The Identity Cards Bill will almost certainly be abandoned before the next election but its proposals are here to stay, according to an all-party group of MPs.
Philip Virgo, secretary general of the European Information Society Group (Eurim) told vnunet.com that the levels of support from voters for a single digital identity was such that MPs would have to institute some form of ID system.
Some MPs had held constituency polls that indicated support as high as 80 or 90 per cent.
"ID cards will be counted out unless the election is postponed. But there is sufficient momentum that, almost regardless of who is elected, personal ID cards will come back in some form or another," said Virgo.
"Most voters want a single identity and a single point for dealing with government; in the old days this was a sub-post office."
But rather than a single ID card that does everything, UK citizens are more likely to see federations of existing identity schemes, according to Virgo.
He pointed out that central government already has at least 20 forms of ID system in place, a figure which rises to more than 200 if local schemes are included.
This would also have the advantage of keeping costs low. By using existing schemes it is expected the return on investment for ID cards would be achieved within 18 months.
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