Digital ID : The London Debate

First there were lockdowns. Then came the vaccines. Next, the idea that certain parts of society might be for the vaccinated only – enabled by smartphone-based vaccine passports. But is this momentum towards social control the precursor of digital biometric ID? Will the state require us all to sacrifice our independence and free will to participate in society? Is this all an inexorable move towards an Orwellian dystopia where we are coerced into constant surveillance, or get effectively side-lined by society?  Could we also be looking at central digital currencies, tied to our identity – that could be turned off if we don’t behave, don’t obey?

Or is digital ID merely an inevitable next stage of our adoption of technology?  After all, there are benefits that we’ve all enjoyed – not needing to carry cash, getting whatever we need, when we need it, via eCommerce.  We’ve also adapted to working at home, connected to the world via video conferencing apps, avoiding the commute, office politics and hot-desking.  Digital identity could be the next logical step to better and safer social experiences. After all, we’ve agreed to it for air travel – why not extend it to ensure the world runs better and safer? 

On the 25th of November we’ll be holding our first in-person debate in London. 

The Motion: This house believes that the digitisation of our lives has gone too far and poses an immediate threat to life and liberty. We must never accept any form of digital ID and to guard against this we must preserve the human right to a non-digital life.

Francis Hoar – Barrister and Human Rights Lawyer
Bob Moran – Award winning political cartoonist and writer

Bill McCluggage – Former Deputy CIO, HMG, Cabinet Office
A second speaker against the motion will be announced soon.

Our venue can accommodate just 200 seated guests so we would encourage early booking. Delegates will be notified of venue, via email, after booking. Please bring a printed paper copy of your ticket with you to the venue on the evening. We look forward to meeting you on November 25thBook Now.

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