An ad in the New Statesman was headlined I work on the Identity Card system for the UK Government. Below, text stated >The "National Identity Register" is the most detailed citizen database of its kind in the world. I am security
cleared, which means I can get anything I want, on any UK resident. Address, heath info, financial records, criminal records, whatever. >It's all meant to be stored securely but anyone who works on the project knows it can't be. Better yet, I have a
contact who works for a mobile telephone company, so sometimes I can cross-match a person to their geographical location for the last six months or more. I know exactly who they speak to. And when their mother calls. And where she lives, too. >I sell
information, if the price is right. Trade is good at the moment. It's mostly private investigators and newspapers, but I get some unusual stuff too. I don't ask questions. It's nothing personal; it's just business. >I am God :o). Text below read
The Government wants state management of personal identity. It isn't simple. Or safe. NO2ID is a non-partisan campaign to stop it. Join us. www.no2id.net.
A complainant objected that the ad:
misleadingly exaggerated the information that would be held on the National Identity Register and how staff would be able to access it
was offensive to those who worked for the National Identity Register and implied they were corrupt.
1. Not upheld
We noted the National Identity Register was not yet in existence, but that under current proposals, the database would not contain health, financial or criminal records. We considered, however, that readers of the New Statesman would understand that
NO2ID was a lobby group opposed to the ID card scheme and that the ad used an illustrative fictionalised account to set out their view that the ID card system was a threat to personal privacy and that a national database system might be vulnerable to
abuse. We noted that the issues relating to the National Identity Register and ID card scheme, including the information the database was likely to hold, had been well documented in the press, and considered people would recognise the ad was deliberately
controversial, to encourage discussion on a sensitive political issue. We concluded that the ad was not misleading.
2. Not upheld
We did not consider that most people would interpret the ad to mean that all those who might work for the National Identity Register, or a similar database scheme, were corrupt and likely to sell confidential information or abuse their position. We
considered people would understand that the ad was highlighting a lobbying group's opinion that a database containing personal information might be vulnerable to abuse by a minority of those who worked with it. We concluded therefore that the ad was
unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.