Our future with ID cards

The Brits did a trial run on a biometric ID card with 10,000 people.  The results are in:

THE technology behind the government’s controversial ID card scheme fails to recognise one in every 25 people, it emerged yesterday.

A Home Office trial that collected the biometric details of 10,000 volunteers showed at best the technology was 96 per cent foolproof if iris scans were used.

It was even less accurate for black people and the over-59s, and worse for those with disabilities, as the scans had more difficulty recognising them.

It was also revealed that the estimated cost per card had risen to £93, up from £85 in November – an amount that did not include the start-up technology costs. Running costs over ten years are estimated to be £5.8 billion.

A report on the trial said the reasons for the lower success rates among certain groups remained unclear and that more work was needed to identify the reasons.

Meanwhile, facial biometric technology was only 69 per cent accurate, while using fingerprints was 81 per cent failsafe.

David Winnick, Labour MP for Walsall North, insisted he would continue to oppose the bill and pointed to the government’s shifting the justification for identity cards, from thwarting terrorism to identity fraud.

I’m actually surprised the results are this bad.  I know biometrics isn’t really up to the task it is being asked to do, but this was much worse than I thought it would be.  This is great news for freedom lovers everywhere and in the U.S. in particular.  Our government is running a little behind the U.K. in police state race.  To see the U.K. fail so badly in this important (to would-be tyrants) tool may mean we will be spared the expense.  Yeah, I know, Real ID passed but all it requires in terms of a biometric identifier is a digital photo of your face and your signature–two of the least accurate biometric measures.  Real ID will accomplish only one thing well–making a few people feel good and the U.K. experience will be further evidence of that.


4 thoughts on “Our future with ID cards

  1. Joe,

    I thought this post would draw Henri into the open. Nary a word though.


  2. After Henry said he was leaving he read the couple posts and comments he was interested in via google’s cache for a few days then he stopped entirely. He hasn’t been back, even to read, for weeks.

  3. Joe,

    I can’t say I’m going to spend a lot of sleepless nights contemplating his abandonment.


  4. ID cards will happen, as consumption spending through rising property equity levels off and the taxation burden rises to cope with the second round effects of immigration and greater unemployment and employed non-jobs.

    ID cards are about taxation revenue, not security, just as they were in ancient rome.

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