Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The zombie stirs, the UK Home Office is on manoeuvres again …

… ID cards are back on the agenda …

… and The Sunday Times couldn't find room to publish the following letter:
From: David Moss
Sent: 25 June 2017 23:42
To: 'letters@thetimes.co.uk'
Subject: ID cards and border control

‘Bad border controls are worse than none at all’
Dominic Lawson
June 25 2017

Sir

The regularly excellent Dominic Lawson suggests that the Labour government’s proposed biometric ID card scheme would have worked and that the subsequent 2010 coalition government was wrong to terminate it [1].

Uncharacteristically wrong, he ignores the fact that the biometric technology on which that scheme relied was and remains hopelessly unreliable at the scale required [2,3]. That is why the Home Office gave up on their National Identity Scheme (RIP) long before May 2010. It was not going to help with border control [4] nor with any of the other objectives it was vaguely hoped that it might achieve.

The baton was passed from the Home Office to the Cabinet Office and their GOV.UK Verify scheme (RIP) which, after more than five years of development, currently has a failure rate of 65% according to the Government Digital Service’s own performance statistics [5,6].

Mr Lawson and the rest of us will have to find some other suppliers of identity assurance than Whitehall. The mobile phone network operators [7], for example, and the banks are the preferable ports of call. The awful alternatives are the Pied Pipers – Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, … [8].

Yours
David Moss



Exclusive to The Sunday Times.

Refs.

1. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/bad-uk-border-controls-are-worse-than-none-at-all-rmdcvrnpk
2. http://www.dmossesq.com/2015/09/so-where-are-we-on-astrology-13-years.html
3. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/14/biometric_id_delusion/
4. http://www.dematerialisedid.com/BCSL/eOdyssey.html
5. https://www.gov.uk/performance/govuk-verify
6. http://www.dmossesq.com/2016/09/rip-ida-govuk-verify-is-no-more-it-has.html
7. http://www.dematerialisedid.com/Mobiles.html
8. http://www.dmossesq.com/2012/04/amazon-google-facebook-et-al-latter-day.html
Nonsense on stilts, five days after Dominic Lawson's article, The Times carried Why I’ve come round to the idea of ID cards by Philip Collins: "Fears about illegal immigration which drove many to vote for Brexit would be answered by a national identity scheme".

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