UK Liberty

ID’s a farce

Posted in ID Cards, politicians on liberty by ukliberty on February 9, 2009

The Register:

The British Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has spent £4.7bn ($6.6bn) on its new biometric ID card system. But it has not established a timeline for a card-reader rollout.

Without the necessary card readers, the biometric information such as fingerprint scans stored in the cards is inaccessible and therefore useless for ID verification. …

According to [Meg] Hiller, “There’s no prospect in the immediate future for the government directing anybody that you have to buy those things [readers] because we would be placing a burden on these organisations.

“The manufacturers of the machines have also got to decide whether it is worth their while to produce them.”

Timely to note again that there is a difference between the estimate of setting up and running the scheme at the Home Office / IPS (this figure roughly equal to £5bn) and the final cost of the scheme to the country. If the costs of the readers are not included in the estimate but displaced to the organisations that may purchase them, those costs willof course eventually be born by the taxpayer / customer, who doesn’t know that readers will cost from three to five figures each, and therefore – depending on how many organisations purchase the readers to take part in this idiocy – discover a much larger bill.

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