Feeds

Biometric harvest network can handle just 700k a year

Either scheme dies or we die before getting a card

Security for virtualized datacentres

Home Sec Alan Johnson gave another insight into how big a trickle of applications for ID cards the government expects when he revealed the full extent of its biometric enrolment network yesterday.

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling had asked "how many biometric enrolment centres are in operation; where they are located; how many applications they are expected to process in the next 12 months; and how many people they could each process and provide with identity cards each year if working at maximum capacity".

Johnson revealed the government had 34 "biometric enrolment offices" across the UK, ranging from Aberdeen in the North to Brighton in the South. Our geography is a little flakey, and it looks like the most westerly mainland centre is Cardiff - there's also one in Belfast - while the easternmost outpost appears to be London City Airport.

At least nine of these are in London. (There's one in Stamford but no indication as to which Stamford.) Manchester - the centre of the current ID card pilot scheme - has two centres, while there are another two in Liverpool and one in Blackburn.

The total capacity of this dab and snap network is 650,000 to 700,000 a year, Johnson said. Which is not a whole lot of ID cards in a population of just over 61 million. Ten years on, and without a dramatic boost in capacity, we'd still be at just seven million Brits in the ID database.

Except that this network is in effect the one which covers the biometric requirements for foreign nationals on behalf of the Border Agency. Which would explain why they are concentrated in immigration hotspots like London.

So, if a large part of the population suddenly decided it had to have an ID card so it could go to Europe or to the pub, they'd better be ready to queue.

The Post Office is tendering to offer biometric harvesting for the government, and Johnson has previously said the government has other options on how to extend its biometric network.

But no decisions are likely before the election, which is due to take place... any time now, after which a "new administration" will have to decide exactly how far and fast it wants to push the ID card/National ID register scheme. Or not. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.