Feeds

UK gov wants to fingerprint kids

An eleven plus for all

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Home Office minister Liam Byrne told ITV1 television's The Sunday Edition that the Identity and Passport Service wanted to fingerprint all children over the age of 11 and keep their particulars on a database.

The reason, he said, is because it is currently possible get a 10 year passport without biometrics while a child and still be carrying it validly at age 17, the age at which a biometric passport would be issued to someone who applied afresh for their travel permit.

He did not say that it would be necessary to fingerprint children as young as eight, perhaps because an anti-biometric campaign has been building quite steadily against the idea of fingerprinting children below the age of 10.

Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary Nick Clegg said in a statement that it was a "sinister" plan.

"It is a measure of ministerial arrogance that plans are being laid to fingerprint children as young as 11 without having a public debate first," he said.

He suggested it would be a waste of public money.

A Home Office spokesman said it is bound by the rules of the European Schengen agreement, which Britain isn't signed up to, but has vowed to mirror, to introduce biometric fingerprints to British passports by 2009.

The spokesman said the Europeans hadn't decided on a minimum age for demanding that someone proffer their biometrics at border control.

However, the European Council pretty much already agreed last summer that children as young as 12 would be stored on Europe's fingerprint database.

But there are important reasons why the liberties of children ought to be overlooked, the government has implied. The spokesman said the British passport would become "a second class document" if it didn't have all the high-tech gadgetry our foreign cousins are sticking on their passports.

He told the programme that Britain would be defenceless against what he portrays as the threat of illegal immigration if it didn't make everyone carry identity cards.

He said much the same in the Commons last month: "It would render us defenceless in the war against illegal immigration."

Byrne didn't say what would happen to kids who didn't carry a passport.®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.