NO2ID is a grass-roots campaign in the UK that developed in opposition to the government's proposed National Identity Scheme. In the proposed scheme, national identification cards would be issued to individuals over the age of 16. The cards would be linked to a database of citizen information known as the National Identity Register (NIR). The name "NO2ID" is an abbreviation of the phrase "say NO to a national ID."
Part of the NIR proposal calls for linking personal information already present in multiple government databases as a means of creating more comprehensive proofs of identity, as well as records of residence and activity. NO2ID refers to such an eventuality as "the database state."
Among other things, those involved in the NO2ID campaign are concerned about:
- The potential means used to collect and maintain NIR data.
- The accuracy and integrity of data across multiple repositories.
- Possible exposure of private data to unscrupulous third parties.
- Fears of increasing government oversight and control.
There are thousands of NO2ID groups across the UK, with one in nearly every medium to large city or metropolitan area, plus numerous NO2ID groups active online. According to Phil Booth, National Coordinator of the NO2ID campaign, the membership has increased very quickly:
I have been told that NO2ID was the most rapidly growing civil liberties campaign in recent British history - from a pub meeting of less than a dozen volunteers (a week after a public meeting attended by about 350 people at the LSE) to 10,000 registered supporters in well under a year.