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News

TSSI comments on doomed ID card scheme

TSSI Systems : 02 July, 2009  (Technical Article)
General Manager of biometrics supplier TSSI Systems comments on the flawed UK ID card scheme that would leave users open to identity theft if it was implemented
TSSI Systems, the biometric identity and document security specialist says it is not enough for the home secretary to only scrap plans to make ID cards compulsory, the whole scheme should go (covered in the Telegraph article 'Home Secretary abandons compulsory ID cards'). "The scheme has been ill conceived from the start. Apart from the outrageous costs, people's privacy is still at risk," said John Barker, General Manager, TSSI Systems.

"The scheme has already cost up to £200 million of tax payers money and is predicted to cost over £4.9 billion in the next 10 years, a preposterous amount of money in today's trying times. But it is the security of personal data which should be the primary concern surrounding ID cards especially with frequent cases of government data loss, which is reason enough to abolish the entire scheme."

"The scheme may never have worked in the first place as the correct security measures were not in place. As biometrics alone is not enough, a strong verification technology needs to be applied. In order for an ID card scheme to work the data needs to be stored as an algorithmic encryption, this is impossible for even the most sophisticated fraudster to decipher," continued Barker.

"Secondly the storage of the information collected needs to be carefully structured; the biometric data must be stored separately from other personal data. This makes it much harder for anyone to obtain enough personal details to steal an identity or clone a card."

"Leaving the system open on a voluntary basis is laughable, who in their right mind would voluntarily hand over biometric information to a scheme that is fundamentally flawed? The scheme is currently available in Manchester but only 3,500 people have shown interest. If this is rolled out nationwide on a voluntary basis, it is doubtful this number will rise by much."

"The Government needs to stop this hemorrhaging of tax payer's money at the peril of their privacy and scrap the scheme in its entirety."
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