UK IT industry can meet ID card challenge

IT supplier group Intellect has said that the UK IT industry can meet the technological challenges created by the government's...

IT supplier group Intellect has said that the UK IT industry can meet the technological challenges created by the government's proposals for national ID cards.

In last week's 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 an ID card scheme 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 have questioned whether biometric technology would be reliable enough to underpin the scheme, and other experts have pointed to the government's poor record in rolling out large IT projects.

John Higgins, director general of Intellect, said 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."

According to Higgins, 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 encourage," he said. "Only with a comprehensive understanding of the industry, its capacity and its capa-bilities, will the government develop an ID card scheme which can deliver on its promises."

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