Another civil liberties victory for the Scottish Liberal Democrats

A couple of years ago, the SNP was planning to make this super ID database which made what Labour’s planned ID cards from 2008 look positively timid. They intended allowing 120 public bodies, including the Royal Botanic Gardens and Quality Meat Scotland, access to the NHS Central Register.

Alison McInnes, our then Justice spokesperson was on it straight away, as was Willie Rennie and made such a big fuss that the idea has now firmly been consigned to the dustbin.

Following parliamentary questions from Liam McArthur, our new Justice Spokesperson, the Scottish Government admitted that it had “decided it would not be appropriate” to extend the NHS Central Register to 120 public bodies, from the Royal Botanic Gardens to Quality Meat Scotland. The plans have been dropped with immediate effect.

It comes two years after a consultation on the controversial proposals attracted criticism from the BMA, civil liberties campaigners and the Information Commissioner. The SNP Government also voted down a bid by the Liberal Democrats, backed by all opposition parties, for any changes to be the subject of full parliamentary scrutiny.  You have to wonder if this is where Theresa May gets her ideas from when it comes to avoiding Parliament.

Liam welcomed the news:

After thousands of signatures, seven rounds of parliamentary questions and two years of Scottish Government prevarication, SNP ministers have finally admitted that they have ditched their dangerous plans.

Expert after expert warned that a Super ID Database amplified the risk of misuse and raised the threat of our personal information being searched, profiled and mined. Giving every person a unique ID number would have opened the door to ID cards.

Today we have succeeded in putting a stop to this. I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor as Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson, Alison McInnes and the dozens of organisations who were outraged by the proposed creation of a Super ID Database.

The Scottish Government were willing to jeopardise our privacy without justification. Only the Liberal Democrats can be relied upon to stand up for civil liberties and we will ensure the intrusive Super ID Database is never rebooted.

The SNP is not a liberal party. This is why we need the Scottish Liberal Democrats to lead the opposition when the Government comes up with blatantly illiberal plans.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • John Mitchell 15th Mar '17 - 9:30pm

    Yes, great job by the party on this issue. It has been criminally unreported today. It is a great shame that Alison McInnes is no longer an MSP but she deserves major credit as highlighted. This is more proof to anyone that needed it that the Scottish Liberal Democrats are at the forefront of challenging the SNP government. Since the budget and now on a future independence referendum, the Scottish Greens have capitulated and will clearly fall in line.

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