Compulsory identity cards could be used to spy on people, MPs warn today.
Members of the Home Affairs Select Committee say they are concerned that the way the authorities use sensitive data gathered in the multibillion-pound programme could gradually "creep" in scope to include covert surveillance.
The all-party committee also urges ministers to make plans for how to deal with any theft of personal details from the National Identity Scheme, which will build a database on every person over 16 in Britain. It accepts ministers' assurances that surveillance is not part of current plans, but asks for a guarantee that no expansion will take place without MPs' approval.
The report, which is published today, says: "Any ambiguity about the objectives of the scheme puts in jeopardy the public's trust in the scheme itself and in the Government's ability to run it."