Online database is bad idea, says LSE

The London School of Economics Identity Project Interim Report challenged the wisdom of the government's plans to create a...

The London School of Economics Identity Project Interim Report challenged the wisdom of the government's plans to create a central database that would record an audit trail giving details of how, where and when each person used their identity card.

"The audit trail is the greatest challenge to the proposed UK system, complicating the architecture unnecessarily, placing the [ID Card] Bill and the ID system on legally problematic grounds, and ignoring the existing identification structures in British society," it said.

The LSE argued that an ID card system which relied on biometrics stored in the card, rather than a central database, would be far cheaper and simpler to build and operate.

The online verification proposed by the government would not be any more secure than an offline system. It would be far less resilient and create an additional catastrophic risk of a single point of failure.

"A central biometric database system with online verification is much more costly, much riskier in operation and, for example, is extremely vulnerable to denial of service attacks on its authentication servers," the report said.

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