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UK Trials Biometric ID Cards

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The British Labour government has argued that its controversial biometric national ID card scheme, which it plans to roll out nationally, will cut terrorism and illegal immigration. The two opposition parties both disagree and have vowed to scrap the cards if they come into power.

Yes, the ID card scheme raises political temperatures. But it’s going to be trialed for airside workers at two airports, Manchester and London City, for an 18-month period. As well as a photograph, the cards will contain fingerprint data. In a fit of generosity the government will waive the £30 (around $50) per person fee for the cards in the trial.

Workers at the airports already carry ID cards, but they are only valid for the individual airport where they work.

The government will start issuing cards to foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area later this month, Reuters reports, and expects 40,000 ID cards to be in use by next April.

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