To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the likely annual number of identity checks that will be carried out for accredited organisations (a) once the National Identity Register is operational and (b) once entry onto the National Identity Register is compulsory.
Until further detailed work with potential user organisations during the preparation and initial rollout of the National Identity Card Scheme are complete, it is not possible to provide a total number of likely verification transactions that will be used by public and private sector organisations in the first years of the scheme.
I wonder what the capacity planning document looks like.
A bit like this?
Until further detailed work with both public and private sector organisations during the preparation and initial rollout of the Identity Card Scheme are complete, it is not possible to provide the precise mix of services each organisation may require and thus, it is not possible to provide a final estimate of the number and total cost of biometric readers across the public services at this stage.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made ofthe number of card readers which will be used by (a) the public sector and (b) the private sector as part of the identity cards scheme.
There will be a number of different methods of verifying identity under the National Identity Scheme ranging from a visual check of the card, which will not require a card reader, to card authentication, PIN verification and up to biometric verification where a high level of identity assurance is required.
The decision of any individual public or private sector organisation to use none, one or a variety of these methods in accordance with their business requirements will impact on whether they need to invest in card readers.
So there might not be any checking of entitlement to public services at all.
The number of card readers then required by any individual accredited private sector or public sector organisation will depend on their own individual circumstances on such matters as which channels customers interact with them, how their business and information technology systems are designed and what existing infrastructure is already in place.
Thus, until further detailed work with both public and private sector organisations during the preparation and initial rollout of the Scheme are complete, it is not possible to provide a total number of card readers that will be used by public and private sector organisations.
Mr Andrew Michael Edwards: What will happen to people who refuse to carry an i.d card and/or refuse to have their fingerprints taken etc?
James replies: There is no compulsion to carry an ID Card, even if you have one. But we think most people will find it more convenient to have it with them as they do their credit card and mobile phone.
Because life will be made inconvenient for them if they don’t have one, viz.
And there is no need to register and have their fingerprints taken, but you will forgo the ability to have a passport.
And access to public services, benefits, etc.
Uncorrected transcript from 27 February 2007.
Also a little bit on identity cards.
Q177 Chairman: Okay, the other question I wanted to ask you is that you are not going to have to carry this ID card on your person; what consideration was given to just being required to produce within a set amount of time a driving licence or passport? If 80% of people have a passport that would be much easier. I think this was considered at the time, was it not?
Mr Hall: You are absolutely correct that there will be no legal requirement for people to carry an identity card with them. My expectation is that most people will tend to carry it with them in their wallet because over a period of time over a period of years there will be an increasing number of situations where it is quicker and more efficient and easier and more convenient for you as an individual to prove your identity by producing an identity card.
Q178 Chairman: I am sure that is true but what I am trying to tease out of you is given the enormous cost of the ID cards and given that 80% of the population already have passports, given that you do not have to have your ID card, would it not be a lot easier to allow most people to produce a passport as opposed to force them to have an ID card?
Mr Hall: First of all, people produce passports today and indeed although we think of the passport as primarily a travel document, it is for many, many people the principal means of identifying and authenticating identities today.
Q179 Chairman: Exactly, that is the question I am asking.
Mr Hall: It is not the most convenient document to carry around on your person the whole time to prove —
Chairman: You will not have to carry the ID card around on your person the whole time. 80% of the population already have a passport so instead of going to all the effort and the £5 billion cost of having ID cards compulsory for most people, would it not have been easier just require them to produce a passport.
Mr Bacon: You nearly nodded there.
Thing is, you won’t have the choice between having a passport or identity card: the choices are limited to,
- a Passport and Identity Card; or,
- an Identity Card.
But it’s for your own good you know.