Introducing mandatory ID card by the back door threatens citizens’ rights

August 25, 2017

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD is calling for an open public debate on the National ID card issue, while voicing concerns that a mandatory identity system is being introduced by the back door.

Deputy Shortall said:

“The Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said today that using a Public Services Card is now mandatory for people to access services from her department, and that other Government departments will also make it mandatory. We have already seen government agencies refuse to provide services such as pension payments and driver theory tests unless applicants can produce a Public Services Card.

“What we are seeing is the creeping introduction of a mandatory ID card scheme by the back door. This type of public administration by stealth lacks transparency, threatens people’s rights, and is just not acceptable. There has been absolutely no public debate or scrutiny on this issue which fundamentally affects the privacy of every citizen in the State.

“Where is the legislative basis for requiring people to have a Public Services Card before they can access all public services including pensions?  We need to have a national debate on whether to introduce a national ID card scheme, and if it was to be introduced there would have to be robust safeguards in law in terms of what information can be collected, how is it stored and accessed, as well as penalties for breaches of data protection rules.”

ENDS

25 August 2017