Feeds

Cops wanted compulsory DNA cards

Government finally releases ID card probe

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Civil servants considered including DNA or iris biometrics as well as digital photographs in the ID card scheme and the police wanted carrying the cards to be compulsory, just released documents reveal.

The Office of Government Commerce has finally bowed to legal pressure from trade mag Computer Weekly and released the two Gateway reviews into the national ID scheme. It has taken four years and numerous court hearings to get the two reviews, from 2003 and 2004, released.

The review noted: "The Police felt that the absence of any obligation to carry or produce identity cards would substantially remove the administrative savings and some of the other advantages that Identity Cards would offer."

The 2003 review said: "Biometrics. Opinion seems divided on how effective or dependable biometrics will be. There is little past experience, in the UK or elsewhere, to go on." There is no evidence of any technical consultation or other attempt to answer these questions.

The second review in 2004 also supported a second biometric on the card and was still looking for answers.

Overall the level of dialogue at the OGC seems perfectly suited to its logo, which regular readers may remember. The circlejerk of senior civil servants seem absurdly divorced from reality - they show awareness of neither the technical problems of what they are discussing nor any understanding of, or interest in, public reaction to the scheme.

Support from the rest of the civil service also appears muted. The 2003 review said: "We noted with some concern that the main potential beneficiaries of an Identity Cards scheme, such as police, DVLA, Passport Agency, IND, DWP, Inland Revenue and the financial sector, though generally supportive, were not quite as enthusiastic about the programme as might have been hoped."

Apparently major problems with the project are breezily dismissed.

So the review mentions one of the programme risks: "Inadequate support and commitment (we noted with some concern that the main potential beneficiaries of an Identity Cards scheme, such as police, DVLA, Passport Agency, IND, DWP, Inland Revenue and the financial sector, though generally supportive, were not quite as enthusiastic about the programme as might have been hoped." [sic]

The second review again confidently claims: "The Identity Cards programme’s potential for success is not in doubt. As the SRO and Programme Director recognise, however, there is much work to be done before a robust business case can be established for a solution that meets the business need".

The 2003 review is here and 2004 is here, both as pdfs, or have a look at SpyBlog.

Gateway reviews look at many major government IT projects at various points in order to ensure progress is being made. They give traffic light judgement on projects - in 2003 the ID scheme was given a red light, and by 2004 it was on amber. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
APPLE FAILS to ditch class action suit over ebook PRICE-FIX fiasco
Do not pass go, do cough (up to) $840m in damages
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the 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.