Feeds

Smith's airport ID card plans cut back to small pilot scheme

Small pilots still angry, though...

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Jacqui Smith's plans for ID cards for airport workers are in deeper trouble, with the news that next year's rollout has been downscaled to an 18 month trial at only two airports, Manchester and City of London. According to a report in today's Financial Times, the Home Secretary is due to announce the trial on Thursday - but the paper adds that no agreement has yet been reached on whether or not the trial would cover existing workers, or only new employees.

The first ID cards are scheduled to be issued to non-EU foreign nationals this month, with airport workers intended to be the first employees in "sensitive roles or locations" to be forced to apply, in the second half of 2009. Opposition within the airline industry has been virtually unanimous, however, and the sudden appearance of a lengthy trial at two smaller airports - as opposed to a general rollout across the industry - suggests strongly that the Home Office is losing this fight.

According to the FT, Manchester and London City only signed up to the scheme "in principle" after the government agreed to provide a further £500,000 for pre-employment checks for airport staff. Nor, says the paper, is there any guarantee that the scheme will be extended to the rest of the airline industry after the trial concludes.

In addition to officially announcing the trial, on Thursday Jacqui Smith is expected to announce a "prospectus of market engagement" which the paper says will invite organisations with a high street presence to bid "for contracts in areas such as fingerprinting, application checking and photographing linked to the new biometric passports and ID cards."

An Identity & Passport Service cost reported published earlier this year indicated that the government would attempt to transfer biometric enrolment for the ID scheme to the private sector, and Thursday's announcement would therefore appear to be the next phase of this.

Given the timescales, however, there may well be nothing for them to do. The first phase of the rollout, to foreign nationals, will proceed gradually as it is applied slowly to individuals renewing their leave to remain. Unless the government finds a more tractable group of victims, ID cards for key workers have been stalled until mid-2011 by the 18 month airport trial, and the plan to offer ID cards to young people 'on a voluntary basis' from 2010 will, Home Office research recently revealed, need to find more receptive young people than the ones who actually live here.

Essentially, the whole show has been effectively kicked into touch until after the next election, which will be 2010 at the latest. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
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
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications 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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.