No sooner than the Prime Minister signals a u-turn on the introduction of ID cards in Britain; news has seeped out of the continent that the EU may be next to try and impose a system of biometric cataloguing and identification on its citizens.
According to this report, chip manufacturers are being lined up to participate in a new European research project called BioP@ss, with the intention of developing a 'high-security chip card platform'.
It goes on to say:
..BioP@ss is the biggest chip card research project in the EU. Its goal is to do the technical spadework for the introduction of an electronic ID card in chip card format valid throughout the entire EU.
In addition to its function as an ID card, it will be capable of providing a secure means of authentication for services offered by governments and public authorities..
The BioP@ss research project is apparently due to be completed in 2011 and already has a total budget of €13 million.
From one nightmare scenario - the DNA, fingerprints, vital statistics and personal details of the entire British population available at the click of a button to the government, police, local and other authorities - we now see on the horizon a far more scary prospect: that very same data available at the click of a button to any state official across the entirety of Europe.
My most grateful of acknowledgements to Aaron K Martin for alerting us to this article - it is a topic on which Big Brother Watch will be extremely vigilant in the coming months.
By Dylan Sharpe