Sunday, May 16, 2004

Well hello from the land of Taffs and Steve Christ - the latter a reference that only one man who doesn't even know this blog exists would get - and it's been a while, we've laughed, we've cried and we've read Private eye. Which links seamlessly into these 10 questions on ID cards, a subject close to my heart. From there and for my reference:

"If, as seems likely, fingerprints are the chosen biometric, how will they be read? At airports, fingerprint scanners are feasible; but what abotu at ferry ports and the Channel Tunnel? Imagine the queues if every car exiting every ferry had to disgorge its occupants who then have to queue to have their fingers read. And what about Eurostar trains?

How will a UK national biometric ID card scheme protect us against al Qaeda members travelling on, say, legitimate Algerian passports or members of the Real IRA with Irish passports? Biometric ID systems would have stopped neither the Twin Towers attacks or the Madrid bombs.

How will the home office establish an applicants true identity before issuing a new, "foolproof" ID card?

If the answer to question 3) is "by showing an existing form of ID such as a passport", how will the home office avoid falling for existing bogus ID?

Who is going to pay for all this and where does the Home Office figure of £3.1 bn come from? The answer to the first is "you are" and to the second, "out of thin air".

Who will have access to the data stored on the card and, for that matter what information will be stored?

What will people with no fingers do at border crossings or, if iris-scanning, what will people with glass eyes do?

The government has a pisspoor record on hi-tech forms of ID. Consider the ridiculous, two-part driving licence. The only reason we have to have a sheet of paper as well as a card is becaused Whitehall, under previous management, was too stupid and parsimonious to do the job properly and incorporate the information on a magnetic strip. if the government finds the technology of a supermarket loyalty card daunting, what chance has it of complex and sophisticated biometric ID cards?

Will Crapita be involved?"

Anyone with answers, I'm sure Private Eye would love to know. Incidently if you don't read it, you should. Lean over your fellow rail passengers shoulder or, buy it for them and then lean over.