prime minister, U.K.

The U.K. Parliament’s House of Commons easily passed a bill on Thursday to establish a system of potentially compulsory biometric identity cards and a central database of all of its citizens. However, the bill’s primary sponsor, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, said the ID card bill may hit stiff opposition in the House of Lords.

The Identity Cards Bill, introduced to Parliament on Nov. 29, seeks to create by 2010 a system of ID cards with embedded chips that carry personal information and biometric identifiers. The information will include each citizen’s name, address and biometric information such as fingerprints, facial scans and iris scans, all of which will be included in a massive database called the National Identification Register.

The ID Cards Bill, which is expected to cost up to