Saturday, 2 August 2014

John Vine will be missed

E-borders system inspector to step down, hat tip Kable/government computing:
Chief immigration inspector John Vine will step down after overseeing 50 reports including review of key e-borders project in 2013
Among those 50 was the report on his May 2010 inspection of Manchester Airport.

Several senior civil servants all the way up to the level of Sir David Normington had asserted that face recognition machines would keep the border safe by matching passengers to photographs in their passports. These machines would be more reliable than human beings and cheaper.

How did they know?

Answer, these officials based their conclusions on trials carried out at Manchester Airport.

And what did John Vine say at para.5.29 in his report?
We could find no overall plan to evaluate the success or otherwise of the facial recognition gates at Manchester Airport and would urge the Agency to do so [as] soon as possible.
The matter is described in Whitehall on trials. The prattish belief in the effectiveness of mass consumer biometrics persists nevertheless.

Mr Vine will be missed.

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