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HOMELAND SECURITY

19 Dec 06. Giant ID computer plan scrapped. Identity cards are due to be introduced in 2009. The government has abandoned plans for a giant new computer system to run the national identity cards scheme. Instead of a single multi-billion pound system, information will be held on three existing, separate databases. Home Secretary John Reid said it would save cash, but the Tories said ID cards were still a £20bn “white elephant”. All non-Europeans already in the UK will also have to register fingerprints or iris scans from 2008 not just new arrivals, Mr Reid announced. The controversial National Identity Register (NIR), which Mr Reid says will cost £5.4bn over 10 years, was originally proposed as a single “clean” computer system. It was going to be built from scratch to avoid repeating mistakes and duplications in the government’s computer systems. (Source: BBC)

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