[NetBehaviour] ID trials reveal scan problems

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu May 26 12:18:36 CEST 2005

*ID trials reveal scan problems*

25 May, 2005, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK

Trials of ID cards have revealed problems with the scanning systems 
central to the project, it has emerged.

"Biometrics" such as fingerprints, iris images or face scans will be 
used for the cards but the trials found that not all people could use 
all the systems.

It was harder to scan the irises of black people and over-59s.

And some fingerprint scanners did not work with large fingers. Ministers 
say they were only "teething" problems and the technology is on track.


Some experts argue the technology may never be good enough.

Professor Angela Sasse, a biometrics expert who has advised MPs on the 
home affairs select committee, said biometric technologies were "a lot 
less mature" than manufacturers made out.

"To be honest, I think it is a possibility that eventually we will 
conclude it isn't good enough or that the current systems we're using 
aren't good enough for a large scale public domain application such as 
an ID card," she said.

The trials involved 10,000 volunteers, although the detailed research 
centred on 2,000 "quota" people chosen to match the general population 
and 750 disabled people.

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