Chips all round

How apposite that the page containing John Agar's views on ID cards ("A tool to fight bigamy, not terrorism", 8 October) should also contain a cartoon of two canines. Those wishing to bring in a dog or cat from the Continent under the passport scheme must arrange for it to be identified by means of an implanted microchip - which is cheap, painless and hard to forge. With numerous officially held relational databases, many of them tying in with DNA profiles, the time cannot be far off when a near-foolproof identity system is mandated on us all.

Already, digital cameras can provide evidence of where our cars were at a specific time. Given that the scanners for implanted chips can be operated surreptitiously, there is the Orwellian possibility that officialdom could know our whereabouts without us even being aware of it.

Anthony G Phillips
Salisbury, Wiltshire

This article first appeared in the 22 October 2001 issue of the New Statesman, A plan for the world