IT supplier group Intellect has claimed that the UK technology industry can meet the technological challenges created by the government’s proposals for national ID cards.
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In today’s traditional annual Queen’s Speech to MPs and peers, the Queen outlined the government’s plans for a draft legislation to establish the legal framework for the introduction of a system of ID cards in the UK.
The ID scheme, which could take 10 years to roll out and cost up to £3.1bn would, initially, involve the use of biometric technology such as facial recognition, iris scans or fingerprints in passports and on driving licences. The government also plans to build a national database to store citizens' biometric and personal details.
Fraud experts and UK banks recently questioned whether biometric technology would be reliable enough to underpin the scheme, while other industry watchers have pointed to the government’s poor record in rolling out large IT projects.
John Higgins, director general of Intellect, admitted there would be a number of challenges, but added, “The UK technology industry is wholly committed to working in partnership with government to ensure that these challenges are met, and that the system can be delivered according to the specification which is eventually proposed.”
Higgins said success will only be achieved if government continues to maintain its open dialogue with industry and engages suppliers effectively.
“This is something which the Home Office, to its credit, has already undertaken, and something which we continue to welcome and encourage,” he said. “Only with a comprehensive understanding of the industry, its capacity and its capabilities will the government develop an ID card scheme capable of delivering on its promises.”