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Denies print register drop report

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The Identity and Passport Service has denied that fingerprints could be dropped from the National Identity Register.

It has dismissed a report in The Observer, based on a leaked document, that claimed plans to assess the costs for different groups of people point to the plan for a fingerprint register being dropped.

"It's a nonsense to suggest we are going to drop fingerprints," an IPS spokesperson told GC News. "International travel documents have fingerprints and we are going to move in that direction. It's very obviously the direction for travel documents around the world."

He said the IPS would not comment on the contents of the leaked document, but that the IPS was still committed to using fingerprints as part of the National Identity Scheme.

"By linking fingerprints to a secure database with strict rules outlining its use, the National Identity Scheme will allow individuals, business, and the state to prove identity more securely, conveniently and efficiently while protecting personal information from abuse," he said.

"This builds on what we are doing anyway putting fingerprints in passports and immigration documents in line with international moves to strengthen document security. The ID card will need to meet international standards for travel documents as it will act as a passport for travel within the EU."

The spokesperson said more detailed plans would be announced when discussions internally and with suppliers are complete.

He also described as "entirely wrong" reports of plans to prevent young people who do not have an identity card from obtaining a student loan in the future.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

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