UK Liberty

The IDiot Scheme

Posted in ID Cards, politicians on liberty by ukliberty on December 3, 2008

The Observer:

Britain’s first ID cards, issued last week with fingerprint and facial details, cannot be read by any official body because the government has not issued a single scanner.

Ministers promised to roll out hundreds of electronic readers of biometric details. However, a spokesman for the Home Office admitted last week that no employers, police forces, hospitals or colleges have been given the machine – and there are as yet no plans to issue them.

The disclosure means the ID cards issued last week to foreign students and the foreign spouses of British citizens can be used only in a similar way to a valid passport and visa. Instead, authorities will have to rely on visual checks on the card and calls to a UK Border Agency hotline if they fear the card is not genuine.

The admission bolsters concerns the ID verification scheme is now just a ‘flash and go’ card similar to those used by many companies.

Home Office documents revealed last month that the cards’ biometric details will only be cross-referenced with the National Identity Register in a minority of cases.

How illegal working etc can be prevented by such a system is anyone’s guess.

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