THE TASK AHEAD

After six hard years of campaigning, we can celebrate a little. The new government in its coalition agreement has adopted some of NO2ID's most important aims as its own. It promises that it will:

"Scrap... the ID card scheme, the National Identity Register, the next generation of biometric passports and the ContactPoint database.
Outlaw... the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.
Adopt... the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
End... storage of internet and email records without good reason."
That is a good start. Setting a government's agenda could not have been achieved without the thousands of people who have each fought to change the hearts and minds of their friends, family and colleagues, local and national media, politicians, parties and government; the many who have given generously in money to allow us to run an office, send mailings, and produce briefings and leaflets; and our dedicated volunteers and staff.

However we cannot afford to be complacent: NO2ID's work is far from done.

The database state is already too much assumed as an administrative goal for it to be killed by the loss of the ID scheme. Even during the election, despite the skepticism of parties now in government, 'Connecting for Health' was pushing forward with its plan to control all medical records in England.

Whitehall will not give up these empires without a fight. And the agendas that have been prepared for years may be expected to reappear under new names. The official obsession with identity and information-sharing remains, as does the idea that "personal information is the lifeblood of government".

Holding the new government to its promise is the first thing. Rolling back the database state will involve more battles. But we have proved that - working together - the war CAN be won.

'Stop the database state' means continuing to tackle existing threats to privacy, but it also means changing the culture of showing "ID" at every turn, embedding proper protections in law, in institutions and technology, and achieving real control for you over your personal information.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT 'ID CARDS'

There's a lot of confusion about the government's proposed national identity scheme, and it doesn't help that the Home Office often gives misleading information.

Our summary of the scheme is here.

Answers to selected Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are here.

The 'database state' is what we call the tendency to try to use computers to manage society by watching people. There are many interlocking government plans that do this. Together they mean officials poking into your private life more than ever before.

The list of database state initiatives on which NO2ID is campaigning, along with a wide range of other organisations is here.

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