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Privacy Campaigners Welcome Airlines' Opposition to ID Database

Dave Page | 02.07.2008 22:07 | Social Struggles | Technology

Privacy campaigners have welcomed airline bosses' strongly-worded letter opposing plans to force airport workers to register for government ID cards from next year.

Manchester NO2ID Logo
Manchester NO2ID Logo

A letter from the British Air Transport Association (BATA) to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has accused her of using the airline industry as a political pawn in the national identity card debate by forcing aviation workers to join the scheme. The letter, signed by airline bosses including Willie Walsh of British Airways and Andy Harrison of easyJet, says "no additional security benefits have been identified".

Privacy campaigners have welcomed the BATA move, saying it confirms suspicions that air-side workers are being used be guinea-pigs for the increasingly-controversial scheme.

Dave Page, Manchester coordinator of the NO2ID campaign, said: "The National Identity Scheme certainly strips people of their privacy, but does not improve our security. It simply fulfils Whitehall's dreams of registering and tracking everyone in the country for life."

"Airport air-side workers are amongst the most security-conscious and carefully-vetted employees in the country. Forcing them to register with this database wouldn't make flying safer, but the airline industry would be forced to pay the exorbitant costs in full."

"We welcome BATA's strongly-worded opposition to this cynical blackmailing of air-side workers into becoming guinea-pigs for the unwanted ID Card scheme."


For more information or interview, please contact Dave Page on 07982 814 441, or via e-mail at

Notes for editors:

1) Guardian: ID cards: aviation industry a political pawn say airline bosses

2) A recent leaked memo shows that the Home Office plans to "coerce" the public into getting ID cards, despite ministerial claims that they would be voluntary:

3) A recent ICM poll shows more people opposed to the government's ID cards scheme than in favour:

4) NO2ID is the UK-wide, non-partisan campaign opposing the government's planned ID card and National Identity Register. We bring together individuals and organisations from all sections of the community and seek to ensure that the case against ID cards and the database state is forcefully put forward in the media, in the corridors of power and at grassroots level. We continue to actively campaign on all fronts for the abolition of the ID scheme and repeal of the Identity Cards Act 2006.

5) Manchester NO2ID is the local group associated with the national campaign, working to inform the debate in the Greater Manchester area and across the North-West. Our website is

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