Letter: Laying down the law on data protection

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The Independent Online
From Mr Michael Clarke

Sir: It is all very well for people with passports, driving licences, credit cards, workplace identity cards or student union cards to oppose the introduction of national identity cards.

However, I would suggest that if such people threw away these proofs of identity and tried to live without them they would soon sing a different tune.

Two members of my own family recently attempted to open high-interest building society accounts in which to invest modest legacies but were unable to do so because they possess none of these proofs of identity. I myself have encountered difficulties in proving my identity because I do not possess a driving licence, even when I have produced my passport. Proof of identity is increasingly necessary in our society.

The opponents of national identity cards who have acceptable means to prove their own identities should spare a thought for those who do not. It is they, by and large the more vulnerable members of society, who are increasingly being denied their civil liberties as they are unable to prove that they are who they are.

Yours faithfully,

MICHAEL CLARKE

London, SW15

26 May

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