Warning sounded over biometric ID card plan

Biometric identity cards may create more problems than they solve for government organisations and UK businesses, according to...

Biometric identity cards may create more problems than they solve for government organisations and UK businesses, according to research from analyst firm Butler Group.

Home secretary David Blunkett has called for a national ID card with biometric data, such as fingerprint or iris scans, being used to guarantee authentication.

Butler Group's Identity and Access Management Report, released last week, questioned how the data on the card would be validated and how, once biometric details have been compromised, the cards could be reused safely.

Government bodies and companies planning to use biometric data cannot afford to risk compromising personal information, because forthcoming legislation designed to protect privacy would increase the risk of litigation, the report warned.

These issues, combined with the piecemeal approach to IT security taken by many UK businesses, all point to "an accident waiting to happen", said Mark Blowers, report author and senior research analyst at Butler Group.

"Many organisations consider they are sufficiently protected by the piecemeal security technology they have implemented around the IT infrastructure," he said. "These businesses are in for a rude awakening when, for example, either their personal information assets are compromised and litigious users seek recompense, or the costs of managing many users start to eat into precious IT resources."

One of the problems of sharing identity information across organisations is the different IT infrastructures and network environments that are in use, the report said.

The day of the smartcard is at hand >>

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