Feeds

Industry and academia line up to bash ID cards

MPs hear 2009 roll-out unlikely

Seven Steps to Software Security

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 Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.