Post Office aims to collect ID card fingerprints?
Large branch network begs for biometric protection
Ministers are in talks with the Post Office over proposals for the latter to handle biometric enrolment and distribution for ID cards and biometric passports, reports the Guardian.
The Post Office already operates a 'check and send' service for passports, and there is therefore some logic to extending this to the collection of fingerprints once these are required. According to the most recent schedule/delay, this is intended to happen in 2012, but ID cards will arrive sooner for some groups, "workers in sensitive roles" in late 2009 and youthful volunteers in 2010.
The government's original intention was to handle passport and ID enrolment through a network of regional centres, but it is now felt that using private sector partners would be cheaper/more effective. Giving the business to the Post Office could therefore deal with two problems, achieving nationwide enrolment and distribution, and helping keep branches open.
Conversely, not giving the contracts to the Post Office would probably also mean terminating the passport deal the organisation already has. If other organisations won the deal for enrolment, then along with this they'd surely become responsible for checking applications and passing them on to the Identity & Passport Service, possibly cutting the Post Office out completely, and therefore triggering more branch closures.
How the Post Office might handle biometric enrolment if it did win this part of the contract is not entirely obvious, but it does seem unlikely that every branch, no matter how tiny and remote, will be kitted out with a fingerprint machine. And even in larger branches security may be an issue, as there have been a number of passport application fraud cases involving post office workers. ®
Re: Sign up if it comes
"Sorry, Ash but that's really stupid, as what will happen is that someone else will assert themselves with your identity, you will then have one hell of a job getting it back again."
That's just what Gordon wants you to think.
Fact is, if you don't sign up, then no card will be issued in your name with your biometrics. Stealing your identity will be no easier than it is today. It is the compulsory participation in the scheme that opens the door to unlimited misery for the entire population. Your best chance of escape is to avoid contact with the scheme for as long as possible, and hope that the misery blights enough lives in the first few months to persuade the population to rise up and overthrow the morons responsible before you are forced to join in.
@ Ash - Sign up if it comes.
Sorry, Ash but that's really stupid, as what will happen is that someone else will assert themselves with your identity, you will then have one hell of a job getting it back again.
If ID comes, then sign up for it as soon as you can don't wait, even if it means renewing your passport nine years early.
The government want this to be the gold standard for identity, they just don't want to pay for the trouble of making sure you are who you say you are, so will make the initial sign-up easy. Show me your passport, or a couple of utility bills for your address, oh yes you're on Experian, so off you go with your brand new ID card.
Various sorting offices have had problems with gangs extracting bills and statements before they even get to your door. So do you want to bet that they won't do this not only to gain credit, but to gain a gold standard for ID.
My experience at a post office yesterday led me to the conclusion that the Post Office is in collusion with the government to make it more and more difficult to use traditional forms of ID as proof of identity...