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January 17, 2006

Ministers to pursue ID cards despite concerns

The UK government's plans to introduce identity cards for UK citizens has suffered something of a setback following a defeat in the House of Lords that cast doubt on the government's projected cost of the scheme, and raised the issue of security in the storing of sensitive data.

By CBR Staff Writer

According to recent media reports, the main contention of peers was that the government had not provided an accurate estimation of the cost of implementing such a scheme.

The government argues that the introduction of ID cards, which carry fingerprint data, iris and facial biometric technology, are a necessary measure in the fight against identity theft, illegal immigration, benefit fraud and terrorism.

The potential cost of such a scheme is not the only obstacle the government is facing in its effort to push forward with its plans, however, with some opponents claiming the cards impinge on civil liberties.

Although it appears the government still has a long way to go before its plans for ID cards are approved, media reports state that ministers are determined to push ahead with the plans and have predicted that the defeat will be overturned when it returns to the Commons.

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