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Rennie seeks to rally Holyrood support against worrying SNP super ID database plans

February 25, 2015 4:56 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie MSP has sought to rally support from MSPs against the SNP's worrying plans to create a super ID database.

Mr Rennie tabled a motion in parliament today as the Scottish Government's controversial consultation on the plans drew to a close.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have raised concerns that the database would be intrusive, costly and would increase the power of the state. The party has already put forward a list of parliamentary questions to SNP ministers amidst concerns that the appropriate work hasn't been undertaken to identify the full risks.

Speaking today, Mr Rennie said:

"Anyone with a liberal bone in their body will find the SNP's super ID database plans worrying. Expanding access to the National Health Service Central Register to 120 public bodies and assigning each person with a unique reference number would be intrusive, costly and would increase the power of the over mighty state.

"I want MSPs of all parties and none to join the growing number of people in Scotland standing in opposition to these ill-thought-out plans.

"The SNP Government's consultation closed today but our campaign is only beginning. We are still in the dark on the costs and risks involved with creating one monumental database for all of Scotland. Scottish Liberal Democrats will be pushing for answers."

Mr Rennie will submit the following motion to Parliament:

That the Parliament notes with concern the Scottish Government's consultation on amendments to the National Health Service Central Register (Scotland) Regulations 2006; is alarmed that it is intending to turn the NHS register into a database that can be used to identify and trace people by 120 different organisations; believes that these proposals would create a national identification database that would be at great risk of abuse; notes that it is planned that every person would be assigned a Unique Citizen Reference Number to allow them to be tracked by public bodies; considers that this is only a step away from introducing ID cards; is perturbed that the Scottish Government have failed to link these proposals to any plans for keeping people's information secure, or the costs or timescales for establishing the database; is astonished that the Scottish Government has not published a privacy impact assessment of these proposals, is seeking to make these changes with the minimum of consultation and is not planning to publish the consultation responses online; and calls upon the Scottish Government to abandon their proposals to amend the National Health Service Central Register (Scotland) Regulations 2006 with immediate effect, before any further public funding is wasted on this scheme.