Feeds

Most biometric checks will bypass ID database

Will use data stored on ID cards

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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?