The U.K. Identity Cards Bill specifies the legal framework needed for a central registration authority to maintain records and issue identity cards for all individuals living in the U.K.
The controversial Bill was passed by the House of Commons and went to the House of Lords, October 19, 2005. Although it does not include specifications for the cards themselves, it does generally specify the information that the cards may include. That includes a photo, and fingerprints or other biometric information, as well as items like a PIN or password that can be used for strong authentication. This would protect the information and allow the card to be used only by the person to whom it was issued. The Bill does specify that certain information should be encrypted. It limits use of this card to certain situations related to law enforcement and government services.
The need to identify terrorists and prevent acts of terrorism has stimulated many governments to promote stronger identification of residents through registration and documentation. Privacy advocates are concerned that compulsory identity cards will erode fundamental freedoms.