phil Booth, National co-ordinator for NO2ID at this event to discuss both making the film and the continued fight to protect people from the Database State. There will be a suggested donation for entry, please contact for further information and to enquire about booking a limited seat.

_*+ Cambridge +*_

**The Cambridge group is planning a celebration when the bill abolishing the ID Cards scheme is actually passed. This now seems likely to be in October or November. Watch this space for details …

_*+ Camden & Islington +*_

We meet at 8pm on the first Tuesday of each month to plan our work for the rest of the month.

For more info email or join the mailing list at: (

_*+ Dorking +*_

If you would like to help or get involved with the Dorking group, contact Geoff Cox ( or 01306 631377).

_*+ Edinburgh +

**+ Saturdays 1pm – 3pm – Edinburgh **NO2ID** Street Stall +*
Every week, weather permitting, you will find our campaigning stall at the east end of Princes Street, opposite the Balmoral Hotel.  Do drop by for a chat.  New volunteers – please contact John (, and for more group information see

_*+ Manchester +*_

For information on Manchester NO2ID see or contact Dave Page on or
07722 615 398.

**_*+ Norwich +*_

If you are interested in the work of the Norwich group, please join their mailing list on:

_*+ Sheffield +*_

*+ 22nd September – Sheffield NO2ID Meeting +*
Wednesday 22nd September 8.30pm at the Harlequin pub, 108 Nursery St, Sheffield, S3 8GG ( We meet downstairs in the bar area. We’ll have a NO2ID sign on the table. Please ask the bar staff if you can’t find us.

Please join the Sheffield mailing list If you haven’t already:
You can change how you receive our newsletter, or cancel it, by using the ‘Unsubscribe or edit options’ form at the bottom of this page:

If you have any problems, please send an e-mail to
Publication details: © NO2ID 2010 – This document may be freely redistributed in one-to-one communications or physical copies as long as it is reproduced in its entirety including this notice. It may not be mass-mailed without the prior permission of NO2ID.

NO2ID, Box 412, 19-21 Crawford Street, LONDON W1H 1PJ

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