UK Liberty

Then again we might

Posted in ID Cards by ukliberty on January 29, 2008


The Identity and Passport Service has denied that fingerprints could be dropped from the National Identity Register.

It has dismissed a report in The Observer, based on a leaked document, that claimed plans to asess the costs for different groups of people point to the plan for a fingerprint register being dropped.

“It’s a nonsense to suggest we are going to drop fingerprints,” an IPS spokesperson told GC News. “International travel documents have fingerprints and we are going to move in that direction. It’s very obviously the direction for travel documents around the world.”

Mixing a lot of things up here – perhaps intentionally – as per usual.

Firstly, I don’t think the claim was that fingerprints would be dropped entirely – the leaked document suggests fingerprints might not be used in some circumstances depending on the cost.  In other words, they might not be used in some circumstances. Have they even developed “an affordable and convenient solution for enrolment“?

Secondly, UK identity cards are not international travel documents (you might be able to use them within Europe).

Thirdly, not all international travel documents have fingerprints – indeed they aren’t required by the ICAO.

Fourthly, the ICAO doesn’t say a nation that uses fingerprints on its ‘international travel documents’ should have something like our National Identity Register.

He said the IPS would not comment on the contents of the leaked document, but that the IPS was still committed to using fingprints as part of the National Identity Scheme.”By linking fingerprints to a secure database

Is this secure like the second-class tax system or secure like the first-class tax system?

with strict rules outlining its use, the National Identity Scheme will allow individuals, business, and the state to prove identity more securely, conveniently and efficiently while protecting personal information from abuse,” he said.

“This builds on what we are doing anyway putting finger prints in passports and immigration documents in line with international moves to strengthen document security. The ID card will need to meet international standards for travel documents as it will act as a passport for travel within the EU.”

The spokesperson said more detailed plans would be announced when discussions internally and with suppliers are complete.

That is, the suppliers that haven’t dropped out of the scheme.

He also described as “entirely wrong” reports of plans to prevent young people who do not have an identity card from obtaining a student loan in the future.

That is, there is a rough idea to do so, all part of the Coercion Not Compulsion strategy.

In other news, reports John Lettice at the Register,

favoured initial target markets are “Trusted Relationships and Inclusion.” These can be “focused on [i.e. victimise] specific groups – suggesting that you could start here“. Nailing trusted relationship groups will essentially mean targeting people who, because their work places them in positions of trust, are required to undergo CRB checks. So teachers, carers, anybody working with children and/or vulnerable groups will be forced to get an ID card, commencing in the second half of 2009. The “level of assurance”, i.e. whether or not they will be fingerprinted, will “be driven by the services that individuals will access. Individuals within these groups may enrol at a lower level of assurance, but then be asked to provide fingerprints later, if they need access to products or services that require a higher level of assurance.”

The document does not explain why its authors appear to believe that fingerprinting someone, ipso facto, results in a higher level of security.

But Mr Lettice, ‘assurance’ is not synonymous with ‘security’.  To me, the extract seems to be suggestive of security theatre. In other words, an uninformed person will be ‘assured’ that a would-be carer or teacher has provided his fingerprints.