Local Liberal Democrats have expressed their concern about the recent loss of personal data records, this time from Whipps Cross hospital, and repeated their call for the Labour government to abandon plans to make people carry identity cards.
Cann Hall Cllr Keith Rayner spoke out after Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg MP published figures showing that 37 million pieces of personal information on UK citizens were lost in 2007, mostly by the Government.
Confidential patient records from Whipps Cross hospital were found on a Hertfordshire roadside last year, sparking concern amongst Waltham Forest residents.
Cllr Rayner claimed that such a massive loss of confidential information demonstrated that the Government could not be trusted with successfully administering an ID Card scheme.
“The expensive identity cards scheme is based on the government storing large amounts of information about each one of us on a central database. This most recent loss of data from Whipps Cross simply demonstrates yet again that, no matter how securely or professionally such information is handled, there will always be breaches of security when enormous banks of personal data are created.
“For the Government to pretend otherwise is either misleading or incredibly naïve.
“In 2007 the Government stumbled from one data loss crisis to another. The worst example came in November when the Government lost the personal details of all 25 million families with children. That has put the privacy of every family in Waltham Forest at risk.”
Local Liberal Democrats successfully led a motion last year against the Labour group on Waltham Forest Council, calling on councillors to denounce the ID Card scheme. The proposal was passed, forcing Council Leader Clyde Loakes into an embarrassing climb down as the Council was affiliated to the ‘NO2ID’ campaign against Labour’s wishes.
Cllr Rayner promised that the Liberal Democrats would continue to lead the local fight against the plans, praising Nick Clegg’s pledge that he would refuse to sign up to any ID Card scheme.
“I am delighted that the new Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg is leading the battle to end the ID cards scheme. Liberal Democrats in Waltham Forest are right behind him.
“The scheme will be a bureaucratic nightmare. It won’t prevent illegal working. It won’t help stop crime or terrorism. If this Labour government really wants to make an impact on crime, terrorism and illegal immigration, the money it has earmarked for this scheme would be far better spent on more police and intelligence officers. That is what the Liberal Democrats would do.”