Feeds

Industry and academia line up to bash ID cards

MPs hear 2009 roll-out unlikely

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Commons Science and Technology Select Committee has heard a 2009 roll-out for ID cards is unlikely.

The comments came from London School of Economics (LSE) panelist Dr Edgar Whitley, one of the group behind the highly contentious report that put the upper limit on the scheme's cost at £19bn. Whitley's doubts on the 2009 target were echoed by National Physical Laboratory biometrics chief Dr Tony Mansfield and UCL professor Angela Sasse.

Whitley added he could still see no possibility that the Home Office's figure of £584m annually is feasible.

The four-strong panel of industry reps, who were quizzed by the Committee prior to the academics, was that much work still needs to be done on the specifications for the IT backbone of the scheme. The lack of consideration of online uses was a big oversight so far, they said.

Technology consultant and sometime Guardian contributor Dave Birch forwarded the view: "It may be that this system will fail completely and have to be reintroduced in 10 years." Oddly, he later said he thought this risk was "tolerable".

Industry reps and academics agreed that comparisons with existing ID schemes in other countries were of limited value. Microsoft's Jerry Fishenden said tangible reductions in identity fraud have not been measured. The societal impacts of government interventions vary hugely, said Sasse later.

The professor pointed out that, by their nature, studies of existing schemes have no controls; failures of the system cannot be properly assessed because they go undetected.

She added the Home Office's rubbishing of the LSE report was "astonishing".

The cross-party evidence session forms part of an inquiry into scientific advice to government. The consensus seemed to be the debate on ID cards has been "open but ill-informed". ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?