Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael is urging people to shout loudly in their opposition to the SNP’s plans to expand access to their super ID database.
The public consultation on the controversial plans will end on Wednesday this week (25th February). The Scottish Government’s proposals will expand access to their NHS Central Register to 120 public bodies, assigning each individual with a unique citizen reference number to accompany their data stored on one central database.
One of the leading Liberal Democrat critics of the Labour government’s proposals for ID cards, Lord Philips of Sudbury, today warned that the plans are “ID cards by the back door.” Baroness Shirley Williams this weekend added to growing concern over the plans, cautioning: “we must be careful not to sleepwalk into authoritarianism.”
Mr Carmichael said:
“People in the Northern Isles will be alarmed to see a further centralising project from the SNP Government in Edinburgh. Their ill-conceived proposals to expand access the NHS Central Register would pose a significant intrusion on our rights to privacy.
“In opposition the Liberal Democrats campaigned against Labour’s plans to introduce expensive ID cards, and in government we have blocked efforts by the Conservatives to bring in a Snooper’s Charter that would force internet service providers to keep records of all your texts, emails and every website you visit.
“I know from my own mailbag that many local people were concerned about the Snooper’s Charter. These plans to establish one massive central database shows that the SNP are no friends of civil liberties either, and I would urge any concerned local resident to take the opportunity to make their voice heard by completing the consultation at: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0046/00464862.pdf.”**
1. On page 1 of today’s Times, Lord Philips of Sudbury said:
“I remain deeply, resolutely and wholly opposed to an ID card scheme and that is what I fear Scotland may be approaching with this plans to set up a national register to collect and hold information about every citizen. This is a quasi-ID card scheme: ID cards by the back door. They want to use the NHS system as the kernel of their identity system.”
2. Speaking at the weekend, Baroness Shirley Williams said:
“We must be careful not to sleepwalk into authoritarianism and ensure that the public understands the ramifications, including the cost. People will question why the SNP is proceeding with such an intrusive system, which was widely rejected for that reason in the UK.
“If we learnt anything from the debate over ID cards, it was that our society still places great value on civil liberties.”
3. The Scottish Government’s proposals and consultation :http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0046/00464862.pdf**
**The consultation is now closed.