ID card campaign group No2ID has - with a little financial backing from Microsoft - won admission to the industry working group of Project STORK, the EU programme for devising interoperability standards for electronic ID systems across Europe.
Representing "civil society interests", No2ID will be able to attend and report on STORK discussions with industry representatives. And keep an eye on what the Identity & Passport Service is up to.
"We know that IPS is one of those around the table," No2ID National Coordinator Phil Booth told The Register, "and is using the interoperability of passports as an excuse to drive fingerprints on chips.
"We'll be able to see who's pushing what, and who's likely to be going more extreme than other countries." No2ID reckons that at the moment the UK Home Office's ID scheme is "by far the most pernicious ID scheme in the continent, if not the world.
"But if developing European standards start to present a threat to privacy and civil liberties, then we are now in a much better position to know about it and lobby against it."
No2ID is probably the first non-governmental and non-corporate organisation to be given this level of access by Project STORK, but it seems reasonable to speculate that others might now follow. The Microsoft backing will cover travel expenses, and comes from the company's corporate social responsibility fund, bless. ®