Feeds

Cost of ID Cards could triple, plan could breach DRA

Oh no it won't, says Home Office

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The UK government has dismissed a report from the London School of Economics (LSE) which suggests ID cards could cost as much as three times as planned.

The LSE's analysis comes as the UK's plan faces a fresh challenge from human rights organisation Privacy International, which claims the cards discriminate against disabled people, up to four million of whom will not be able to use the cards.

According to The Observer, which has seen a draft version of the document, the LSE's report says additional technology costs, the relatively short useful life span of biometric data, and the administrative cost of dealing with those who are unwilling to have ID cards will all add to the price tag. In total, the report says, the cost could be as high as £18bn, or £300 per card.

Meanwhile, The Mirror reports that as many as 600,000 people will be unable to register any of their biometrics. This, according to Simon Davies at PI, puts the bill in breach of the Disability Rights Act. Davies told the paper: "The proposals will create a dark ages for the rights of the disabled."

Meanwhile, the LSE report states that the government has hugely underestimated the cost of the technology involved. For example, the LSE says that rather than the £250-£750 the government has budgeted for the readers needed to scan cards, a more likely figure is between £3,000-£4,000 per unit.

The researchers also suggest that the card will only last for five years, not ten as the government is expecting. The Observer quotes from the report: "All technical and scientific literature indicates that biometric certainty diminishes over time, and it is therefore likely that a biometric - particularly fingerprints and facial features - will have to be re-scanned at least every five years. This cost must be taken into account."

But the Home Office has dismissed the report, saying that it does not accept the figures being quoted. It would not comment directly on the findings, however, because commercial contracts are confidential.

It reiterated its own assessment of the costs, which it published along with the ID cards bill. It says the combined card and passport will cost £93 to produce, and that the scheme will cost £584m to run each year.

The LSE report highlights the government's reluctance to disclose details of the scheme as one of the main problems with trying to work out the actual cost of implementing a national identity card scheme. ®

Related stories

US biometric ID request raises ID concern in UK
ID cards technology is ready, says UK minister
UK ID scheme rides again, as biggest ID fraud of them all

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.