Wednesday, May 31, 2006

IBM researcher slams ID card Scheme

Michael Osborne of IBM's Zuric based research labs has denounced the plans for the National Identity Register (NIR). Among his criticisms were the lack of reliability of the biometrics (iris scans fail to correctly identify individuals ten percent of the time, finger prints don't do much better, failing four percent of the time), the cost and the security risk. Osborne's main concern is that the NIR will become a magnet for hackers.

However, Osborne does seem at ease with the idea of an ID card itself. He suggests instead that the data be stored on the card itself. However, the data that the government plans to collect includes not only biometrics but health service data, tax records, driver records, electoral register records. The risk of storing that data on an easily lost or stolen card doesn't bear thinking about.

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