Feeds

UK gov wants to fingerprint kids

An eleven plus for all

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

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.®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.