The Manchester Evening News are reporting that just 2,000 people have signed up to the ID cards trial currently taking place in Greater Manchester, and only 10,000 nationwide have registered with the Home Office website to get an application form.
The £30 voluntary scheme is being rolled out across Greater Manchester later this year as a trial for the national card. This follows on from news earlier this week, that the Home Office was offering its own staff the chance to be among the first people in the UK to have an identity card.
According to the report, a spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service explained the poor take-up so far by saying: "I don't think that 10,000 people is very low when you think that we haven't really marketed the scheme yet."
Now, while 10,000 is pathetically low given the population of Great Britain, the question remains why anyone is registering for one of these cards.
As explained by our friends at No2ID,
"Every registered individual will be under an obligation to notify any change in registrable facts. It is a clear aim of the system to require identity verification for many more civil transactions, the occasions to be stored in the audit trail. Information verified and indexed by numbers from the NIR would be easily cross-referenced in any database or set of databases. The "meta-database" of all the thousands of databases cross-referenced is much more powerful and much less secure than the NIR itself."
In essence, each one of the 10,000 people who have willingly given up £30 for one of these new cards is opening themselves up to, not only the most powerful and intrusive surveillance the state currently has available, they are also signing up to a lifetime of punitive fines and harassment, as the authorities endeavour to keep their biometric information up-to-date.
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have pledged to get rid of ID cards and Gordon Brown is currently backing away from them as fast as he can.
Do not sign up for one of these cards.
By Dylan Sharpe