Feeds

Anonymity proves grey area for IDScan

Redacted 'fake' card details exposed on website

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Security software provider IDScan has been left red-faced after a page of supposedly anonymous details of ID cheats on its website turned out not to have been anonymised after all.

IDScan have developed a range of products designed to assist retailers and licensed premises in complying with laws that aim to regulate the sale of certain products – knives, cigarettes, alcohol – to the underage.

To illustrate the difficulty of carrying out this task, their site features a spread of novelty IDs. Strictly speaking, novelty IDs are designed by independent companies, are legal to buy and produce but may be illegal if used to misrepresent your age and status. These are not quite the same as fake IDs, which are exact copies of existing ID cards – although several of the cards featured by IDScan would appear to be fake rather than novelty.

To protect the anonymity of the individuals depicted, IDScan has helpfully left their photos visible but greyed out their names and, in a couple of cases, address details.

Unfortunately, as the page was created in acrobat, it is but a moment's work for anyone with a little technical expertise to remove the grey and to expose personal details.

This is perhaps not quite what the company intends when it claims that one of its key objectives is to protect children from harm.

MD Tamlyn Thompson commented: "For the most part, these are fictitious documents, and the details provided will be false too. Against that, you must remember that the penalties for retailers and licensees taken in by such documents are severe."

While we have little doubt that the offending page (pdf) will be gone very shortly, El Reg will be holding on to its own copy of the original for posterity.

This sort of mistake is not uncommon. A couple of years back, we were amazed – and amused – when a reader alerted us to a supposedly secret document published online by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Unfortunately a quirk of the software used to read the pdf document meant that all the top secret stuff that was supposed to have been greyed out was still perfectly readable. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
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
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
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.