Sir Tony Blair was today accused of pushing a ‘creepy’ plan for every Briton to be issued with a ‘digital ID’ as part of a ‘reshaping of the state around technology’.
The former prime minister has joined ex-Tory leader William Hague in calling for the Government to introduce an ID card that people can have on their phones.
This would hold details such as their passport, driving licence, tax records, qualifications and right to work status.
Sir Tony – who attempted to introduce ID cards while in Downing Street – insisted that new biometric technology would overcome concerns about online dangers.
He and Lord Hague have insisted that a ‘fundamental reshaping of the state around technology’ is needed amid a ‘radically’ shaping world.
However critics hit back at their demands, with ex-Tory chairman Sir Jake Berry branding digital IDs ‘a creepy state plan to track you from the cradle to the grave’.
Campaign group Big Brother Watch condemned Sir Tony for ‘reviving failed proposals for an intrusive mass digital identity system and a database state’.
But a snap poll by YouGov revealed more than half of Britons (54 per cent) would support the introduction of a system of national ID cards in Britain.
According to the survey of more than 4,000 adults today, almost a quarter (23 per cent) said they would strongly support national ID cards, with 31 per cent saying they would ‘tend to support’ such a plan.
This compared to 13 per cent who said they would tend to oppose the introduction of national ID cards and 14 per cent who said they would strongly oppose such a plan. Almost one in five (18 per cent) replied ‘don’t know’.
Sir Tony and Lord Hague unveiled their proposals in a joint article for The Times, in which they said ‘politics must change radically because the world is changing radically’.
‘We are living through a 21st-century technology revolution as huge in its implications as the 19th-century industrial revolution,’ they added.
They warned that current politicians were ‘in danger of conducting a 20th-century fight at the margins of tax and spending policy when the issue is how we harness this new revolution to reimagine the state and public services’.
Outlining their proposals for a shake-up of Whitehall – including digital IDs for every citizen – they also called for ‘a national health infrastructure that uses data to improve care and keep costs down, and sovereign AI systems backed by supercomputing capabilities’.