26 Nov 2008

Britain introduces identity cards

11:55 am on 26 November 2008

The launch of identity cards in Britain began this week, with foreigners living there asked to apply first.

The cards will be phased in over the next three years and will initially apply to all foreigners wanting to stay in the United Kingdom for more than six months, or those wanting to extend their stay.

British citizens will be able to apply for the cards from the second half of next year.

The cards will contain 49 pieces of personal information, including the holder's fingerprint and photograph.

Critics doubt the cards will stop illegal immigration and employment.