Feeds

CRB looks to ID cards to solve accuracy woes

One day, their prints may come

High performance access to file storage

Millions could be asked to provide ID card and fingerprint data to get a job under new systems being developed by the Home Office following a collapse in the accuracy of background checks.

News of the plans emerged in the response to a Register Freedom of Information Act request to the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). Today campaigners warned it could be used to help impose ID cards through the back door.

Previously, the CRB ran a small trial using passport data "aimed at accelerating and toughening-up background checks on people who want to work with children and vulnerable adults". It carried out research about public reaction to a possible ID card-based process, but has been silent on progress since.

Proposals to use ID cards are being quietly developed alongside official "research" into how to incorporate fingerprint data into employment background checks, which was alluded to in the Criminal Records Bureau's most recent business plan.

"This research is still in the early stages of feasibility and several options are being considered as part of this work, including options for the use of ID card data and fingerprints," a CRB spokeswoman said.

"We really are in the very early stages of looking at the possibility of introducing biometrics into the Disclosure service. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment or speculate on any detail as yet."

She declined to discuss the mechanisms for gathering fingerprint and ID card data, or how they would be used.

In the 12 months to the end of March 2009, identity errors at the CRB more than doubled compared to the previous year. More than half of the 1,570 mistakes were made in just one month.

The CRB declined to offer a specific reason for its disastrously inaccurate month, saying it was reliant on the quality of data provided to it by police and employers. It added that plans to use ID card and biometric data were part of its policy response, however.

Phil Booth, national coordinator of the campaign group NO2ID, said that he was "not surprised by this."

He added: "This is entirely consistent with the various forms of coercion strategy they've been working on to create artificial 'volunteers' for ID cards.

"Biometrics are part of them wanting clean, unique identifiers. It's patently ridiculous given they want people to give their fingerprints in high street shops."

The Home Office has previously said ID cards will help speed up the CRB process, which has been regularly criticised by employers as too slow.

Indeed, the CRB will soon be under more pressure to process checks. It expects a large increase in disclosure requests when the new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) comes into force from October.

The VBS will mean everyone who has working or voluntary contact with children or "vulnerable people" - estimated at 11.3 million - must be centrally registered. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
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
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
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.