Feeds

Most biometric checks will bypass ID database

Will use data stored on ID cards

Security for virtualized datacentres

Identity checks will normally rely on the biometric data held on cards and passports rather than the National Identity Register

"Verification checks of biometrics identifiers will be made against the card in most cases using the biometrics stored in the chip, for example if the facial image or fingerprint biometrics are verified as part of an immigration check at the border," said Hillier in a parliamentary written answer on 17 November 2008.

"Only in specific circumstances, for example if an ID card has been lost, would verification of identity take place against the biometrics held on the National Identity Register. Such checks will provide a very secure and reliable means of proving identity."

Hillier was responding to questions from Labour MP Lynne Jones about the use of biometrics in the scheme. Databases of biometrics become less reliable for picking out a single individual as they grow in size, as the chance of a false match grows with every extra member.

Philippe Martin, a senior analyst at Kable, said: "This is actually the best way of doing it as in most cases biometric data does not need to be checked against a database. When you imagine the number of people travelling in and out of the country every day, you don't want millions of peoples' biometrics flying across networks. The only interaction needed with the database is a check certifying the cardholder's entitlement to the service requested."

Jones asked Hillier for the Home Office's estimate of the number of false matches likely to arise from use of fingerprint biometrics after the enrolment of one million, six million, 40 million and 60 million people.

"The Identity and Passport Service is still in the process of procurement of specific biometric systems, hence we are unable to give an estimate of false matches that may occur," replied Hillier. "In the event of an uncertain fingerprint match the scheme will make use of human fingerprint experts to resolve uncertain fingerprint matches from the automated fingerprint matching system."

In reply to a question from Jones about the problems for those aged 75 and over in using fingerprint scanners, mentioned in the Biometrics Assurance Group's 2007 annual report, Hillier said "as no specific recommendation was made regarding exception handling or the collection of fingerprint biometrics for the elderly, no comment was made" by the Home Office.

The Identity and Passport Service has announced that Vince Gaskell, currently chief executive of the Criminal Records Bureau, will join the service in the new year as executive director for new service implementation. He will have overall responsibility for implementing initiatives including cards for airside workers.

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.