Monday, February 07, 2005

Help Me! I'm agreeing with Peter Lilley!

The Bow Group, a centre-right Tory think tank, has just produced a reoprt opposing ID cards. It can be found here in pdf format.

The summary is clear, consise and informative, although it does have the obligatory headline grabbing quote: "The Government’s plan for compulsory identity cards is a bad idea, in a bad bill, introduced for the worst possible motives."

Other than the spin, it just shows that opposition to ID cards is truely cross-bench. It could be an interesting debate when it comes to to the house.


There is a very interesting statement concerning the biometric element of the ID card scheme. Gov't ministers have asserted that under EU rules a full biometric scheme is required for all passports and that the cost of this biometric covers the major cost of the ID card scheme (initially rolled out in conjunction with passports). However this report states "In fact, all that is required to meet the International Civil Aviation Authority rules is 'a facial biometric (which can be derived from a passport photo)'."

So, no reporting to a depot for processing, no fingerprints, iris scans, etc. Just a photo.

So I checked the reference back to the UK Passport Service website:

"The UKPS is planning to implement a facial recognition image biometric in the British Passport book from late 2005/early 2006. The biometric can be derived from a passport photograph and will be in accordance with international standards."

"The UKPS has been supporting the work of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to develop international standards for biometric deployment. ICAO nominated facial recognition as the primary biometric for travel documents with iris pattern and fingerprint as secondary but not mandatory."



1 comment:

Scribe said...

Very interesting, and seems to cover most of the points very well. It's great to see some decent criticism finally being put forward by some hefty players - opinions that the government will find it harder and harder to ignore.

I'd be interested in hearing more about the Australian experience, as it sounds like history may be repeating itself on the other side of the world.