Monday, June 13, 2005

US Biometrics-a-no-go / Pledgetastic

The Register reports on a Sunday Times article about Ireland dropping plans for biometric passports possibly because the US is doubting the technical aspects of biometrics. Here's the original Sunday Times piece.

Global inter-compatibility is one of the main driving forces behind biometric passports in the UK, and consequently the push for bioemtric-based ID cards. Up until now, the US has been particularly enthusiastic that travellers to its shores "embrace" the latest technology, but could this news be the first chink in the technological armour of our new-world government?

I suspect, for now, the ministers will stick to their guns and claim that "the technology is mature enough to work". Behind the scenes though, I guess this will ruffle some feathers amongst those whose technical naivety is still holding out. Face save first, talk sense later.

And of course this only addresses one issue of the debate - the technical. It would be hugely amiss to think that criticism of the proposed ID system is limited to the mere technicals. However, if the proposed cost keeps going up, and the technical shortfalls are being highlighted more and more every day, maybe there's hope that people will start thinking about what it is to be "governed" too.

For those who have thought about it already, and who don't like it, I urge you to sign up to NO2ID's pledge to refuse to register, and to bung a tenner to where it matters.

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