The government has been illegally collecting the fingerprints of over 46 million British citizens for 12 years. This scheme has been in operation since the introduction of the harmless looking photocard driving licenses in 2001, an DVLA insider reported. The cards are fitted with a device to collect the fingerprints from the owner. The device is on the reverse: a small plastic and glue panel. The device is low-tech – a passive technology – and can not transmit the data back to the Home Office – and so the information must be collected by hand. Our source gave several techniques, including “recalling the card or stopping the owner on suspicion of ‘drink driving’,” although she also admitted that “unusual methods have been used in the past, in extreme cases.”
Over 56 million photocard driving licenses have been issued since they were introduced, but experts estimate that the project would only be successful in 80% of cases.
The devise is illegal, as only the police have the right to take fingerprints in the UK, and only when the individual has been linked to a crime. Police commissioner James Roget of the Metropolitan Police told the DBC that this was only carried out “on an individual basis, not completely mindlessly as some people suspect.”
Neither the DVLA nor @David_Cameron replied to a query.
Commenting on the widespread undetection of the device, personal privacy expert, Claude Morris, said “Disguise seems to be the element here – the device is low-tech and appears harmless, and suspicion is allayed by its dual purpose to attach the card to the paper driving license when it is delivered. But it’s clearly not as innocent as everyone has suspected – you only have to look at the glue that they use: it is completely unremovable. There is no room for error here.” The device is also carefully prepared so that any attempt to remove it would damage the card, giving a reason to force a new one to be issued with another device.
The old-style paper only driving licenses are not thought to be affected by the scheme.
In a statement the morning, UKIP MEP Chris Campbell said that this was “almost inevitable, considering the nature of the EU, and its m***********g photocards. We never wanted them. We never will want them. So for the sake of our future we must leave this union.” He also called on the government to leave the EU, which he suspects may be receiving a copy of the fingerprint data collected.
Other commentators have liked the case to the recent PRISM project in the USA, which also aimed to illegally strip British nationals of their rightful privacy.
(c) 2013 The Daniel Broadcasting Company (DBC)