The Government of Wonderland - followup

Following on from my previous rant about the UK government "misplacing" the personal data of 25 million of the UK's citizens, it seems that I'm not alone in my dismay about their proposed "solution" - the National ID Card scheme. A group of six respected academics have written to a Parliamentary committee expressing their disquiet about the proposals:

Furthermore, biometric checks at the time of usage do not of themselves make any difference whatsoever to the possibility of the type of disaster that has just occurred at HMRC. This type of data leakage, which occurs regularly across Government, will continue to occur until there is a radical change in the culture both of system designer and system users. The safety, security and privacy of personal data has to become the primary requirement in the design, implementation, operation and auditing of systems of this kind.

The inclusion of biometric data in one's NIR record would make such a record even more valuable to fraudsters and thieves as it would - if leaked or stolen - provide the 'key' to all uses of that individual's biometrics (e.g. accessing personal or business information on a laptop, biometric access to bank accounts, etc.) for the rest of his or her life. Once lost, it would be impossible to issue a person with new fingerprints. One cannot change one's fingers as one can a bank account.

The story has been picked up by both The Register and that bastion of liberal thinking (!) The Daily Mail.

Categories : Personal