LONDON, June 8 (UPI) -- A British watchdog government agency says it is opposed to a plan for issuing mandatory national identity cards.
The BBC reported Tuesday Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, charged with protecting Britain's data protection and freedom of information laws, said he initially viewed the plan with "healthy skepticism," but the details had changed his view to "increasing alarm."
Thomas' comments to Home Secretary David Blunkett's ID plans join the opposition of Ministers Jack Straw and Patricia Hewitt.
Thomas said he was not opposed to ID cards in principle, but the government's plans were more comprehensive and ambitious than any other ID plan in the world.
"This is beginning to represent a really significant sea change in the relationship between state and every individual in this country," he said, adding it was clear the scheme is not just about identity cards, but about a national identity register with information about every citizen that could "be used in a wide range of activities."