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Mistaken Identity

A public meeting on the Government’s proposed National Identity Card

Wednesday May 19, 2004; 13:30–17:00 hrs

The Old Theatre, London School of Economics
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

Organised by Privacy International, in association with Liberty, Statewatch,, The Register, The 1990 Trust and the Foundation for Information Policy Research. Hosted by the Department of Information Systems of the London School of Economics

The government has introduced draft legislation for a national identity card. The card system will cost at least £3 billion and is likely to become an essential part of life for everyone residing in the UK.

If the draft legislation is accepted by Parliament, everyone will be required to register for a card. Biometric scans of the face, fingers and eye will be taken. Personal details will be stored in a central database. A unique number will be issued that will become the basis for the matching of computer systems.

The proposed card may be required to access vital public services and to receive benefits. The government proposes to enforce the programme through numerous new criminal and civil offenses, including provision for unlimited financial penalty and up to ten years' imprisonment.

The implications for everyone in the UK are far-reaching.

As can be seen, several organisations joined together to organise this important meeting to hear from key figures in the fields of law, politics, security, technology and human rights.

The meeting was free of charge to members of the public. Links after each speaker or groups of speakers provide access to audio files kindly recorded by Nick Hill. The Ogg Vorbis files are the originals, which have also been transcoded to MP3 format, for listeners' convenience, though the MP3s are a lot bigger than the Ogg files.

Unlisted in the running order are additional comments from Simon Davies, who chaired and compèred the afternoon, and Ian Brown, who chaired the Q&A sessions. Some of the speakers are run together in the same audio files; audio files are listed against the last speaker they contain. Approximate runtimes are provided in minutes and seconds; filesizes should appear as tooltips to each link.

Final programme (times removed, as they overran)

Segment A
Welcome: Simon Davies, London School of Economics
Rt Hon David Davis, MP, Shadow Home Secretary (Ogg, MP3: 20′47)
Segment B
David Winnick, MP, Labour, member, HASC (Ogg, MP3: 10′22)
Simon Thomas, MP, Plaid Cymru, chair, EAC (Ogg, MP3: 9′19)
Lord (Andrew) Phillips of Sudbury (Ogg, MP3: 11′31)
Segment C
Q&A with audience (Ogg, MP3: 10′37)
Segment D
David Cameron, MP, Shadow Leader of the House; member, HASC
Khalid Sofi, Legal Secretary, Muslim Council of Britain
(Part 1: Ogg, MP3: 9′36; Part 2: Ogg, MP3: 10′54)
Segment E
Mark Oaten, MP, Liberal Democrat, Home Affairs spokesman (Ogg, MP3: 8′08)
Segment F
Q&A with audience (Ogg, MP3: 10′48)
Segment G
Tony Bunyan, Director, Statewatch (Ogg, MP3: 13′15)
Karen Chouhan, Executive Director, The 1990 Trust (Ogg, MP3: 11′55)
Shami Chakrabarti, Director, Liberty (Ogg, MP3: 14′26)
Segment H
Q&A with audience (Ogg, MP3: 9′ 41)
Segment I
Peter Williamson, President, Law Society (Ogg, MP3: 9′27)
Roger Smith, Director, JUSTICE (Ogg, MP3: 11′29)
Paul Whitehouse, former Chief Constable, Sussex Police (Ogg, MP3: 11′27)
Segment J
Q&A with audience (Ogg, MP3: 6′13)
Segment K
Prof Ross Anderson, head, Security Group, Cambridge Uni (Ogg, MP3: 6′34)
Jonathan Bamford, Asst Information Commissioner (Ogg, MP3: 9′39)
Segment L
Next steps (Ogg, MP3: 1′06)

If you would like to attend, please mail, though we may not now be able to reply in confirmation. There are, however, still a few spaces left.

Media enquiries should be directed to