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Wednesday, 05 May 2004

Biometric ID Cards: Our Survey Says...

The Register (and just about everyone else) reports that the Home Office's biometric ID card trial is lucky that it's only in the trial stage, because it's all fallen over arse over tit:

The test equipment is reported to have run into "hardware, software and ergonomic problems leading to inconsistent enrolment," i.e. it faced the predictable calibration problems. The adjustments made by the contractor, ATOS Origin, gives us some signposts to where the difficulties are likely to lie, and to manifest themselves in spades when the systems (being called "enrolment pods" - we're going to be a nation of pod people) hit the sub post offices. The resolution and focus of the facial recognition camera was changed, a system to allow single fingers to be re-examined for prints was introduced, and the background in the booth (surely "pod"? -Ed) was changed to a "consistent texture" for iris scans.

Of course, the last time the British public were asked about implementation of ID cards, "Nearly 60 per cent of them don't believe the government will be able to do the rollout without screwing it up".

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