It is becoming clearer that the government intends to become the vendor of choice for wholesale distribution of our private data. Yet as the details of our lives are shared ever more widely, the risk of identity theft increases for all of us. The only effective system of identity management is to keep personal data confidential and to allow individuals to disclose information as and when they see fit to do so.
Labour is wrong if it believes ID cards will help it as a central plank of its next manifesto. A recent ICM poll showed that support for the scheme is continuing to collapse, with 60 per cent of Scots now opposed.
The concept of the NIR is flawed in principle. As the Commons select committee on science and technology suggested last week, the government's attempted implementation is also flawed in practice. It should now be considering how best to repeal the Identity Cards Act rather than proposing to expand its use.