Brian Wheeler writes on the BBC News web site:
Identity cards may be history for British citizens – but what about all the personal details collected by the government and stored on its national identity database?
Anyone who imagined it would simply be a case of an official somewhere hitting delete is in for a rude awakening.
The Home Office is seemingly planning an orgy of destruction, as expensive and barely-used equipment is removed from offices and destroyed – all in accordance with government guidelines on recycling, of course.
A document from the Identity and Passport Service details the meticulous steps that will be taken to wipe the ID register from the face of the earth, once the Identity Documents Bill has received Royal Assent, expected before the end of the year.
It reads like a toxic waste disposal log, as any machine that has ever come into contact with the personal details contained on the database is either cleansed of its contents or fed into the shredder.
It would, of course, be a public relations disaster for the government if any of the data fell into the wrong hands – as well as a potential security threat for those on the register.
Nobody wants a repeat of the HM Revenue and Customs lost discs fiasco.
However, as Mr Wheeler points out:
And the identity register will, of course, live on for foreign nationals working in the UK.
(where “foreign” has its Home Office meaning; “from outside the European Economic Area”).