Saturday, 15 August 2009

Confusing identity

The Register has a special report on the problems with biometrics. The government's vision for the National Identity Scheme (NIS) is that it will become - "an essential part of everyday life, underpinning interactions and transactions between individuals, public services and businesses and supporting people to protect their identity." The core of the information used to prove identity is biometrics yet David Moss gives exhaustive arguments as to why this cannot happen.

Repeated government announcements and publications continue to speak of biometrics as though they have near-100% reliability. That is what people have been led to expect but the promise cannot possibly be delivered. All the published data on facial geometry, iris prints and the new-style fingerprints suggests that you a reliability rate of 81% is the maximum that can be achieved.

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