'Voluntary' means you can change your mind

Since ID cards will be voluntary, I presume I will be able to hand mine back to the Home Office when I decide I no longer want one.

CuriousHamster has been musing about ID cards again, as peers continue to argue with the government over whether the cards will truly be ‘voluntary’, if citizens are required to register for one when they renew their passport. He gives the dictionary definition of ‘voluntary’, but neglects to make an important point about the definition. If you do something voluntarily, then you are under no obligation to continue to do it, if you should change your mind. I am on the Organ Donor Register, but I could ring them up and remove my details if I wanted to.

But ministers say [ID Cards] will already be “voluntary”, because it is not compulsory to have a passport.

True, it is not compulsory to have a passport (at least, unless you work for the Foreign Office), and I can hand mine back to the issuing agency, the UKPA, at any time I choose. Since ID cards will be also be ‘voluntary’, I therefore presume I will be able to return mine to the Home Office, when it arrives along with my renewed, biometric passport…

2 thoughts on “'Voluntary' means you can change your mind”

  1. Robert,

    “I therefore presume I will be able to return mine to the Home Office, when it arrives along with my renewed, biometric passport…”

    Whilst this may be so, it completely and entirely misses the point. Handing back your little plastic card will be of no consequence whatsoever because it will not eradicate your record FROM THE IDENTITY REGISTER/DATABASE THING.

    THAT is the problem, not the card.
    PG

  2. Indeed. The acid test would be whether I can apply to have my name taken off the register, like I can with blood donation. If I can’t, then its not voluntary.

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