Blunkett threatens to regulate loyalty cards

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Indy Politics

New checks on supermarket loyalty cards could be brought in to prevent misuse of personal information about shoppers, David Blunkett said yesterday.

New checks on supermarket loyalty cards could be brought in to prevent misuse of personal information about shoppers, David Blunkett said yesterday.

In response, major retailers including Tesco and Sainsbury's accused the Home Secretary of scaremongering after he raised the prospect of regulating store cards. Mr Blunkett was addressing a London conference on his own controversial plans to introduce a national identity card from 2008.

The Home Secretary expressed concern about the burgeoning number of store cards, which keep detailed records of customers' shopping habits. He said 85 per cent of households possessed loyalty cards, which contained much more personal information than ID cards ever would. "There is a real issue about how that should be overseen and supervised."

A protest group, NO2ID, set up by a coalition of civil liberties groups, claims to be recruiting 250 new members every day and aims for 50,000 by the election expected in May.

Mr Blunkett said a new identity card commissioner, about to be appointed, could check that loyalty cards were not abused.

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