It will cost the government only £400,000 to destroy the data for the failed UK ID card initiative.
The data compiled by the National Identity Register, which was scrapped last year by the coalition government, will be disposed of for the relatively small sum - in government figures - Home Office minister Damian Green confirmed to a written question by Labour MP Paul Goggins.
According to The Register (opens in new tab), the data will be destroyed by a CESG accredited and accepted supplier to secure destruction policy guidelines.
The ID Card scheme was announced by the Labour government in 2006 and was launched in 2009. It cost around £330 million of taxpayers money to organise. It is estimated that nearly £100 million will be saved over the next four years by scrapping the scheme.
Green, justifying the move, said: “The destruction of the NIR data will involve the physical equipment holding that data being both degaussed and physically shredded
“It is estimated that cancelling ID cards and the NIR will realise net savings of £86 million over the next four years. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will incur some one-off expenditure and asset write-offs during 2010-11, including the secure destruction of the NIR. The net costs in 2010-11 will be near to £5 million.”
Despite the scrappage of the scheme, personal freedoms campaigners have still criticised the fact that the government even tried to launch the programme. Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch told Tech Eye (opens in new tab): "This is yet another reason we should never have begun with this monolithic database in the first place.
"Not only was it absurdly intrusive, not only was it eye-wateringly expensive – it costs a pretty penny to take apart, too. Still, we should all be very grateful for its demise."