Feeds

UK gov says broken passport system justifies ID cards

No it doesn't, say opposition

Top three mobile application threats

Rough fraud figures published by the Identity and Passport Service today have become the government's latest justification for its identity card plans.

The Home Office estimated that 10,000 fraudulent passport applications were approved in the 11 months to October 2006. But its figures were only partial and the Home Office refused to publish more details.

Joan Ryan, Home Office minister, said in a statement that the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) was introducing measures to stop passport fraud that would "also lay the foundations for the National Identity Scheme".

"By linking unique biometric information to a secure database with strict rules outlining its use, the scheme will give us all a means of confirming identity," she said.

Opposition home affairs spokespeople said the flaws in the passport system were an indication of the hash they thought the government would make of the identity card system.

Ryan said in a written ministerial statement that a host of schemes would make passport fraud harder, including interviews being introduced in stages from May.

An accompanying report stated: "Although precise figures are difficult to obtain, it appears that the level of attempted fraud is increasing and getting more sophisticated."

The report, Introduction of Passport Application Interviews - Update March 2007, contained a passing reference to the fraud survey. A Home Office spokesman said: "The details of the research are not available."

The statement provided a brief description of the methods used to calculate that almost 10,000 issued passport last year were the result of fraudulent applications.

It said the Home Office found from a sample of "several thousand" passport applications between 31 October 2005 to 30 September 2006 that a quarter of a per cent of passport applications were "believed to be" fraudulent. That is, of 6.6 million passport applications, 16,500 raised suspicion.

The investigation involved a team of passport experts and fraud investigators going back over old passport applications that had already been vetted in the usual course of the passport office's business.

The statement did not describe what further checks they had performed, but said that they found that "almost half" of the suspected applications already been detected by the Identity and Passport Service.

"The remainder had gone undetected," it said, and were therefore likely to be fraudulent passports passed into circulation. These documents, which it should be noted had not been thought suspicious before, consisted of about 0.15 per cent of all applications, or 9,900 of 6.6 million applications.

Nick Clegg MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, said in a written statement how "surreal" it was for the government to be "advertising its own failings" to "make the case" for identity cards.®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
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
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
APPLE FAILS to ditch class action suit over ebook PRICE-FIX fiasco
Do not pass go, do cough (up to) $840m in damages
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
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.
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.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.